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InEight Document: Your Top 8 Secrets for Success

 

Originally aired on 10/20/2020

30 Min

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You can increase efficiency when working with your InEight Document Mail and Documents Modules. 

In this webinar, David Wagner, InEight VP of Industry Solutions for Document Management, and Nicole Tudor, InEight Client Solution Manager, share with you 8 Top Tips and Tricks for quickly finding the right document and managing your project mail.

 

Dave Wagner:

Well, why don’t we go ahead and get started. So welcome to everyone, to our presentation. And today, what we’re really going to focus on, is what we call the Secrets For Success. And what we’ve done is liberally borrow from the old Dave Letterman Late Night Show, and focus in on the top eight secrets to success.

Dave Wagner:

Now, these may not be the eight features in InEight document that bring you the most efficiency or mitigate the most risk. But what they are, are eight features that we feel bring a tremendous amount of value to our customers, but maybe you’re not aware of these. They may not be quite as discoverable as some of the more obvious features in the product. So we really want to single these out so you understand some really nice things that you can do to make a more efficient and functional operation using the InEight document product.

Dave Wagner:

Now, before we get started, just a quick word around logisticals, we’re going to step through the presentation, but at the end we will answer questions. So if you have any questions, please put them into the question box within the GoToMeeting interface that we’re using to help manage this tool. So we’ve got a couple of presenters today. First I’ll introduce myself, my name is Dave Wagner. I’m a vice-president of industry solutions here at InEight with a special expertise in the world of document management and control. I’ve been designing, building, selling, and evangelizing document software products within this architectural engineering construction and owner space for about 25 years now. And I’m very happy that I can share some of the secrets that we found with InEight document with you. We also have with us Nicole Tudor. Nicole, would you like to introduce yourself?

Nicole Tudor:

Hi David, and hello to everyone. Yes. I’m a client solution manager at InEight, part of the solution engineering team. In my role, I’m assisting the large strategic accounts with business processes optimization using InEight document, to ensure the project information is managed in the best possible way. I am a building services engineer by trade, with more than 20 years’ experience in the construction industry, focused on solutions and training on collaboration systems, including InEight document. I’m so excited to be here with you, and exactly as you said, David, to share some of the features that could enhance efficiency on user’s everyday tasks. So David, let’s get the countdown started.

Dave Wagner:

Thanks, Nicole. So number eight, stop the repetition. So this will be the first one that really focuses in on areas that can help you managing your project email. Project email is an odd beast, because it seems to be a bit of the outcast of all the project items. I mean, there’ve been tools forever for managing documents, and specs, and RFIs, and submittals, but all too frequently, the emails as you guys know are the ones that are left out. And it’s been difficult to connect those to the rest of the world. So we really wanted to focus in on some tips and tricks around email. And let’s start with this one around making sure you can eliminate a lot of repetitive entry. Nicole, can you tell us a little bit more about this?

Nicole Tudor:

Absolutely. The text input feature, which you see now on the slide, helps minimize the time spent on writing the same message numerous times. What we have on this slide is a general correspondence mail type, configured with a text input field that has two options on the dropdown, highlighted here. The text input field can be configured by project administrators and applied to various mail types, as well as transmittals. There is no limit on how many options you can include, or how you format the message. Let’s look at some examples.

Nicole Tudor:

On the left side, it’s a document control request that inserts a table when selected, and also predefined text as you can see there, DCP on the subject field. In this way, the user is provided with enough hints of what information they need to provide for the task to be completed. On the right side, we have another example. It is a free form text, providing hyperlinks for further action, and also a predefined, pre-populated subject that requires the user to enter their full name. As you can see, David, this is a very versatile feature that can save a lot of time, and assures consistency of information required. I hope I got you all interested now, and curious to see what is secret number seven. What is it David?

Dave Wagner:

Well I’m glad you asked. And we’re going to continue to call in this email light, really focusing on number seven, we call avoiding the mail graveyard, losing those emails that come into your Outlook that are never seen again. So Nicole, why don’t you tell us a little more about how we can help here?

