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Question

Ideas on how to handle multiple files from clients

We are a company with ~250 employees and do back office work for clients. It is similar to accounting but different. We get hundreds of pages of documents from each of our clients daily and they are spread over a few files. Each file having multiple pages. Someone picks up the files from he FTP'ish folder and then assigns them to different people to work on them. Most of the work currently is being done by just copy pasting into different folders which are called "holding tanks", "in progress", "done" etc, renaming files and so on. As you can imagine there are many places where things can be missed and errors made. I am trying either develop or purchase a system to get away from these folders and make this process more traceable. Would appreciate any ideas. We have created a simple "task" system where someone can make a task, attach a file and assign it to someone else who can update status, add notes etc. It can work but I am getting a lot of push back because it is not as simple as cutting/pasting and doing this hundreds of time in a day can lead to overhead.

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All Answers

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Answer
They are right.

In reply to: Ideas on how to handle multiple files from clients

The process you have now is simple, effective and doesn't cost much.

I've seen attempts to put this into a workflow solution and it does add overhead plus someone to manage the workflow solution. Sometimes you are not going to get there if the payback isn't there.

That is, if it increases the time it takes to get things done, why change this? Yes you write about tracing the work, but is there a gain in productivity to offset the costs? This is unlikely.

The method you have now is cheap so selling the company into a system will be a rough sell. To make this happen it has to happen at the top. The owners have to direct such to get done.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workflow_management_system for example.

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PDF file and page management in an organization

In reply to: They are right.

Thanks for the reply but let me ask this in a different way.

we receive hundreds of PDF files with different number of pages from clients. Each of these pages are very important and we need to make sure they have been taken care of. Currently we simply have people annotate them and place them in various folder. What I would like to do is have an application import all these files and let users annotate each page as well as create "Client", "status", "Type" etc meta data for each page. We have an in-house ASP.net MVC application where this would make the most sense. Are there any plugins or existing systems that would help us do this faster?

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To do this faster.

In reply to: PDF file and page management in an organization

Would be possible IF the process is well defined and to the point you can automate the steps.

Too often I find the company is just looking for an app, plugin but didn't put in the time to write down what steps are required. Hard to write software when the specs are a blank piece of paper or empty file.

I'm just a programmer, designer that has a lot of designs out there. I'll share my stories here.

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PDF

In reply to: PDF file and page management in an organization

Are you wanting to merge PDF files into a single file?

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Answer
This tool may solve your work.

In reply to: Ideas on how to handle multiple files from clients

A tool like desk top file holder will be helpful. Employees can move one document from one folder onhold to another folder done by mouse drag but not cutting pasting. Do not need to switch from different folders.click in get out. All the folders and files are in overview and will be well taken care of and saved when working. lts smart and can be used by every role of employees. You can use a naming rule to add metadata for every page. this software is emanagesoft, best wishes.

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Answer
Handling files and team tasks

In reply to: Ideas on how to handle multiple files from clients

I would recommend using a combination of a project management tool and a platform to save the files. You can use Fluxes and Google drive for that. On Fluxes, you can allow team members to add tasks with files/notes and deadlines, and assign it to someone. The files can be then stored on specific folder on Google drive. They are both are free tools and offer unlimited use.

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