Monthly Archives: June 2007

Business Tip – Productivity Equals Profit

I am launching a contest shortly on another web site
so I thought I would put this up. It may give you a clue
about what the contest is going to be about.

Keep checking back to find out when I launch, you
won’t be sorry.

The secret to boosting your productivity sounds almost too
simple: start working from checklists. The best kinds are those
that you create yourself. By all means use someone else’s
checklist as an idea-starter – but remember that we all work in
different ways and we all learn at different rates.

You might find that you suddenly get stuck when using someone else’s
checklist, because they seem to have left out a vital step. It’s
more likely that as far as they’re concerned, they haven’t left
out anything – they probably automatically do whatever it is, so
it didn’t even occur to them to write anything down.

When you run any kind of business, you tend to repeat certain
tasks over and over. However, when these tasks are new to you,
they can take a long time.

You make mistakes.

You get stuck.

You spend hours working out how to do a relatively simple task.

Then, NEXT time you have to perform the same task, you get stuck
again. You can’t believe that you didn’t scribble down a few
instructions as you went! Now you have to search for the same
information AGAIN. Aaarrgghh!

Get organized now and you’ll never have to waste time
repeating a search for essential information again. Here’s how you do
it.

1. Create a new folder on your desktop. (Right-click on the
desktop and choose NEW then FOLDER.) Call it “HOW TO”.

2. Open Notepad (If you haven’t used it before, you’ll find it
here: START/ALL PROGRAMS/ACCESSORIES/NOTEPAD. To put it on the
desktop, RIGHT click “Notepad” and choose SEND TO/DESKTOP). In
future, make it a habit to open Notepad before you ANY new task,
ready to jot down notes.

3. Type the name of the task you’re about to start on. (For
example: UPLOADING WEB PAGES.) Save your document – using the
same name – to your new HOW TO folder.

4. Minimize Notepad. (Do this by clicking the ‘minus’ sign in the
top right hand corner of the window. The icon for Notepad will go
down to the task bar on the bottom of your computer screen.
Whenever you need to make another note, just click on this icon
and it will bring the document up on the screen again.)

5. Begin working on your task. At the completion of every
successful step, bring up Notepad from the task bar and type what
you did. Save your document every time you do this (just in case
your computer shuts down unexpectedly).

6. If you have to send off a query to a help desk, or put in a
support ticket, or stop to do some research, make a note that
this is what you did. Copy and paste the URL of any website you
go to for help. This could be invaluable to you later.

7. When you have successfully completed your task, go through
your step-by-step notes. Tidy them up, and if necessary clarify a
step here and there. Make sure that this is a reliable, useful
checklist that you can follow the next time you need to do the
same thing.

Follow the same process every time you perform a new task. As
time goes on, you will have an invaluable set of personalized
checklists that will help you run your Internet business
smoothly. You also have the basis of a useful ‘how to’ product or
e-book that will help others who are just starting out.

I am sure I’ve mentioned this. Did you know document imaging
will save you lots of time and money?

For more info contact me at; Larry.Phelps@solbrekk.com

Take care,
Larry

Document Imaging – You And The Law

As document imaging has become more commonplace, numerous
laws have arisen regarding the legality of imaged paper
and electronic files. Most government agencies now accept
imaged documents as legal records, meaning that the paper
originals can be stored off-site or in some cases destroyed.

Following are some general guidelines shared by many
jurisdictions:

1. Digitized records must be archived on unalterable media,
such as CD, DVD or WORM.
2. The system has reasonable controls to ensure integrity,
accuracy and reliability.
3. The system must provide some type of audit trail to prevent
and detect unauthorized creation of, addition to, alteration
of or deletion of records.
3. A complete and accurate transfer of records can be made.
4. The system has reasonable controls to prevent and detect
deterioration of records.
5. There is an indexing system that assists with finding records.
6. The system has the ability to print copies of records.
7. The system must be able to cross-reference with other
record-keeping systems and software.
8. The system has documentation on how the software works and
how it has been set up.

The legality of imaged documents varies depending upon the
federal agency, state, county, municipality and department
involved. Organizations should consult with an attorney on
the specific statutes governing their industry and geographica
area.

