Using FileHold in the manufacturing industry

Using FileHold DMS to bring information from the Boardroom to the Shop Floor.

The manufacturing industry was once a consistent fixture in business. A factory would specialize in the production of a few limited items, with skilled specialist workers who focused on one part of the process. New products were introduced infrequently, and the training needed for the shop floor was both infrequent and deliberate; change moved slowly, but productivity was high. Very little of that world remains today. The manufacturing industry is incredibly fast-moving, technically demanding, and immensely competitive. Few companies have the luxury of shutting down a shop floor to retrain the entire staff on new methods or processes demanded by their industry. Precise instruction needs to be delivered to staff quickly and regularly to minimize errors and promote both safety and productivity. The question is the delivery method.

Today’s manufacturing industry relies on multiple types of reference production documents to be accessible to the workers at all stages of production, from design to distribution. These can be formal reference documents such as Standard Operating Procedures; Assembly Protocols for each stage of assembly to follow; technical reference drawings, packing instructions, safety warnings, material safety data sheets – there can be no end to what is needed. Each member of the team needs to be able to reference these documents quickly. There is also the need for management to ensure that documents being read on the floor are current – the constant challenge of paper print-outs needing to be updated.

FileHold can help the manufacturing process with our inexpensive Guest Portal option. These provide read-only licenses for a very low cost to allow any worker to read or download documents from the FileHold Library. Using a web browser, the Guest Portal will only show the user documents they have permission to see, so there’s no fear of exposing the entire Library to the whole organization. PDFs and image files can be previewed directly in the application, while any other files would be opened with their native applications. FileHold’s search function helps to source and sort documents quickly to help workers find what they need fast.

The typical Guest Portal user would be a generic guest account – so long as the user has the password, they could sign in from any workstation with access to the server. This same process can be used to make a public website with information, like a document portal. However, many processes and associated documents are proprietary and not for general consumption; the Guest Portal can be made to be accessed on a local intranet only to allow only authorized workers to have access. Some organizations want to track who has accessed files and when. If all the organization needs to track is information accessed by departments, it could get multiple Guest User accounts and name them after departments. Each department would be able to log into the Guest Portal with the department credentials, and FileHold can track that information. If the organization needs more granular records, it could get a Named Guest User Account for each person who needs access. This account would only have access to the Guest Portal, but FileHold could track to-the-moment activity on the system – at a fraction of the cost of a full access license.

Administration can benefit from the Guest Portal as well. Without a paper archive, there is only the digital record to be updated or modified – the documents being accessed are certain to be as accurate and up to the minute as they can be. There can even be an authentication process for documents being added. When a process needs to be updated or revised, the new documents related to that change can be put into a workflow, so the administrator in charge can sign-off on the update in the Library accessible to the Guest Portals. This ensures compliance is being tracked. Guest Portals can create digital libraries at workstations on any part of the shop floor. No more need for binders of paper that need constant revision; the online Library is as current as possible. Supervisors can be assured that all current documentation needed for compliance is at the fingertips of those who need it. Processes can be checked against authorized documents at a moment’s notice. New procedures or policies can be distributed instantly. The Shop Floor library is now a modern, efficient part of the modern workforce.

To see more about how FileHold can help give your organization access to the documents they need, contact [email protected].

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver brings his twenty years of experience in management in the entertainment industry to FileHold Systems as the Client Training and Retention Advocate. To learn more about how FileHold DMS can work for you, contact him at [email protected].