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How Secure Workflows Become Your Regulatory Compliance Superhero

In growing and thriving businesses, staying compliant can often feel like running a marathon blindfolded. But secure workflows are your secret weapon, transforming compliance from a labyrinthine maze to a well-lit path. Let’s delve deeper into how these workflows empower your organisation to conquer the compliance challenge. The Compliance Tightrope Walk Regulatory requirements span industries from healthcare to food & beverage and Finance, not to mention the protection of personal data, which affects all businesses. Failure to comply can result in fines, reputational damage, and even legal repercussions. Secure workflows act as your safety net, ensuring you navigate the compliance tightrope with confidence. Here’s how: Streamlined Onboarding: New regulations can be overwhelming. Secure workflows simplify the process by automatically assigning tasks and routing documents for review, ensuring everyone’s on the same page. Tamper-Proof Records Management: Regulatory bodies often require meticulous recordkeeping. Secure workflows ensure documents are correctly categorised, archived, and easily retrievable for audits. Electronic signatures with audit trails further solidify the integrity of your records. Automated Retention and Disposal: Holding onto outdated documents is a compliance minefield. Secure workflows automate retention schedules, triggering timely and secure disposal of documents that have reached their end-of-life. Beyond the Basics: Unleashing Advanced Compliance Features Our secure document management and workflow systems go above and beyond the call of duty. Here are some advanced features that elevate your compliance game to superhero status: Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP safeguards sensitive data by preventing unauthorised sharing or downloads. This ensures your confidential information stays within the confines of

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Document Management Systems and Workflow in data protection and compliance

We’ve recently been asked about the role of our Document Management Systems and Workflow in data protection and compliance. Not surprising considering that organisations worldwide are focusing on these regulations and requirements mainly due to the implementation of Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Companies must find efficient and secure ways to handle personal data while adhering to these regulations. This article explores the pivotal role of Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) and workflow solutions in helping businesses comply with POPIA and GDPR. Navigating the intricate landscape of data protection and privacy laws can be perplexing for businesses. However, with the right tools and strategies, compliance becomes more manageable. Understanding POPIA and GDPR Let’s start with the basics of POPIA and GDPR.  POPIA, also known as the South African Protection of Personal Information Act, sets out the requirements for handling personal information in South Africa.  GDPR, on the other hand, is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which applies to processing personal data within the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).  Both regulations emphasise the importance of safeguarding personal data and respecting individuals’ privacy rights. The Role of EDMS in Compliance Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) are invaluable tools for businesses’ compliance journey. Here’s how they assist: Data Organization and Accessibility One of the fundamental requirements for compliance with POPIA and GDPR is the proper organisation and secure storage of personal data. Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) are invaluable in achieving this.

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The truth behind why not all businesses are going paperless

With the recent shift from office-based working to working from home remotely, going paperless seems more and more like a viable option. But then, why are there still businesses that are lagging behind and continue to use paper instead of going completely paperless? Human beings are resistant to change, collectively even more so When forced with no other option, other than to lock up the offices and find a way to seamlessly work remotely is one thing, but to implement a new process within the organisation is something else entirely. Taking an organisation into the future and allowing time for all involved to embrace the benefits of a paperless process requires a deep and realistic understanding of the benefits, challenges and best practices in making the paperless dream a reality. The main motivation for businesses to stop wasting paper is the potential for cost-saving How much is paper actually costing your business? You might think a rand here and there, but think again, paper is a massive waste of money for businesses, and it has nothing to do with the actual cost of the paper itself. Companies are concerned about the average cost of printing per page, which is valid. But what they should really be worried about is the cost of retrieving lost documents. Printing and retrieving lost documents are the two most prominent places businesses waste money To cut costs, it is essential to ditch the  paper. Going paperless removes all the tedious steps and wasted time associated

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How ExecQDocs ensures effective document management, including workflow, for the legal industry.

How ExecQDocs ensures effective document management, including workflow, for the legal industry.

