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In this video, we share how document management in the cloud, combined with approval workflows and related automation can deliver several benefits including a robust audit trail, especially when it comes to contracts or disputes
Meet Pat – a contracts manager with Fren Engineering. Six months ago, Pat got into some hot water with his CEO. Fren Engineering had just lost $400,000 in court. Why?
A client claimed the wrong type of fitting was used on a $150 million engineering job, maintaining it cost them $400,000 to replace fittings. Pat’s CEO believes Pat should have kept a paper trail to prove the fittings were the ones agreed originally in contract specifications. But Pat was unable to find a key piece of evidence – an email he sent to the client on the matter. As a result, Fren Engineering lost its court case.
Shortly after, Pat smoothed things over with his CEO, but, in doing so, he pointed out there was a number of things wrong with the way Fren run and execute their projects – in particular around the management of documents and contracts. The CEO listened carefully.
First, there were lots of unorganized Excel spreadsheets and Word documents sitting on network drives – or even on some engineers’ laptops. On a recent manual audit of the last 5 projects run, Pat could only find on average 60% of documentation associated with a project. It turns out some engineers left Fren and no one could find specific documentation after they left, which impacted Fren’s corporate memory.
In addition, when transmittals were sent to a client, enclosing emails were not always kept by engineers. It meant Fren had no way of knowing if a client actually received specifications or if they had even read them. There was no audit trail of who approved, received, or opened emailed transmittals.
Onsite, Pat’s engineers always take photos of a project, for checklists they need to fill, but Pat constantly has to chase them to attach them to the client file. An engineer would often add graphics and notes to a photo afterward to mark it up for clients – that’s if they can remember what the markup should have been a week later! This was critical to creating handover packs to clients as projects closeout. It took ages and was seen as more red-tape for engineers.
Finally, each time engineers started a new project, they had to begin specifications from scratch, despite knowing they’d written similar ones on other projects.
Today is a big day for Pat. He’s meeting the CEO again, showing him corrective actions he put in place to sort out his contract management problem. He wants to make sure the company never loses another $400,000 in court again.
To provide a peek into a new world, Pat pulled up the Cora PPM application on his tablet. He clicked on Project Documents and showed his CEO a list of documents, organized by category for each project. The CEO smiled. Pat was off to a good start. Then Pat explained how an engineer could take a photo on site and mark it up immediately on his phone and it would automatically attach to the project – no messing with downloads and mark-ups a week after the job is completed.
Next, Pat clicked on Document Workflow for a project. He showed the CEO how there was a ring-fenced sign-off process in place with an audit trail. Now Pat, and more importantly Fren Engineering were back in control with full visibility of what was going on.
Pat even showed his CEO how they could archive hundreds of documents based on shrewdly assembled rules. Also if documents were archived for a long period of time, they could be purged from the system automatically – again based on a set of cleverly agreed rules.
Finally, Pat typed in a sample search item “Panel RFQ”, narrowing his search down to Transmittals. He immediately found a sample Transmittal sent recently to a client. It showed documents in the Transmittal, including revisions, who it was sent to, when, and even better – when they opened it.
With this level of granular detail, recorded digitally, they would never lose a similar $400,000 court case again! Now that’s how to run a business!
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