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Metrowater to implement document management system

  • 21 February, 2007 09:09

<p>AUCKLAND, New Zealand, February 21, 2007 – Metrowater, Auckland City’s water and wastewater utility company, has chosen Avand’s DataWorks for its first venture into document management.The project will see an organisation-wide document management system installed at Metrowater for its 130 staff to better store, access and update files.</p>
<p>Stephen Merrick, Information and Resource Manager, Metrowater, says DataWorks will allow the organisation to be more customer focused.</p>
<p>“Our customer facing staff need to have quick and easy access to documents in order to promptly resolve customer enquiries,” Mr Merrick says. “Instead of relying on the knowledge of other staff, they should have immediate access to every piece of information they need to service the public in a professional manner. DataWorks will contribute to Metrowater having that ability.”</p>
<p>The system will be key to improving operational efficiencies, and its impact will spread across the entire organisation, streamlining and introducing consistency to Metrowater’s document management processes. Ensuring staff have access to information will result in improved customer service levels for the organisation.</p>
<p>“Previously, each department had their own documents and files as well as places to store their records which weren’t necessarily accessible to other areas of the business. If they could be readily accessed, there was no guarantee that the records would actually be up-to-date,” explains Mr Merrick. “The new system is designed to alleviate that issue and encourage staff to save files in logical and easy-to-find folders.”</p>
<p>Communication and training will be a key element in ensuring the system is adopted and used to its full capacity, and to that end, Metrowater has employed a dedicated change manager. Metrowater staff will be trained on how to effectively manage information and how DataWorks can be used to make their jobs easier and more efficient.</p>
<p>“Managing change and training are the big issues which often get missed in projects of this nature,” Mr Merrick says. “As an organisation which has never had a corporate-wide filing structure, this element of the project is vital to its success.”</p>
<p>Metrowater is focusing on incorporating as many existing electronic files into the system as possible, and growing this electronic document repository with scanned copies of the existing hard copy documents as, and when, they are used.</p>
<p>“If documents are online, they are easier to share and there’s better overall control when it comes to having access to the latest versions,” Mr Merrick explains. “I see DataWorks becoming the official version of the truth – what’s in the system becomes official documentation. We may keep a hard copy, but it would also be online so if we look in DataWorks we should be comfortable that all documents relating to a particular file are stored there.”</p>
<p>Mr Merrick says the selection process was a robust one, with Avand being chosen for a combination of reasons.</p>
<p>“Avand has a solid reputation in the industry, and we were happy with the staff we dealt with,” he says. “We were comfortable with the number of installation sites Avand has across Australia and New Zealand and could also see a lot of potential around the integration aspects of DataWorks.”</p>
<p>Over time, DataWorks will be integrated with Metrowater’s billing, customer and asset management systems, and potentially with its GIS (Geographic Information System) to further improve access to, and sharing of, information. For now, it will be linked to Metrowater’s email program, a feature Mr Merrick sees as offering significant benefit.</p>
<p>“The integration ability DataWorks has with email is a huge advantage because so much business these days is transacted through this method of communication,” he says.</p>
<p>Chris Gorry, Chief Executive Officer for Avand, says DataWorks’ electronic content management functionality provides an easily searchable repository for the huge volumes of documents organisations often accumulate.</p>
<p>“DataWorks allows organisations to access all information related to a customer or project irrespective of how it was received or to whom it was sent,” Mr Gorry says. “By having all the necessary information at your fingertips in a consistent and accessible format, organisations become more efficient, ultimately improving employee and customer satisfaction.”</p>
<p>“For us, this project is about making sure staff can access the information they need, when they need it, to get their jobs done more efficiently,” concludes Mr Merrick.</p>
<p>System implementation has commenced and DataWorks is expected to go live in April 2007.</p>
<p>About Avand</p>
<p>Avand is an Australian developer of enterprise content management software, DataWorks, used by more than 160 organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand across State and local government, utilities, education, transport, health and corporate industries. DataWorks provides a powerful platform with automated workflow functionality for streamlining information capture, sharing, distribution and management. Backed by expert knowledge and more than a decade’s experience as a market leader, Avand creates comprehensive software solutions that raise productivity, improve customer service, meet industry compliance standards and deliver measurable return on investment.</p>
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