Leading Scanning Bureau Adopts Practical Programs Email Management Solution

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Scan Conversion Services required an Email indexing solution that would allow content searching across different email accounts. "Searches have to be fast and available from any authorized PC". Scan's goal was to improve customer service and document management compliance.

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Leading South Australian document and drawing management bureau, Scan Conversion Services (SCS), has this month completed the roll out of advanced new software to rigorously control its substantial volume of emails.

The move to this new IT technology follows SCS’ comprehensive in-house review of its customer services procedures, quality assurance commitments and the potential complexity that can flow from ongoing communications with clients over a long term period of time.

As SCS general manager, Wenona Pledge notes, “like most organizations, we have a lot of email contact with our customers. Initially during a particular assignment’s specification, quotation and negotiation stage. And then during the contract period that may run for two years or longer. What’s more, any number of people from both organizations can be involved in that wide range of correspondence.

“The trouble here is that the email systems that we all use were never designed to handle the volumes and the range of data that we are now forcing through them. So the way we store electronic mail is enormously cumbersome and effectively retrieving data is absurdly difficult.

“With traditional email use, for example, there is no automatic way of bringing together all the correspondence that relates to a particular client of specific client project. And equally, there is no process for simply linking that mail with all the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and graphics files that are often going to be attached to individual messages.

“Our view was that these problems were creating major inefficiencies and, more importantly, had the potential to impact on customer service and quality. It was often difficult to quickly locate an important email and then to be certain that we were not referring to information that had been superseded or amended.

“This is particularly critical for us as we regularly operate up to three intensive shifts per day to meet exacting client turnaround requirements. And it’s very important for authorised supervisors to quickly locate relevant emails whenever there was a need to discuss an important time-critical matter with a customer.

“There are also many instances where we will need to refer back to an original quotation or brief. And on a more basic day-to-day we need to effectively manage the continuing flow of email traffic, to and from clients, which can span everything form the request to collect the latest batch of documents, to the return of ‘pilot’ scanned data for approval, to the change of an initial brief’, Ms Pledge said

Given such challenges, SCS elected to install the advanced Dv TDM email management software system designed and supported by Practical Programs. And with the roll out of that IT solution now being complete, the organization says that it now has a vastly superior communications system that no longer has any of emails’ inherent shortcomings.

As Ms Pledge notes, “We’ve achieved a total system that now allows us to quickly find any email we have sent, that speedily enables us to find any key electronic correspondence, and which let’s us know precisely who emailed what to whom and when.

“For example, whenever we currently archive the correspondence and data on a particular project, we know that all relevant information has been logically filed together. This means that we can then readily retrieve everything that’s pertinent whenever a client returns to us for a new assignment or for additional work in a new location, or for a totally new task. We are, therefore, able to review all that historical data and talk to the valued customer as if the previous job was only yesterday.

“This is even more valuable where the client has experienced some staff turnover, and where our demonstrable knowledge of what has been done in the past can help position us as a valuable business partner rather than as a mere supplier.

“That said, the most significant contribution of Dv Office is undoubtedly been its contribution to enhanced customer service. Now, when a client calls, any authorised staff can answer their query while viewing the complete history of client/SCS communications at the touch of a button. This has a major impact when jobs are modified, at client request, but while still WIP. Here, an email request, for such a change, is automatically passed to the relevant staff member with no opportunity for it to be overlooked or ‘lost’ in the system”.

As Ms Pledge stresses: “We were initially concerned that the implementation of a full email management system would require a substantial setup effort. However, with Dv Office we can, and do, choose to simply assign a new domain name to the client directory when we get a new user and that only takes a few moments.

“Similarly, we had concerns about the system’s efficacy to correctly archive correspondence if a client sent an email from on the road or home. This is readily resolved by having staff forwarding the email, in question, to Dv TDM with a ‘new subject’ being inserted in the email thus ensuring it will be filed in the correct folder.

“As an absolute level of management control, we also elected to use Dv Office to meticulously index all incoming emails so that there was no scope for missing a single item of inwards correspondence.

“The system similarly streamlines the archiving of emails and other project data after a nominated period of time. But with the important capacity to quickly retrieve any data, including that no longer on the server, with Dv TDM telling us which archive DVD the relevant data is on.”


About Practical Programs:

For close to a decade Practical Programs has been a leading specialist in the drawing, document and email management arena. Its effective and elegantly simple software solutions are now used in some 31 countries, with private and public sector clients including: ABN Amro, Australian Central Credit Union, Hutchinson Telecom, GE, Philips TaTa, The United States, Australian, and New Zealand Departments of Defence, Amtrak, CitiBank’s eServe, Oxford University and the Commonwealth Public Service Credit Union.

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Richard Bates
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