By definition, audits involve documents — lots of documents. And they have to be the correct versions and be made readily available to auditors.
Bay Venues, a Council-controlled Organisation (CCO) in Tauranga, uses Stellar Digital Library to help prepare for audits and to save time and money during the audit process.
“As anyone who has been involved in audits knows, you are faced with what seems like an endless cycle of scanning, emailing, printing and replacing documents,” Bay Venues’ Glenda Dufaur says.
She says being able to make all document available in electronic form in a structured manner also significantly reduces the amount of photocopying required during the audit itself.
The massive reduction in the amount of emailing required for the audit also saves work and makes it much easy to keep track of files, she says.
A place for everything, and everything in its place
Under the Local Government Act 2002 Bay Venues, as a CCO is audited by the Auditor General and Glenda says her organisation’s Finance Team works closely with Audit NZ to plan carefully to make the process as streamlined as possible.
Bay Venues is able to assemble as much material as possible ahead of the audit and organise it within Stellar. She says that the teams are able to identify gaps in material ahead of the audit and address these before work begins.
“Because Stellar provides full control over both access and what users can do with documents, confidentiality is not an issue.
“A key benefit of using Stellar is that the auditors have to spend less time on site and are able to do more of the work from their own offices,” Glenda says. “This obviously saves both time and money.”
She says that because Stellar provides a flexible folder management and access structure, it’s easy to provide locations for the different types of information needed for the process.
This flexibility also makes it easy to add additional documents and replace versions where required.
Modernising meetings one boardroom at a time
Glenda says Bay Venues uses Stellar Board Books to manage their management and board meetings and finds Stellar a powerful tool to help with their communication and information sharing
“Whatever we use the programme for, it all adds up to less printing and photocopying of files and more control over our information.”
Supercharging sales teams across the country
Pharmabroker NZ specialises in marketing, sales and distribution within the pharmacy channel in New Zealand. As a result of the success in promoting a range of leading brands across New Zealand, the sales team has to manage increasingly large amounts of product information.
As Pharmabroker grew, so did the size of the product folders and deal books the reps carry with them.
Enter Stellar Library – all the information instantly available on the tablet, with the added bonus of multimedia presentations on the go.
“Having the right information at our fingertips is a key element to the success of our company,” Marketing Manager Warren Smith says. “The amount of paper the sales reps needed to have with them meant they were becoming lopsided carrying it all around.”
He says Stellar Library gives Pharmabroker’s reps the sales information they need instantly, is easy to update and is secured by encryption during transmission and on the tablet in the field.
Sales? It’s simple with Stellar
“An added advantage is that Stellar Library was a ‘piece of cake’ to roll out for our six sales reps. The system is essentially ‘plug and play’. We know that our reps always have current product information to hand and we’ve significantly reduced our courier use,” Warren says.
The ease of implementation was an important advantage of Stellar Library.
Warren says the company assessed a range of document management and sales management systems as the paper load grew.
“Apart from the cost advantage of Stellar Library, we also faced complex installation and training issues to achieve the outcome we were looking for – easy, secure distribution and management of the information our reps needed in the field,” he says.
Warren says the sales reps have their tablet on hand all the time and Stellar Library is now an integral part of their activity.
“We’re able to provide our reps with a lot more information which is easier to manage and present. Our visual material looks great on the tablet, and of course, we can now use multimedia presentations at any time.”
Councils are going digital. But getting paperwork to councillors in provincial New Zealand has, for the most part, remained analogue – rural post. Stellar Library is revolutionising the way councils share and distribute information.
Councillors at Western Bay of Plenty District Council rely on Stellar Library for secure, cloud-based document sharing and synchronisation. All the files and documents they need to take care of business are automatically stacked on a virtual bookcase on their tablets. Another small dent in the rural post; a giant victory for Council’s document management.
“Stellar Library is the simplest and easiest way to give councillors all the documents and files they need. They use it and they love it. It’s the way forward for our council.”
— Barbara Whitton | Group Manager Customer Services | www.westernbay.govt.nz
In the age of digital, paper is ‘broken’
Western Bay of Plenty District Council group manager customer services Barbara Whitton juggles a host of responsibilities, including a democracy function that supports the council’s mayor and elected members – around 20 individuals.
There’s a lot going on, much of it involving time-sensitive documentation – plans, meeting agendas, minutes and the like – that must be delivered to elected members by deadlines enshrined in law.
Whitton’s team was often hunched over photocopiers, creating document bundles for quick dispatch to councillors who live in all corners of the largely rural district. It was a cumbersome process, which simply didn’t add up for an organisation focused on continuous improvement through cost-efficient processes.
“There had to be a better way,” said Whitton.
“The council has committed to digital processes and centralised documentation that can be shared anywhere, anytime. Simplicity is key. And that’s why we chose Stellar Library.”
