Our recent case study of CTI Engineers shows how using the Windows standard operating system by itself for file management creates some inefficient situations. Civil engineers at CTI store historical utility infrastructure plans in a digital archive at the main office. Not all CTI branch offices could access that server, so they would make a request to clerical staff to hunt down the archived plan and email it to them.
The email attachment creates another copy of the same file of the same name on the local server, in that user’s folder. Other engineers might request the same file from the archive, and download these attachments to separate folders, leading to a proliferation of the same content copied over and over.
Add the fact that engineers might add maintenance changes to the plans and then email them to other people and it creates even more confusion. A Windows Explorer search to the local server would bring up several versions of the “same” engineering CAD drawing – some different from the original archived record.
“Because we would endlessly be mailing the file back and forth, you never knew what the latest version was and where it was,” says CTI Network Administrator Steven James. “Emailing plans would create a new version every time and increase the load of the email server as well as increase the amount of storage we were using for email.”
The addition of M-Files document management software allowed every staff member at CTI to save and retrieve files from a single digital vault, accessed online from anywhere. And M-Files database-driven metadata created unique file identities with traceable history, giving CTI the version control necessary to efficiently find the correct engineering data.
See more on how CTI easily implemented M-Files document management system.
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