Legal IndustryDocument Management Needs Every business requires an effective mechanism for the storage and retrieval of documents, regardless of the size of the business or the industry, but the benefits of effective document management for the legal industry seem to surpass many others.  The legal profession is one in which enormous volumes of documentation are generated and need to be appropriately and strategically stored since Document Retention and Retrieval is an Ethical Obligation. Perhaps one of the most important requirements is for various documents to be associated to a particular client or matter.  With an appropriate system, each and every document can effectively be stored, not just once, but tagged multiple times.  If categories and tags are managed correctly, you will have no issues whatsoever in retrieving what you need, when you need it. ExecQDocs takes this management of documents to another level by incorporating a powerful Workflow element within the product providing full audit trails and tracability to all documents. History of DMS Before computers became mainstream, physical files were stored and appropriately labelled.  Documents were stored in a similar fashion to a library system so that they could be easily located and retrieved. As businesses began to shift to a more computer driven way of working, the benefits of online storage of documents far outweighed physical storage.  That’s not to say that physical storage became obsolete, but it was far more efficient to store and retrieve documents online. Unfortunately, with computer systems, the internet and cloud technology advancing

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What the heck is OLAP?

ExecQBit is a Qualitas product that makes use of OLAP, an important tool for data mining, and used in financial reporting, marketing analysis, budget planning and more – but what the heck is OLAP? OLAP – a definition OLAP, or online analytical processing, is used to extract and view data (from different points of view) about your business.  OLAP transforms data into information you can use to answer those critical business questions. It can be used for data discovery, strategic planning, report viewing, analytical calculations and predictive what if scenarios for budget and forecast planning. It is also referred to as business intelligence. How does OLAP work? Consider all the data that is created in your business – from sales, to marketing to financial data.  That is a lot of data, but how useful is it to you in making strategic business decisions?  How easy is it to read this data? The databases used to store all this data are called online transaction processing (OLTP) databases.  This kind of database is used for storage only, not analysis.  These databases are two dimensional, and the data is stored in tables. This is where OLAP steps in.  OLAP databases can extract all your business data using three or more dimensions in your results.  This data is required to help your business make informed decisions. To extract this data, OLAP organizes it into cubes, dimensions and measures. An OLAP cube is a data structure that allows fast analysis of data.  Wikipedia refers to

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5 steps to improving your company’s digital filing system

Companies can waste a lot of time on admin, and in today’s fast-paced office environments, it is crucial to save time when processing documents, and here are 5 steps to improving your company’s digital filing system that will help you do just that. Making changes to your current inefficient processes is achievable, and will ensure that you keep your clients satisfied and your business remains competitive. You want a filing system that will: Benefits of using a digital filing system Some of the benefits of using a digital filing system over a paper filing system include: If you want to pull up the entire folder for a specific client or employee, you don’t have to rummage through your filing cabinet; you just have to enter their name into the system. And there you will have it – their file at your fingertips. You need to ensure that your documents are kept secure and protected.  This can be from file corruption, flooding, fire etc.  You definitely want to make sure that your business critical documents will be stored safely. You get to save the environment as well as your pocket by storing the documents on your computer rather than printing them out.  You save time as well, especially when you need to find the document later. Read more benefits of a paperless office here: The truth about electronic document management and the paperless office How to organize your files You need to create a folder structure that reflects your business, and

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ERP Benefit 1

How can ERP benefit your company?

Enterprise resource planning or ERP is, a term used in businesses worldwide, a common term, an important term, but how can ERP benefit your company? With the business environment being very complicated, the need for a company to have an efficient information system to grow and keep competitive is vital.  Keeping competitive is brought about by providing the right information at the right time amongst other things, and business recognises this importance.  ERP is part of this. But first, for those who don’t already know, what is ERP? What is ERP? ERP, in a nutshell, are the activities used by an organization to manage and integrate its business.  It includes the integration of core business processes like finance, HR, distribution, manufacturing, service and the supply chain, and is realised with software and technology. ERP software packages are designed to collect and organize the data from these core business processes and connect business activities across departments.  ERP can help a company standardize and automate these business processes and improve efficiency of operations. Read about the history of ERP here: https://qualitas.co.za/2017/02/06/the-history-of-erp/ ERP includes these attributes: An ERP system is also typically made up of a core set of components. Components of ERP An ERP system is made up of core components, or modules, that are integrated to ensure that everyone in the business is working with the same data and processes. Modules selected by a company will depend on their business – do they sell products or services, and what business processes

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Improving business processes through workflow capabilities

ExecQDocs offers so many benefits to businesses, not least of which is the opportunity to improve business processes through its extensive workflow capabilities. All too often though, clients do not have the time to review their existing processes and we are often faced with the challenge of ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’.  Clients also fear that they may have to implement new software and train staff. Time and time again we have implemented workflow systems, using the client’s existing systems, that have resolved serious business issues as well as tightening security and saving time. We see the benefits daily.  We have previously shared a customer success story and continue to do so in order to inspire others to constantly innovate and improve their operations and service offering. Our latest example comes from a client who deals with daily support calls.  They came up with a great way to process the calls more efficiently, using ExecQDocs workflow system. They are using the system to automate a function that has been totally manual to date. The process is as follows: At this point, support contracts etc. could be consulted. While this may sound like any existing job card or ticketing system, it is important to note that this system has been created using existing systems that staff are already familiar with.  The only additional input required to get this fully operational is a workflow setup in ExecQDocs. This system then has the added benefit of being used to determine Resource