Nicole Tudor:

Absolutely. So this feature relates to Microsoft Outlook integration. This integration facilitates the management of project communication data through mail and transmittal, directly from Outlook, and records everything automatically in InEight document. And as you can see on this slide, by installing a little add-on on your Outlook, a new ribbon in the familiar folders structure are added to your Microsoft Outlook. While in Outlook, you can read the mail created on InEight document by clicking on the inbox folder, located under team by the directory, highlighted in the screenshot, and respond to the mail by clicking reply and reply all, exactly like you’re doing in Outlook. You can also start a new mail and transmittal from Outlook. The system will display exactly the same list of mail types you have access to in the system. And when I select the mail type, the input still will pop up, so you can complete your mail exactly like you are in the system.

Nicole Tudor:

You don’t need to be logged in the system to actually do this task. In addition, this integration allows you to log all the important mails received directly in Outlook, to log them into the system. To do that, you need to do two simple steps. One, drag and drop that mail into unregistered mail box while you are in Outlook. And second, process this mail next time you are logged in InEight document. Let’s look at how easy it is to process this mail, David. In this example, I have an email sent by Emmanuel into my Outlook. I have drag and drop this email into my unregistered mail folder, ready to be processed. As you can see on the highlighted area, the system records where the email came from, who is actually processing it, and when it happened.

Nicole Tudor:

To process this email, just double click on the email, add the users into two CC and from fields, and most importantly, select the mail type you would like this email to be recorded under. When you click send, the mail will get a number, and will appear into the mail inbox of your nominated recipient. Please note also that the subject and the attachments of this email have been kept exactly as per the original email. It is such a simple process, but very efficient. Now with this mail graveyard cleaned out, let’s look at secret number six, David.

Dave Wagner:

Thanks Nicole. So we got one more on the email side we want to share with you guys, and this is number six, mail your way. So what we really want to focus on here, Nicole, is the various options, the administrative options, and how you can make your email system work for you. So what do you got for us?

Nicole Tudor:

Well, as you know, David, effective communication is number one priority in all our interaction with all the project stakeholders. We spend many hours every day receiving and sending mail, but how efficient are we in managing the statuses of these mails? InEight document has a few settings under the user preferences that could assist you to focus on what is important, and what requires your immediate attention. Let’s look at some of the most important settings available under the user preferences. On the general tab here on the screen, as you can see, you can decide on many things. You can decide how many records have displayed in the grid view of the register, what type of spell check you would like to use. If you like or not a display panel exactly like you have in Outlook, or how often you would like auto recover to perform. On this tab, you can also insert your signature with title and contact details, so you let people know who they talk to and what your role is within the project.

Nicole Tudor:

On the next slide, we have mail compose tab on the left screencap. On this tab, you can configure your preferences related to formatting of your mail message, and options to include or not include the original text when you reply or forward a message. You can add a prefix to each message, something like dear so-and-so, so you don’t have to write this every time. And also you can select a preferred mail footer. On the next screen shot on the right side, on the mail status tab, there are very useful settings I would like you to have a look at. You can configure the status to be closed out for all the incoming mail where you are CC’d or BCC’d. Why is that? Because you are not the action person. This will enable you to focus on immediate responses, which are mail where you are the action person.

Nicole Tudor:

So another available option is for the status of your mail to be automatically closed, when the originator mail has closed out it’s status, which means the originator is happy with the response, so everything is all right. On the same tab, there are also other options regarding the configuration of your dashboard, and also reminders to alert you of communication that require your attention. The next tab I would like to draw your attention to is the mail option tab. On the mail option tab, screenshot on the left, you can choose to have the current date automatically inserted on the mail when you respond to a mail and change its status. Also, you could save the status change to close out automatically on all your replies, because really you can see there you give the right answer. By default, the system prompts you to save these changes, which adds a few more clicks to the process. By having the settings configured to always update, you will be more efficient.

