In the property lettings business, paper is one of the biggest problems. Priory Estates, with offices in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex and in Dovercourt, installed Virtual Cabinet in March 2012 and have ‘not looked back’. With around 400 properties under management at any one time, “We were producing so much paper that its storage was becoming a real issue,” Director, Jason Rees says.
“We would certainly recommend Virtual Cabinet – so many businesses would benefit from it.”
- Jason Rees, Director
Faced with a mounting problem, the company decided to implement electronic document management and made a call to Virtual Cabinet and following an ‘excellent’ demonstration an order was placed for an 8 user system.
“We were very impressed with the team and they convinced us that we could easily go electronic and that we needed to do so,” Jason continues.
Each time a tenant left, we would have to archive their file and then when we invariably needed to find something like a gas safety certificate for the property when it was let again, it could take one of the staff an hour just to find that one piece of paper.”
In the eighteen months since Virtual Cabinet was installed, the company has managed to shed the equivalent of a double garage in terms of space that was previously filled with filing cabinets and archive boxes. “We have just converted the area that used to house all our paper into a one bedroom bungalow and have seen the size of paper files decrease,” Jason adds.
But space is not the only thing Priory Estates has gained. Now, the team can find documentation quickly and easily by using the quick search facility on Virtual Cabinet.
“It has made the staff more profitable and freed up their time so they can spend it on more productive work. We can all lay our hands on a set of terms and conditions that may have been signed 4-5 years ago, at the touch of a button.”
Getting up to speed was ‘easy’ according to Jason and directly following the implementation, every new property has been put into the ‘virtual cabinet’. Clearing the archive files is still ongoing but they are making good progress.
To sum up the benefits, Jason says they can find documents quicker and easier and they have gained significant storage space in the office. “Every day Virtual Cabinet saves us time. Environmentally, we are making progress and have an awful lot less paper than we did before installing Virtual Cabinet.”
The next stage is to start using the integrated document Client Portal to communicate securely with clients. “We will look to use the portal for the transmission back and forwards of documents that contain sensitive financial information such as references.”
With tougher laws expected next year, a greater onus is being placed on businesses to protect their clients’ data and to ensure confidential documents do not fall into the wrong hands.
Jason ended by saying “We could never be completely paperless office but we certainly have a lot less now.”