RAF Benevolent Fund Improves Information Sharing and Efficiency

The RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF), founded in 1919 provides a spectrum of care to the RAF and their families. This includes helping of Second World War Pilots in later life, supporting widows and children of RAF persons killed in action, providing practical help to injured serving RAF personal and to support their morale and wellbeing. As Winston Churchill said "The RAF Benevolent Fund is part of the conscience of the British nation."

The RAFBF spends over £22 million each year supporting over 68,000 people. It is a large and complex operation that needs to be efficiently managed. As an independent charity, receiving no government funding, they run and operate many fund raising initiatives and work hard to keep overheads low with 88 pence in every pound going directly to support the RAF family - efficiency is vital.

The RAFBF processes large amounts of paper and information in order to handle the cases they deal with and had large archives of documents as many cases run for long periods of time. Hence, finding, accessing and sharing these old paper based files was time consuming and inefficient. This coupled with the additional driver of moving to a smaller building when there was not enough space for the paper files, the RAFBF decided to implement the FileHold Document Management solution to manage all of their historic and future documents.

To accomplish this goal of eliminating paper records and implementing a secure electronic library the RAFBF called upon I-Quest, a systems integrator that helps organizations go paperless. Kevin Mackay of I-Quest, who has many years of experience implementing document management systems worked closely with the RAFBF team on the successful delivery of the project, carrying out the analysis, scanning and implementation. I-Quest offers high quality document management system, hosted, managed services, advanced security solutions, and more.

This archive was culled, then scanned and loaded into the FileHold document management software and now all new documents are either stored as electronic documents straight into FileHold or any new paper documents are scanned straight into FileHold directly into the relevant case folders. This has made all documents very easy to find as FileHold automatically indexes all words in all documents plus major metadata can be automatically assigned to documents by the auto-tagging facilities within FileHold. FileHold is a vital tool now for the RAFBF and is completely integrated in with the charity’s new efficient processes.

Gary Ross, head of IT says, "FileHold now acts as our middleware, as it links all of our key business systems together using the actual case content as the lynchpin.

"It has encouraged document sharing within a structured environment, improving access to information and hence supporting the provision of the highest levels of service to our beneficiaries. The powerful search in FileHold enables us to very quickly find any information we need and what used to take hours now takes no time at all.

"Finally, it has changed the way we now manage our data and assisted us with compliance and data protection."