Here is a good source for information on storing electronic
records by the State of Minnesota:

http://www.mnhs.org/preserve/records/electronicrecords/erdigitalimaging.html

Take care,
Larry

larry.phelps@solbrekk.com

Document Imaging – Lost Files

If you lost a $100 bill how would you feel?

If you had ten $100 bills in your billfold and you
lost it how would you feel?

After you frantically retraced your steps and didn’t find it
you’d probably be sick to your stomach.

Why? It’s just paper. That’s a ridiculous comment isn’t it?

It’s not just paper, those are $100 bills!

Now let me ask you another question. How many important
papers that are worth far more that ten $100 bills are in
your file drawers in your office?

How many of them have been lost? You may not know until you
need them.

If you can’t find them how much could that cost? It depends
doesn’t it?

Are you getting that sick feeling again? Are you wondering
what’s missing?

There is a solution to the problem and it’s very inexpensive,
it’s called document imaging.

Here is an article about lost documents, just reading it is
frustrating and I can’t imaging what all of the legal
opinions cost the city.

Check it out.

http://www.ipad.state.mn.us/opinions/1995/95016.html

Would you like to talk about that sick feeling? Send me an
email at larry.phelps@solbrekk.com

Take care,
Larry

Document Imaging – Disaster

I have been involved in sales for a longtime.
I am not a salesman, I am very analytical
and technical, but I have learned a lot about sales.

One of the lessons that I’ve learned is the it is very hard
to sell prevention. What do I mean by that?

What I mean is most people don’t eat right until
after the doctor tells them they have diabetes and if they
don’t change their eating habits they are going to be getting
shots everyday.

Or people don’t back up their computer systems until they
have their first crash. That’s what I mean about not buying
prevention.

But, I am going to try to convince you to put prevention
into action after you read this article.

It’s an older article that is still fresh, the subject matter
maybe a little harsh for some, sorry.

Go to,
http://www.thestreet.com/funds/dailyinterview/10001046.html

You cna always email me at: larry.phelps@solbrekk.com

Now go clean out your file drawers,
Larry

Document Imaging – Back Up Tips

How to make sure your documents are securely archived in
case of a disaster!

Document imaging systems are a wonderful way of protecting
information that was traditionally stored on paper.
Typically, once the documents are scanned into the system,
the paper is destroyed.  Many people rely on their tape back
ups as the sole source for insuring that their documents
are protected in case of a disaster.

Here is my recommend method of setting up a document imaging
system:

1.  Your document imaging server should be a dedicated commercial grade
server such as a HP.

2.  Store the documents and metadata on the hard drives of
the server using RAID technology or on a SAN.

WARNING!

Do not seperate the image server and the document storage across a wide
area network.  Based on my experiance this will cause performance problems.

3.  The imaging data should be backed up on a tape back up unit using
a proven rotation scheme such as a 12 tape rotation. I highly
recommend using the SQL back up agent of your back up software such
as Veritas Backup Exec.

4.  I also, recommend that the imaging data be burned to CD or DVD’s
and kept off site.  These should be kept in a bank vault or secure
place at least 30 miles from the office. Also, the media should be
kept in their protective cases and in a cool and dark environment.
 
I don’t recommend using Laserfiche Plus because incase of a disaster would take place it would be a lot of work pulling the whole imaging system back from these CD’s.

I do recommend that you use the volume feature of Laserfiche to separate
the imaging database into a size that would fit on your media.  And,
if you use the proper procedure for transferring that volume to
removable volume on CD, you will have the necessary media with images
and meta-data to completely rebuild the imaging system from the ground
up if necessary.

I hope this helps, if you would like to contact me
feel free to send me an email at larry.phelps@solbrekk.com

Take care,
Larry

Document Imaging – Testimonial

You may be wondering, does document imaging/management really save organizations anything?  Here is a quote from one of my customers:

 “Using Laserfiche Document Imaging software has allowed us to eliminate so many file cabinets we were able to create 8 new 8×10 office cubicles!

But, the real savings for us was the huge time savings that it has been for our staff.”

Dick Crumb
It Director
City of Shoreview

 If you would like to read the complete article, just go to: http://www.laserfiche.com/newsroom/gme/issue10.html

I hope you found this article helpful.

Larry Phelps