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Paperless office

Electronic document management and the paperless office

This mystical concept of complete electronic document management and a  paperless office has been spoken about for decades and is still something that could happen in the future.  It hasn’t happened yet.  Printing has not become unpopular, and people are not ready; besides the fact that most businesses rely on paper, and it is useful and easy to use. Some interesting facts about document management (taken from http://community.aiim.org) are: And those are just half of the facts listed – meaning that there is even more waste and inefficiency that occurs in business.  It is clear that a change in organizational workflow is needed; training on new processes and a change in behaviour required before we can reach this paperless office. How does your business work?  How many documents are generated for it to function on a daily basis?  Are you conscious of your workflow processes, and if any time and resource wastage occurs? In a previous blog,  we said that no fewer than 10 000 filing cabinets are delivered each month to businesses in the U.K. There is at least one filing cabinet for each of the U.K.’s 13.5 million office workers. The fact is that approximately half of all initial information searches fail to produce the correct document. This is such a waste of time; an inefficient way to handle documents, and there has got to be a better way. There is – electronic document management – but it involves new computer software, time to sort through those dusty

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How workflow blessed the baker

Workflow from the trenches

Workflow is often a best-kept secret within an organisation. This is because it works in the background and utilises tools that people are already familiar with, so most people do not even realise they are making use of these tools. For workflow tools to be effective, there must be reliable and robust manual processes in place. Workflow software optimises those processes by tightening up security and increasing productivity quickly and easily. There are some applications of workflow that are less obvious than others and we have decided to share some of our experiences with you in the hope that these may help you to build even more effective workflows into your business applications. How workflow blessed the baker Not too long ago, we were working with a large company who made and distributed bread to large and small vendors. As per the agreement, these vendors would return any bread that was beyond its sell-by date. The expired bread would then be accounted for to be utilised elsewhere and balanced against the Request for Credit from the outlet. At some point in time it became apparent to management that drivers were returning to the stores with very little damaged or expired stock, however, the figures did not show any related increase. On further investigation, it was established that the manual process was at fault. You see, it was easy for the driver to claim to have ‘lost’ the return advice slip, or to change the written numbers. The driver was supplementing

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The History of ERP

What is ERP? Before we begin to pull apart the ERP timeline, we need to first define it. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is an integrated system that brings together important information about an organisation’s supporting functions involved in the phases from conception to delivery of consumer products and services and increases efficient and effective information flow between these functions. ERP is a software used to manage business processes where all data can be found in a single central database. Information such as sales and distribution, service application, human resource management, financial applications, manufacturing applications, inventory management and cooperate reporting are all stored in this central database to provide timely, easily accessible information to assist members of an organisation with decision-making. When did it start? Without organisation, there would be no need for ERP. During the industrial revolution, humankind made use of machinery to automate processes for mass production, replaced human and animal labour and adopted factory systems – where labour was divided into logical processes. Once technological advances started occurring they were thrown into this industrialisation mix. The development of simple software and pieces of hardware was set into motion, providing functions with systems they could use to increase the efficiency of their respective departments. Tasks such as using a mechanical calculator from the mid 1920’s during operational processes were small steps taken to minimize the difficulty of tasks – leading to the development of enterprise resource planning systems. ERP can be traced back to the 1960’s where

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Qualitas Seasons Greetings

Season’s Greetings from all at Qualitas Technologies

Rapidly heading towards 2017 Another Festive Season is upon us and as we reflect on the many years we have enjoyed as a growing business we want to express our gratitude to those who have helped make our business great. Reflection and gratitude Every business looks for a differential to help them stand out from the crowd in order to attract business.  Qualitas is no different and we have also looked within to find something special to advertise to the market.  Until we realised that our differential was right under our noses.  You see, we have been blessed by being able to conduct business with people that we actually like and want to engage with. Way back when the company was in its infancy, we started to employ staff.  We really had very little idea of what to look for, so went with our gut and employed people who we felt had similar values to our own and who would carry the flag with as much pride as we did.  This proved to be a winning strategy and we have enjoyed many happy working relationships that have become treasured friendships over the years. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has represented Qualitas over the years. It goes without saying that no business could exist without customers. We have been equally blessed with our customers as we have been with our staff.  Every day we deal with real people and this makes our jobs so much easier.  To everyone that

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How much space is required for an Electronic Document Management System?

