The Benefits of Organizing the Shared Drive

For most organizations, shared network drives on computer servers are used to store and share business documents. Every day, employees create and manage electronic information to support their work. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of all new information is still stored on network servers. In addition, most organizations permit their employees to store electronic information on a “personal” or “individual” drive that is accessible only to the individual. In addition, there are now project collaboration systems such as SharePoint and Google Sites, which also contain organization data. Managing all of this data and information efficiently and effectively can greatly improve business performance, knowledge management, and productivity.

Employees usually have been given very little guidance and information on saving, filing, deleting, and naming documents onto the shared network drives. As a result, server systems can and have reached capacity limit quickly. It is important to provide staff clear direction on file structure and where electronic records should be saved.

Having an organized shared drive will provide the following benefits for businesses and organizations:

  • Improve accessibility of data among employees and staff.
  • Provide a clear understanding of how and where to save files on the shared drive network.
  • Improve worker efficiency and productivity with quick access of current and historical files and documents.
  • Reduce duplication of files and provide clear guidelines of version control.
  • Provide easier access to collaboration with shared files and documents within the organization.
  • Improve clarity and ease for new employees to access important information quickly.
  • Lay the foundation for a paperless office by reducing official paper files and increase reliance on electronic file system.
  • Improve the corporate memory and maintain important history when employees leave the organization.
  • Become prepared for a transfer to a document or content management system such as Microsoft SharePoint or Documentum.

To learn how to organize electronic files and the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

Application Recommendations to Manage Contacts and Business Cards

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships. 

 Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

 Productivity Applications

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.
  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.
  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.
  • Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.
  • Duplicate Contacts Eliminator: Scans Outlook Contacts and eliminates and/or merges duplicate records.

 Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.
  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.

 Contact Sync

·         Plaxo: A web-based contact management tool that has been in the market place for awhile and now interacts with other platforms such as Outlook, Apple and Gmail. It will email your contacts for updated contact information usually annually or per request.

·         Companion Link: This application syncs contacts, calendar, tasks, notes from application to application and mobile devise to mobile devise.

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships.

 

Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

Productivity Applications

 

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.

 

  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.

 

  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.

·         Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.

 

 

Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.

 

  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.

Becoming a Paperless Office: The Cost, Environmental and Efficiency Benefits

There is a clear environmental need for paperless offices. The paper industry is one of the world’s major polluting industries and one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases with over 900 million trees cut done annually. The EPA reports that paper is the number-one material thrown away, comprising 40% of our waste stream. According to the National Resources Defense Council, “The pulp and paper industry may contribute to more global and local environmental problems than any other industry in the world.”

In addition to environmental impacts, paper is time consuming to manage. Record keeping constitutes more than 90% of all office activity. Studies indicate that of the paper filed, over 80% is never referenced again! One Xerox study showed that over 45% of the office paper that is discarded was thrown out on the day it was printed. A great deal of time is being wasted printing, sorting, purging, and filing paper.

Then there is the cost aspect of paper. According to the Association for Information and Image Management, the lifecycle cost of a document is over $20, which includes the cost of paper, printing, mailing, distribution, and handling fees. An older study done by Coopers and Lybrand in 1998 (now Price Waterhouse and Coopers) estimated the cost of paper management to be about $50 per document. In addition, it takes up valuable real estate, it is estimated that it costs on average $314 per filing cabinet solely for the space it consumes in an office.

Essentially becoming a paperless office could reap the benefits of improved efficiency and effectiveness, reduce cost, and improve the brand and image of the company by becoming a better corporate environmental steward.

Let us help you become the paperless office through our consulting services or our Becoming a Paperless Office training. Contact us to learn more!