"We could not be happier since moving to SmartVault... it was a quick and easy implementation, and so far has saved us hours and hours of manual work."Rhonda Whitlow
Climbing Out of the Basement and Into the Cloud
One company’s journey from an overflowing basement file room to the great wide open of the cloud
Talent Plus, Inc. is a prominent international talent assessment business—so prominent, in fact, that it has a road named after it: Talent Plus Way. The company applies tested and proven scientific methodologies to help clients properly select talent and maximize human potential. In business since 1989, and with offices in Nebraska and Singapore, Talent Plus has accumulated a long list of loyal clients…along with a room in the basement full of paper documents.
“Before we started using SmartVault, we didn’t use any electronic document storage solution at all,” stated Rhonda Whitlow, Accounts Payable Coordinator at Talent Plus. “Over the years, we’ve stacked up a lot of paper.”
Whitlow explained that the company used to maintain all paper files, not just accounting records. “We have a room in the basement that is dedicated to storing all of our accounting files. There are boxes after boxes down there, and many items have not even been filed yet. It’s overwhelming.”
Whitlow and her counterpart, Billing Specialist Diane Hanks, both agree that finding files before SmartVault was often a time-consuming hassle. “When you had to locate a file, you went down to the basement and sifted through stacks of files. The amount of time it took to search and then re-file the paperwork was a waste,” stated Hanks.
Adding to the issue are restrictions on file disposal. “We have to keep accounting files for several years before we can purge them. When your files are all paper, you are going to have to deal with numerous filing cabinets and piles of boxes. There was no way around it.”
No way around it… until now, of course.
In 2012, Rhonda Whitlow set out to find a better solution for online document storage and sharing. “I simply did a Google search and found SmartVault. I started researching the solution thereafter.”
Whitlow also received feedback on SmartVault from the company’s outside accounting firm. “Our accountant also happened to use SmartVault. He gave us very positive feedback on the solution, and we were sold,” said Whitlow.
In August, Talent Plus moved forward with implementation. Within a week the system was in place and Whitlow and Hanks were up and running.
“We went cold turkey with paper files. The day of implementation we started scanning in all files, including bills, check copies, proposals, client communications…I mean everything,” Whitlow explained.
At first, both Whitlow and Hanks didn’t think that going digital would make that big of a difference in workflow. In fact, Whitlow admitted that she thought it would be more work. “I really did think that scanning in documents would be more work for us. It wasn’t until we got into the system that I saw the true time savings.”
Diane Hanks fully supported this claim, “It used to take a few hours of my time to pull files from the basement stacks and then re-file them once I was done. Now, I can quickly and easily locate a file electronically with SmartVault.”
In addition to the ease of using digital files over the pain of digging through volumes of paper, Hanks also mentioned her love of other SmartVault features as well. “The integration with QuickBooks makes it so easy to attach documents and locate files in either solution when we need them.”
As a global company with an office in Singapore, the exchange of files at Talent Plus often crosses continents. According to Whitlow, whenever there is a need to exchange files with a business partner, SmartVault makes it very easy and ensures file security.
By transitioning to an online document storage and secure file sharing solution, making the trek to the basement and digging through piles of paper has become a thing of the past. SmartVault has also provided a secure means to share docs with the company’s global business partners—a must-have for any multinational corporation. Without a doubt, Whitlow and Hanks are exceptionally happy about getting out of the basement and moving into the cloud.
“We could not be happier since moving to SmartVault,” stated Whitlow. “I’m very glad we listened to our accountant when he recommended we adopt it. It was a quick and easy implementation, and so far has saved us hours and hours of manual work.”
To date, Talent Plus is storing approximately 12,000 documents digitally…and that’s just since 2012. Needless to say, Hanks and Whitlow are glad they didn’t have to squeeze that many documents into their already overflowing basement file room.
“I don’t know how much more the basement room could have held,” Hanks said. “Now that I’ve experienced the immense value of working with electronic files, I wish we had moved to SmartVault sooner.”