Nicole Tudor:

In the right screencap, shows that options for auto responder and auto forward configuration. This will assist you making the project team aware that you are away, and who has been nominated to hold the fort for you while you are taking a well-deserved break. Now, the last tab I would like to mention is the notifications tab. In this tab, you know that in the system, a lot of events that happen on each module in a document alerts the users by sending notification to their Outlook. Sometimes this could become a bit too much. On this tab, all the notification types are listed under the relevant module and you can deselect the notification you are not interested to receive in Outlook.

Nicole Tudor:

One very useful feature that is highlighted on the left screenshot. This option, I really like, and it’s very useful, but really hidden away under these preferences. This option is to have additional people notified of specific events if they are not copied on the mail. So for example, when a review workbook has been completed and the review coordinator has released the documents, you might like the document controller to be notified, to be able to prepare the required transmittals for other stakeholders.

Nicole Tudor:

Another example could be the completion of the mail review. To configure that you need to click on the blue link, hyperlink, select the type of notification and the person who needs to be notified in addition to the recipients of that communication. As you can see, David, user preferences provide so many options to make the system align with the way we like to work, making it more user-friendly. Now as you all experienced, so much is happening during the lifetime of a project. But imagine for a moment the amount of information you must manage when you are involved in a program of works, which overarching across multiple project. To find that communication and documents could be a massive task. This takes me to secret number five, search one search all: cross-project searching. David, can you describe how this feature can help the program participants find their information even if they don’t remember in which project that information might reside?

Dave Wagner:

Absolutely, Nicole. So with documents, I would be willing to bet every single person on the phone has used InEight document to search for a document within a project. It’s pretty straightforward to do. However, did you know that you can also go into that same search screen, and go to the top dropdown list, and instead of using the default project that’s already been selected for you, scroll all the way to the top and select all projects. Now, when you do that same search that you’ve been accustomed to, it will actually execute it against every project you have access to. And the first column, then, in the hit list that you’re seeing here, will now tell you exactly what project it found the document based on your search criteria.

Nicole Tudor:

That’s fantastic, David, I’m sure that’s very, very helpful. Now, continuing our topic on finding the project information, let’s move to secret number four, search it and search it again. What can you tell us about that?

Dave Wagner:

Thanks, Nicole. So we know that one of the benefits that InEight document has is it has a very robust search capability where you can create some relatively complex searches using different values, even creating Booleans to find exactly the right document you’re talking about. But it can take a little bit of time to go out and actually define that search. So what we’ve added into the mix is the idea is to save searches. So you can go out after you define one of these, save the search, and then use it yourself. But you can also choose to save it and make that available to other people in your company, or other people on the project, so that they’re not having to go back in and recreate that search criteria as well.

Nicole Tudor:

That’s fantastic.

Dave Wagner:

It is really cool, and a huge time saver. And the other piece that goes hand in hand with the saved search is that you’ll notice that within the log, the list of all of your documents, there’s a column on top that has the various columns that you’ve chosen to show. Well, you can use those to filter your lists down very quickly as well. You can pick and choose exact filters, quickly search to find exactly the information you’re looking for. So using the filters and using these saved searches, you can really cut down dramatically on the amount of time it’s taking you to find items in the list.

Nicole Tudor:

Yes, that’s fantastic. David just wanted to say that I looked on the McKinsey report, one of the McKinsey reports, and people spend 1.8 hours every day searching, and gathering information. On average 9.3 hours per week, lost searching. So what options do we have in the system to increase efficiency and stop wasting precious time?

Dave Wagner:

So thanks, Nicole. And that leads us to number three on our list, folders smarter than a fifth grader. And we have a special bonus, we’re going to show you a folder smarter than a high-schooler. So what we have in the system is three different folder mechanisms. We call them standard, smart, and dynamic. Now, it starts with standard, and I’d be pretty shocked if any of you guys aren’t aware of these. These are really no different than what you’re going to get in a typical MS explorer file manager, where you can go out and create as many of these folders as many levels deep as you want, and then assign a document when it’s in the system to one or more of these folders. Not terribly unique in this concept, of course, it’s been around for years and years. But where it gets a lot more fun is when we start to introduce the more intelligent folders.