Managing documents on mobile devices
Whitton said she loves Stellar Library’s instant “push-button” publishing, which stacks the shelves of councillors’ virtual bookcases on their tablets. The system is also highly secure, auditable, and satisfies local government best practices.
One of her democracy team members works as the system librarian and uploads files to a browser-based document library, where tick-box options determine which documents appear on each councillor’s virtual bookcase.
Councillors can open and view documents – and even add annotations – without having to send or transfer individual files.
Locking down cloud freedoms
Observing the popularity of cloud ‘box’ document storage services, Whitton said the council would never go there, because file sharing couldn’t be policed.
“Council business is discoverable under the Local Government Official Information and Management Act,” said Whitton. “But occasionally we deal with sensitive items that are part of bigger decisions. So Stellar Library’s security features are important to us.”
Bridging the tyranny of distance
The central beauty of a cloud-based system like Stellar Library is that it democratises information access. The need to remain physically connected to storage systems and IT networks is history, because the internet connects people and information, wherever they happen to be.
However, in largely rural areas, like the Western Bay of Plenty, continuous internet connectivity is no sure bet.
But that doesn’t have to be a showstopper.
Once councillors have downloaded files to their virtual bookcase they’re instantly accessible, with or without an internet connection. And when the document librarian updates a document or withdraws a file from a councillor’s virtual bookcase, everything is automatically updated in the background the moment an internet connection is re-established. Council’s WiFi network does the job beautifully each time councillors turn up for meetings.
Dollars and sense
Whitton said savings in paper and delivery costs alone amounted to thousands of dollars, making Stellar Library great value, said Whitton.
“Stellar Library is the simplest and easiest way to give councillors all the documents and files they need. They use it and they trust it. It’s the way forward for our council.”
Auckland, New Zealand – FMCG distributor Wilson once used couriers to deliver sales and marketing information to its 20 territory managers. The weekly chore took time and cost thousands of dollars. Knowing that territory managers are seldom, if ever, without their tablets, Wilson figured there was a smarter way to distribute and manage sensitive information. They were right.
“With Stellar Library, no one loses or misfiles information, as it’s in their personal library on their tablet. Everything is controlled by a central librarian in the office, and we can see who has accessed which documents, when.”
– John Hall | Finance Administration Manager | www.wilson.co.nz
Rethinking document management
Wilson isn’t a household name, but the brands they represent in supermarkets, and other specialist channels are on the lips of household shoppers everywhere – names like Guylian, Diamond, SPAM, DYC, to name a handful.
Wilson’s 20 territory managers cover a lot of ground to keep the brands they represent on shop shelves, and their retail and wholesale customers up-to-date with product and marketing information. Their jobs were made tougher by the sheer weight of paper they were required to keep handy.
Each week territory managers received a courier package of information. Someone at Wilson’s head office had to produce, bundle and dispatch individual dossiers.
It took time and cost thousands of dollars.
There had to be a better way.
Wilson’s Stellar Library transformation
Digitising paper processes is nothing new – and it was a step Wilson’s was ready to make. But then the challenge was finding a system designed for tablets that would securely manage file and document distribution.
Wilson’s got down to work with Stellar Library. Now, its territory managers access documents they need from a virtual bookcase on their tablets. Paper is history, and document delivery is instant.
More than that, Wilson retains total control of its information. Document owners – in Wilson’s case, business analysts – function as librarians, who upload files to a browser-based document library and determine which documents appear on a territory manager’s virtual tablet bookcase.
Territory managers can open and view files, without being able to share or download them for transfer (unless they’ve been granted access to do so).
At any time, Wilson’s business analysts can update and withdraw files and documents on nominated tablets.
Security, speed, and consistency
Wilson finance and administration manager John Hall loves the speed and consistency that Stellar Library has brought to Wilson’s document management.
“The great thing about Stellar Library is consistency,” he says. “Everyone gets the same information at the same time, and everyone is working from the right file version.”
He also likes Stellar Library’s closed system, because nothing gets lost.
“No one can lose information because it’s in their personal library, which is controlled by the central librarian in the office. No one can offer excuses like the courier failed to arrive,” says Hall.
Hall says he dabbled with cloud-based document storage and syncing services. But there were two factors that turned him off. He couldn’t police how far files and documents travelled. And the process of publishing and sharing documents wasn’t user-friendly.
“Control is important,” he says. “Stellar Library’s librarian features allow us to lock down our information. No one can walk away with information because we have total control over a user’s ability to download, print and email individual files.”
Hall describes his dalliance with cloud storage services as “cumbersome”. “Publishing and sharing documents was difficult – it just wasn’t user-friendly,” he says. “Stellar Library makes the job so easy. We’re able to instantly publish directly to personal libraries.”
“Stellar Library is extremely cost-effective – look at how much we’ve saved in courier tickets alone,” says Hall.