Go Paperless! Using Evernote as a Document Management System in the Transport and Logistics Industry

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Go Paperless! Using Evernote as a Document Management System in the Transport and Logistics Industry

Posted by Angela Cheong on 08 Jul 2015

Posted by Angela Cheong on 08 Jul 2015

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Express Direct Services (EDS) operates a fleet of 300 trucks providing transport and logistics across Australia. Based in Western Sydney, the company is family-owned and has been in business since the 1940s. The founder’s grandson, Matthew Wilmot joined the business after a 15-year career in IT. With operations staff based mainly on the Eastern seaboard, EDS has 50 full-time employees supporting a large fleet of vehicles.

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Matthew noticed that staff spent a lot of wasted time looking for files, and they used a significant amount of bandwidth in emailing files to one another. The main transport management office in Western Sydney is accessed remotely from all other sites. All devices in the network run Windows, and all mobile staff have a company iPhone.  An audit of common business practices revealed that large volumes of information were locked away under paperwork, with staff members moving from desk-to-desk looking for it.

Matthew set out to make better file sharing a priority, and sought ways to allow the company to manage workflow more productively. Recognising an opportunity to improve the flow of information and save paper, Matthew introduced a new system for note-taking, file-sharing and scanning by deploying Evernote Business. By using Evernote Business as a document management software, EDS was able to increase productivity and streamline workflows. We spoke to Matthew about how moving file-sharing away from a Windows server model into Evernote has led to “huge cost-savings” in vital parts of the business.

Name: Matthew Wilmot
Profession: Business Systems Manager
Company: Express Direct Services (EDS)
Location: Australia
Website: http://www.expressdirect.com.au/

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Getting the workspace right

I joined the family business after fifteen years in various IT roles, and immediately recognised that there was scope to improve the flow of information in the company, as well as reduce the paper trail quite significantly. There were two ways we could have gone; improve our use of the current Windows document management system, which is something I would have had to police quite rigorously, or introduce Evernote Business, which would give us the power to create our workflows the way we wanted to.

I look at Evernote as a blank slate, on which I can break down our daily use into key components, and put it together exactly the way I want so we can always find what we need.

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On-boarding the most important company assets

As a family owned and operated company, we have a very high staff retention rate, and as such we have business practices that have been in place for a long time. It can be hard to get people to change sometimes, but we decided to sell the Evernote idea by proving that it would cut down on some of the repetitive tasks that staff were doing, like scanning and printing. We set up Evernote to work with our Sharp scanners, and information to travel automatically through one of the many third-party apps that Evernote interacts with. We managed to get the document scanning routine down to a two-touch process, and staff were sold on it. We save paper by scanning rather than printing, and staff have more time to focus on important tasks, rather than printing and filing.

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EDS scanners are configured to save scanned documents directly into notebooks in Evernote

 

Visibility, availability and reliability

The roll-out of Evernote Business began with the Sales team at Express Direct Services, and has expanded from there to HR and legal. The information in each quote that Sales provides to a customer is vital to the rest of the business, but the information wasn’t flowing through to the people who needed to see it. Now we start a new workflow in Evernote, create the customer profile, and that information is immediately available for each internal stakeholder to see. We don’t have to have a network connection to get the data – the system would still function if the Internet is down.

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EDS uses Evernote as a CRM system

 

We CAN see the wood for the trees

Since all our document storage is now with Evernote Business, we know that our files are saved just where we want them. Customer service relies on it a lot. Before, staff would spend wasted time searching for the file they needed, which was often buried beneath the paper trail somewhere. There was a lot of walking from desk-to-desk looking for files. Now we have processes in place that allow people to find the file they need almost instantly, and everyone that is invested in that task can access the files in real time. What Evernote has taught me is it doesn’t matter if you put a quote in a notebook or tag it, Evernote will find it.

“EDS has reduced the paper load in the office by as much as 75 per cent.”

 

Setting the record straight

Once Evernote Business was up and running smoothly, we delved into the company’s archives and digitised lots of older material, building a series of data stores for larger customer accounts. Some of these may have as many as 4,000 documents on record, so information that takes up a lot of physical space as well as time. The digitising of our archives to Evernote has been an absolute godsend for keeping track of things like legalities.

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Files being digitized and archived within Evernote

 

Work Chat the way it was meant to be

We have also recently started using Work Chat, which has already cut down on our keystrokes and sending files around the office. We don’t email each other anymore, we message each other instead – the email inbox is now just for customer communications. The team can interact on a project in real time, see who is accessing it and what page they are on. We also use Evernote Business for meetings, allowing staff to collaborate on notebooks as a project is discussed, then share them throughout the company when the meeting is concluded. Other parties are able to add notes and files to the discussion at a later stage.

 

The bottom line…

Express Direct Services has also reduced cost significantly by using Evernote Business. We have revolutionised our pallet receiving system, and ended up saving a lot of time and money. What used to cost the equivalent of a year’s salary in outsourced labour can now be done in-house, and only takes a few hours a week.

“We looked at getting a CRM for the sales team recently, but realised that since we are using Evernote Business, it is not necessary.”

Now we use a few key notes to on-board customers, and our sales team is always able to surface the information they need straight out of whatever function they happen to be using.

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“Evernote really is an operating system. There is more and more I can do within Evernote that I used to do outside of it. All of my information is within Evernote. In my mind, it is the best hub we can have for all our business information”.

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