Dave Wagner:

The first one, we call our smart folder and you can create these smart folders within your standard folder tree. You can create as many of them as you want. And the idea behind a smart folder is you define essentially a search that any time that folder is opened, it automatically executes that search and populates that folder with the documents that match the criteria. So in this case, this general arrangement folder that we’re looking at is going to go look at any document that’s a report, that is capable of being downloaded and automatically populated into this specific folder. The beauty of this, of course, is now you don’t have to drag and drop, or select a document and add it to one of these smart folders. It does it automatically based on the search criteria or the filter criteria that you defined. So that’s the one that’s smarter than a fifth grader. The one that’s smarter than a high schooler is what we call dynamic folders, and this really takes the smart folders to the next level.

Dave Wagner:

So instead of setting the criteria against a unique individual folder, you’re essentially defining it against your entire folder tree, your entire hierarchy. So you can see in the highlighted yellow, these different type of document folder trees that we’ve defined. And the first one you see, what we’ve said is, I want to completely recreate my folder tree, first starting with the document discipline, and then underneath the document discipline, the type of document that it is. And the system, then, will recreate the folder tree, and is smart enough to only show you items that have a folder, a document associated with that folder, or a sub folder that’s in it, and display that hierarchy out. This allows people very, very quickly to get to the information they’re looking for in these familiar folders, but again, no dragging and dropping, no file selection. The files are automatically put into these dynamic folders. And much like we talked about the saved searches earlier, you can then share these dynamic folders with other people on the project team.

Nicole Tudor:

Talking about that, David, I think this is absolutely amazing. And what I’d like to add is what people see in their folders, it’s really what they have access to, which is fantastic. So it’s keeping all the securities in the system, but giving all these possibilities to find information faster. One of the things I’m wondering about is, we have a really good document control system. We know what’s going on, but how do we make that available on site to the people? How do we make sure that the people onsite look at the latest approved document for construction?

Dave Wagner:

That is an excellent question, and certainly a big problem that we know folks have in the field today. And this may be the most secret of all the eight that we’re going to review today, Nicole, because this one is, if you don’t know about it in advance, it doesn’t pop out easily to you. And it’s a QR reader capability. And what we allow you to do is during the configuration of your system, define a QR code that’s placed on your documents. As you can see, highlighted in the red square in the screen capture.

Dave Wagner:

Now, the beauty of this is, when your team is out in the field, or they have a printed copy of one of your documents, or they’re viewing it in the InEight document viewer, one of the questions that could come up is, is this the latest document? And we know the dangers of building off a document that’s not the latest, the rework alone is going to kill you. So what we’ve done is we’ve allowed within the InEight document team binder mobile app, or using any QR off the shelf reader, any mobile app that you want, you can now go out and scan this barcode either on a printed version or directly in the viewer.

Dave Wagner:

Now, if it turns out that this document is the latest, you’re going to see a screen that looks like this. It’s going to tell you it’s the latest revision. It’s going to give you a few attributes, and all is good in the world. But if it turns out it is not the latest version of the document, it’s going to bring up a screen that looks more like this. And it’s going to tell you, no, this document has been superseded. It is no longer the most current, but it’s going to tell you what the most current document is. And by clicking on this link, it will drive you out to a secure login for you to access the most current document. Never again, should you have to worry about not getting the latest document while you’re out in the field.

Nicole Tudor:

This is great.

Dave Wagner:

So Nicole, we got one more, number one on our list, and this moves us into one of everyone’s favorite reports. So number one, reporting gets personal. What can you tell us about this?

