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Document management gone digital: the rise of automated file routing and compliance management

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In any firm, big or small, transactions between departments and across functions expose companies to missed opportunities, non-compliance, and even financial vulnerability. At the center are countless documents that carry important information, which are crucial to running a business. 

In this era of digitization, most companies still route paper files and manage their compliance manually -- practices which are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to errors. Yet as remote work has become the new norm created by COVID-19, document and compliance management through manual means has ceased to be viable.

Championing the digital shift of integral business processes, systems integrator and application developer Paperless Trail Inc. highlights the importance of embracing the “new normal” in doing business. Responding to the difficulties encountered by organizations through technology, Paperless Trail Inc. developed industry-leading solutions that effectively move compliance and document management to the digital space. In the last 10 years, Paperless Trail Inc.’s applications Archive One, Activity Factory, and Go Paperless! have become essential tools for forward-looking businesses looking to spend less time on administrative tasks, and more on high-value work that produces long-term results.


Self-regulation through Archive One

Archive One is a document management software (DMS) that serves as an auditing tool, which seamlessly classifies, stores, secures, and retrieves essential documents. It is particularly helpful in the IT-BPM sector, whose companies usually employ thousands of individuals, therefore giving companies a huge amount of data to track.

Jay Edades, Technical Director of Paperless Trail Inc. shares, “Human Resources departments have to track and update employee data to ensure each worker’s records are complete when filing taxes or assisting with health benefits and social security claims. They also have to provide relevant information to certain clients about employees working on those accounts. With Archive One, we ease the burden of digitization work and fix the method data for each employee in order to make complete reports.”

Archive One has also been used by the financial sector to audit all information related to a particular transaction. For example, if a client spends P100,000, Archive One can give a breakdown of the transaction along with all the related attachments found in the system. This allows for easy tracking of transaction numbers, voucher numbers and supporting documents to enable the team to account for missing or inaccurate paperwork. 

“The biggest impact of Archive One is that it tells executives if the information they have is complete and if they are compliant with standard procedures,” Edades explains.

Remote document routing made easy by Activity Factory 

Paperless Trail also deploys Activity Factory, a workflow software that eliminates paper forms and the manual conduct of routing and approvals. It utilizes a checklist system that breaks down the workflow of business-wide operations into concrete steps. Files can be attached to each step in the workflow to signal compliance, and the platform only clears the team to advance once each checkpoint is fulfilled by the designated employee.

Through these checkpoints, businesses can audit themselves by having the software ensure that the paperwork is complete for each juncture in the process. Since it follows a workflow that assigns steps to certain people, it immediately determines where the bottlenecks are in the system and therefore promotes accountability in the organization.

According to Edades, Activity Factory is especially helpful to financial institutions involved in credit and loan application processes, and the manufacturing sector tasked with meeting ISO quality standards.

Go Paperless! for managing countless pages of documents

Complementing the two applications is Go Paperless!, the scanning service brand of Paperless Trail that has become the go-to solution of many businesses of all sizes in the Philippines. It has scanned over 250 million pages to date and offers image conversion to searchable text through indexing for easier information retrieval.

Go Paperless! enables the digital storage of business records and addresses the challenge of storing and retrieving paper-based documents. This, according to Edades, supports companies into going digital as part of their long-term strategy. “Once your records are digitized, you only need the press of a button to access everything you need to run your business. It frees up physical space and gives nearly real-time access to any document that you need,” Edades adds.

AI-Processing and information security 

Edades emphasizes that Paperless Trail’s solutions not only optimize business processes and allow teams to work more efficiently, but they also address a key concern among executives: data security. 

“We acknowledge that each page contains sensitive information and the reason we built these applications is to prevent hacking, mishandling of data, missing documentation, and mitigate other data security risks. Our programs are built to automate along with necessary safeguards that uphold the information security of our partners,” Edades reiterates.

Paperless Trail’s services are powered by Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) which helps in digitizing thousands of documents daily by extracting text from images and conducting word analysis for contextualizing information. 

Edades quips, “Running Microsoft AI together with our own technology gives our solutions a stronger backbone. It also gives us and our clients a solid sense of security especially as we handle sensitive and complex information in millions of documents. We are thrilled to have found a partner in Microsoft as we champion the digitization of compliance and business processes of companies in the Philippines.”

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