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The new document management systems: an alternative to the loss of information within the not-for-profit organisations


Like companies, NGOs (non-profit organisations, associations, volunteer groups) produce and use a big amount of information that they share between users and members. Usually, the information is saved in a computer hard disc, people just need to ask for it when they need it. This organisational system has come to an end, it is too risky and too costly. Nowadays document management systems are easy to use and accessible to non-profit organisations.

 

Bigger needs of Document Management Systems

Usually, NGO´s do not have a document management system, they store the information in their computers and members do not have a direct access to it, which can generate a waste of time and efficiency. For instance, I need a document managed by a colleague who is on holidays, I have access to his computer but I cannot find the document, I have to wait until he comes back. Using a document management system, every authorised member of an NGO has direct and immediate access to the information.

 

 

 

Sometimes, the information has to be accessible at all times, from everywhere and the access needs to be restrained. If an NGO has offices around the world, they need to share the same information, regardless of their geographical situation and the time zone difference. Ex: Offices based in Mozambique will not need to request a document by email. They will access the document directly without the risk of blocking their email account if the document is too big. They will also be able to edit the document which will be available for others straight away.

Often, documents are produced with the collaboration of different people at different stages. Document production can be chaotic and resultless if roles and actions are not specified and if document changes and future steps are not viewable. Thanks to an effective workflow system, document production will be simplified and therefore more productive.

Document Management Systems solutions

When organisations want to manage their information, they have different options: they can use their IT department, pay the market price for the design and installation of an intranet, use free software if they have the skills or depend on a volunteer person hoping he/she will stay enough time to ensure continuity. These options have their disadvantages in terms of costs, viability and continuity.

To help non profit organisations, Iwith.org proposes an easy to use Document Management System and helps with the set up, training and maintenance. Using the “knowledge tree”, a new Ab.core platform software, organisations store and organise information on web-based intranets, users access documents easily using a search system, they open them using Microsoft Office applications, they can review, move, copy and delete them from Windows Explorer. Users can also update documents in an efficient and controlled manner, only authorised persons or groups can edit them, they receive notifications when document actions are performed and know what they have to do at all time.

 To show how this new Document Management System works, Iwith.org invites you to an online course in Catalan and Spanish on 18th September 2006.


 

 



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