Taking the pain out of data searches
Lucy Jayne Byrne, Technical Admin and Customer Support Exec, Infocap Technologies, says paper cuts can be avoided
Call me biased, as I’ve worked for the developer of PowerRetrieve twice in 10 years, but I have a great deal of confidence in the product and its abilities to combat so many admin issues and more. After a five-year gap from Infocap, I appreciate how the product’s evolved.
The software enables you to search all of your office documents, anything from emails, Excel and Word Files, PDF’s, plans, photographs, drawings, and even scanned documents, returning results on anything that you are looking for. It’s like putting a Google-style search on every single file in your business. It can, quite literally, transform a company that has vast amounts of paper-based documents (and the tremendous value that’s locked therein) into a more viable business, overnight!
During the time I was away from Infocap – working for a large corporate – I was ever the advocate of how useful PowerRetrieve would be, as finding things without it, was time-consuming and laborious. Anything from Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Tender Contracts, to day-to-day office administration, the list goes on.
For instance, when you receive a complaint and realise you’ve dealt with something similar before, you ask yourself, is it the same lot number, the same-sized instrument and the same nature of complaint? With PowerRetrieve, instead of needing to search spreadsheets, hard copy files and convoluted TQM systems to find the product complaint I’d thought of, I could search this from the information I had to hand and find related cases. Not just the record number but the whole case and the actual paperwork it originated from (rather than a spreadsheet with a few cliff notes). All of this and I would have needed to locate the original anyhow, and often, only to find a colleague is using the document so I can’t access it.
With PowerRetrieve you can search the documents at the same time, without needing any pre-existing knowledge to put the cases together.
So, a common scenario; customer accounts assert the wrong price has been charged and then you spend hours investigating by delving through filing cupboards, enduring paper cuts, only to find there are NO tender documents, nor quotations and, that these only exist on someone’s PC or, they’ve been misfiled. What’s worse is, I know this could be found digitally through a few taps of the keyboard; if only I’d had access to it. And I could have been saved a great deal of pain.
On my return to Infocap things have moved on. PowerRetrieve has a whole new look, even more functionality, where I can visualise endless applications in multiple departments, such as QA/RA, CSD, HR, Accounts, Hire and the Loans department and more.
Imagine the related complaints I mentioned earlier; I’d now have the ability to build reference folders to correlate similar issues, while the original files remain safe, so any colleague can search them, while I work on my specific case. I could build a case history against a particular product, which may have shipped to dozens of sites and simultaneously build a case history against a specific customer, without photocopying and duplicating the files.
And as for audits, I can recall the days spent recalling processes and procedures, running from one department to another, to give examples to the auditors. I could have saved hours, cut snippets, run multiple searches just like you can in web-browsers with modern tab styled searching; email the originals or PDF copy to the auditor for their records all from one system! Instead hours were spent collating, finding and investigating the numerous queries for whoever wanted the answers.
While you’d expect me to be an advocate for my company’s product – it’s true I’m biased - I have only shone a light on a small percentage of PowerRetrieve’s capabilities. As avid users of our own product, it makes running the office so much simpler, efficient and free of papercuts! As our business grows, we tap into more functionality, eating our own lunch, as it were.
The hosted in-house version is on the horizon and this will help us join our remote offices so that the group is ‘whole’, using functionality such as in-trays, annotations, flags and more. Wherever I work, I would insist our department has PowerRetrieve as its sheer versatility gives the business so much more scope to focus on other areas, in the confidence that, everything ‘admin’ is taken care of.
Infocap Technologies is a 360Globalnet company