We’re frequently asked by customers to define the amount of space required for an Electronic Document Management System. When evaluating the benefits of electronic document management vs. manual storage of documents, one of the biggest differences is the amount of storage space required. It is obvious that the amount of physical storage space required for digital storage is negligible in comparison to the requirements for manual storage.  But how do we measure the amount of storage required for digital systems?  To begin with, we need a clear understanding of how digital ‘space’ is measured and consumed. Due to the popularity of smartphones, most people understand how much memory (or space) they have available on their devices for songs, documents, photos and videos.  Through using our devices, we get an idea of which file formats consume the most space.  We can also better visualize space consumption – for example, an hour long video (high definition) may take up about a Gigabyte of space. A little history When Personal Computers first became mainstream, most programs only took up a couple of hundred kilobytes. Back then systems were very basic.  For example, screens were monochrome (usually green text on black screens), with very low resolution and there was only one font.  So Kilobytes of information seemed like quite a lot. Storage space was, relatively speaking, an expensive resource. Only the coolest IT geeks spoke in Megabytes.  Back to the present  Today, with our high definition retina displays, sophisticated design packages and hunger for

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Document Management and The Protection of Personal Information Act

“Hello, could you please fill in your name, surname and email address”, “Hi there, could you please confirm your physical address, cell number and date of birth”. Throughout your day you are handing over countless pieces of personal information to various entities. What are they doing with this information? Where are they storing it and how can you be sure that no one else will have access to this information? The Protection of Personal Information Act ensures that your right to privacy is protected against the right to access information and the right to freedom of expression. This means that although people have the right to access information and the right to freedom of expression, these rights are not absolute and are limited to your right to privacy. This act regulates the way in which personal information may be processed and applies to personal information entered in a record through automated or non-automated means. Automated means refers to any equipment that is capable of operating in response to instructions given to process information. According to POPI, Companies need to ensure that they implement lawful processing of personal information. The conditions for lawful processing: A document management system ensures that you, as the company can abide by the conditions, laws and regulations outlined in the act and protect the privacy of customers, clients and employees  whose personal information you have stored. Document management ensures you can find information, sort it, retrieve it, fax it, email, generate information, disseminate it, most importantly

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3 reasons why your business shouldn’t ignore document management and workflow solutions

Any organisation, regardless of size, is made up of a number of functions that need to be effectively carried out to produce a particular product or service to market. This therefore, requires that processes are implemented and adhered to. A one man show can usually be informal in the approach to process, but add more resources to the equation and your processes need to be documented and stored for reference. Processes will have different levels of complexity and as a company grows, so processes will become more and more comprehensive, and usually more complex. From a security point-of-view many steps in processes may require authorisation and this can cause bottlenecks. Processes also involve paperwork, and legislation usually demands the storage of said paperwork as proof and for auditing purposes. This is where document management and workflow solutions step in. So what benefits would a system bring to your organisation: With time being so limited in today’s world, can you afford not to implement a system that makes storing and retrieval of critical documents easy and efficient with automated workflow? Want to know more? Please call us and we’ll be happy to discuss your specific requirements

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What is Electronic Document Management

Electronic Document Management is a combination of system hardware and software that allows users to capture information from any number of derivatives used during the course of the business day, i.e. paper, fax, e-mail, photographs, computer generated data and even hand written notes. The captured documents are then scanned and stored digitally on a computer system, reducing storage costs and eliminating retrieval headaches. Users can file, store, copy, retrieve and integrate documents into their business applications. Whether for a single desktop or a multi-user environment, Electronic Document Management: Document Management exists to put businesses in control of the mountains of paper-based information that they have to deal with every day. It is estimated that 90% of information is in the form that computers cannot understand (e.g., paper documents, newspaper clippings and photographs). This is all known as documentary information. The other type of information, which accounts for the other 10%, is that which is stored in a computer. This is called coded information and can be defined as “factual data, structured data or data that can be analyzed using arithmetic and logical deduction” (ref: CIMTECH). Coded information does not, however, just emerge from thin air. It comes from documented information, which all has to go somewhere. However, more money has been invested in manipulating the information than in developing efficient methods of managing documentary information. Information Technology (IT) has become a vital component of most sectors of the global economy. To compete effectively, companies are forced to invest in technology

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