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The University of Milano adopted a DocuWare document management solution to streamline HR processes, increasing productivity and reducing costsImparting knowledge to students in over 70 fields – that’s the objective of 4,500 teachers, researchers, and administrators at the University of Milano.
Founded in 1924, the University became part of the ‘Greater Milan’ idea, to be achieved by incorporating the surrounding municipalities and transforming the city into a true, modern and dynamic metropolis. Today, the University of Milano counts for over 60,000 students.
The Human Resources department is responsible for the payroll documents of approximately 4,500 employees. Each employee needs to access information regarding their payroll about twice a month. In the past, searching for respective documents was time consuming. To facilitate the communication process, the HR department wanted to be able to send copies of payroll documents to employees directly via e-mail. A document management solution was therefore needed to operate with their existing payroll application. The solution needed to reduce space requirements and paper consumption, as well as deliver time and cost savings. Documents needed to be shared between colleagues, and all the legal regulations for record keeping – such as a ten year retention period – had to be met.
The various institutes of the University of Milano are scattered all over town. Before the introduction of a document management system, the centrally located HR department stored every single document on paper and filed them in boxes. This led to considerable space problems. Records had to be kept in a building separate from the administration complex. Each time a document was needed, a HR employee would have to go through a lengthy retrieval process, make a photocopy, and deliver the document to his or her colleague. This process would take about half an hour per request.
The University of Milano works with a network based on 100baseT. All employees have PCs. The main building and the institutes are connected via leased connections. The HR department uses a special, UNIX based software to generate the payrolls spool files.
Space and time consuming filing
At the University of Milano, around 5,000 documents such as payroll records and medical forms were generated per month, filling a space of nine meters in length a year. During the retention period of ten years, this accumulated to 90 meters or 295 feet. The filing time for these documents alone would take about 50 hours per month. The documents that need to be stored are paper documents and spool files.
All relevant documents are filed centrally in one DocuWare filing cabinet. At first, the HR department sent requested documents to employees via e-mail. But now, all employees gain immediate and fast access to relevant documents in the filing cabinet. While the four users in the HR department have direct access to the system, other employees can use the internet server to access and check their records.
Paper documents are scanned, manually indexed and then stored in the document pool. The documents generated by the payroll software are automatically stored as spool files when they are printed. The index terms are taken directly from the spool data. Documents are stored on a central server. For long-term storage, MO (Magneto Optical) disks are used.
Benefits in detail
Introducing a DocuWare document management system has proven beneficial for all 4,500 colleagues at University of Milano. Employees, who on average need payroll and other information twice a month, now have quick, direct access to their personal records via the Intranet. Necessary documents can be sent via e-mail. Retrieval time for the HR team has reduced significantly, leaving more time for other important work. In addition to budgets being disburdened significantly in terms of costs for retrieval, photocopies and delivery, employees feel that their personal data is in competent hands.
Instead of generating nine metres or 29 feet of paper per year – storage boxes not included – all documents now fit neatly on just one MO disk. Compared to the manual filing process, the automatic storage of spool files saves approximately 50 hours each month – time that can now be used for more productive tasks. Employees have immediate access to stored documents at any time. Retrieval time has been reduced from 30 minutes to a few seconds per document. Photocopies are no longer necessary since scanned documents can be e-mailed directly. The payroll application has been fully integrated. The aims