[This month’s series features excerpts from our conversation with M-Files user Peter Uhlman, president of the Philadelphia-based Percheron Group, a commercial and residential real estate development company. Read all the excerpts.]
Q. How has M-Files document management software helped your real estate company manage risk?
Uhlman: M-Files document management gives small businesses access to a level of risk management that frankly is unprecedented to us. Risk management is not just about retention of information; it’s about having control over it and immediate access to it. Information in the Information Age has to be managed or else it becomes a business burden; if you don’t manage it, it will manage you.
Small- and medium-sized businesses don’t think about the importance of managing their risk, but not having a reliable document management system in place represents a tremendous amount of risk to them. M-Files opens up capabilities that small and medium-sized businesses typically have never had before. M-Files offers this at a price point appropriate for smaller offices. You get all this functionality that huge companies have for risk management, but at a much lower cost.
Since we’ve implemented the M-Files document management system for all our files, it’s amazing how fast we can take care of business that would normally drag on for days.
I’ll give you an example: We archive our emails in M-Files, too. I had a guy send me an email at 8:00 at night indicating we had done some work for him in September of 2007 with which he was not happy. I located both the original email that we had sent him from three years ago and the document in question — a South Carolina Code of Statutes — in less than 15 seconds.
If that document had been put in a file, I would say there was a 95% chance it would have been archived in a different office, which would have taken someone two or three days to find.
Quite literally, it took me 15 seconds to find what we sent, and a minute to email it to him that pointed out his error. Because the document was a scanned PDF, it still had the highlights I had put on it three years ago. Luckily for me the highlighted section perfectly refuted his point.
That’s just an example of how the information revolution has changed business. And there’s not an excuse anymore for small businesses not to take complete advantage of it.
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