Nicole Tudor:

Well, let’s look at the reports section in InEight, David. So in this section, we have over a hundred standard reports available across all the modules in InEight document, but sometimes we might need an extra column to be added to an existing report. Can we do that? The simple answer is yes, we can. If we select the report that is closer to our needs and click on the modify button, we get the chance to change the report configuration. As you can see here on this screen, we can decide the required filter the report, we can configure the grouping, we can configure the search criteria, before saving the report to our preferred title. Also in the report sections, we can actually schedule the reports. So that means that instead of writing the report on demand, which is running the report now, when you need it, we can run the report based on schedule, or a schedule, like weekly, fortnightly, monthly.

Nicole Tudor:

So to do that, instead of selecting run the report now, we select run report on, which then opens up other options for us to specify what format would we like to receive the report in. In PDF, in Excel, in CVS, in Word, in all of them. For what period the report is running, so for how long is going the report to run, and who are the recipients who require that report? The report will arrive in nominated recipient’s email in the specified format. So also we might need to run on demand the report’s author. You can then add them to your favorites tab.

Nicole Tudor:

So on the favorite’s tab, it’s showing really what the reports you like to learn more often and they will stay there until you decide that you don’t need them anymore. So, that’s all about reports I can tell you at the moment, which take us to the end of our secrets countdown. I hope you find this information useful, and recommend you check these options on the system. Based on the feedback I got from our customers, they’re already using this feature. I can guarantee they will make a difference on your everyday interaction with the system. So I think we have some time, David, do we have any questions?

Dave Wagner:

Let me take a look, Nicole, see what we have here. Yes, we do have a few questions. So the first one is, can we auto process emails? Nicole, do you want to take that one?

Nicole Tudor:

Yes. This is actually a very good question, and I’m glad you guys asked because we have the answer, yes, we can. The mail module can be configured to auto process, to make auto processing possible, and it’s one of our standard implementation. So that’s, we can do that. So if you want that to happen, please let us know.

Dave Wagner:

Great. Second question is, is it possible to search text within a document? So Nicole, I can take that one. So yeah, we talked earlier about being able to search the different characteristics, the different attributes that we’ve associated with a document, but it’s also possible to search for the text within a document as well. This is a setting that’s turned on when you initiate the project, and when documents are captured or brought into the system, we essentially use a technology called OCR, optical character recognition, to scan through and collect the actual text in the document. And then that becomes searchable as well. Let’s see what else. We have another one is, can we export reports? Nicole.

Nicole Tudor:

Wow. This is a great question, and thank you very much for asking. You caught me red handed, I forgot to mention about that, when I mentioned about the reports. So, any report that is created on demand by selecting the run the report now option can be exported to Excel, PDF or Word. So yes, that can be done. And obviously scheduled report will come in the format you requested in your Outlook. So great question.

Dave Wagner:

Thanks, Nicole. We have another one. Can dynamic folder settings be edited once established? Yes, they can. You can modify a dynamic folder with the levels, the items that you want to use that make up the hierarchy, or you can also change the hierarchy and move things around, or create a brand new dynamic folder.

Nicole Tudor:

Correct, yes, indeed.

Dave Wagner:

Let’s see. It looks like we have one more. Can we set the size and the location of the QR code on the page? And can we add a stamp or a watermark as well? That’s a great question, and the answer is yes, and I apologize. I should have brought this up earlier. You notice that the stamp in the example I gave was sort of tucked way over on the right edge. It certainly doesn’t need to be. Some prefer it to be off the edge, to make scanning easier. So you can define exactly how big you want to make it and where you want it on the page. And it really isn’t limited just to QR codes, you can also define text or stamps. You can have a stamp that automatically pops up for every document that is not the most current revision in nice big red bold letters that says that this document is obsolete. This document is out of date, or put a watermark on a document.

Dave Wagner:

You’ve got a lot of flexibility on how you can add additional pieces of information on your documents, to make sure that they’re not being used in error is really what it amounts to. So Nicole, it does look like that is our last question. So on behalf of Nicole and myself, I would like to thank you very much for attending our webinar. I hope in one of these eight tricks and tips, you learned something new and you’re heading back to your latest version of InEight document, giving it a try and seeing how you can implement it on your team.

Nicole Tudor:

It’s great. Thank you guys, have a good day. Good to have you on board.