Antony Paul, Neopost UK Head of Enterprise Marketing, explains how FileStore EDM can help HR departments secure confidential data and respond more quickly to information requests
Human Resources (HR) departments face an ever growing workload, driven by changing working practices and more stringent data security rules following the introduction of GDPR one year ago on May 25, 2018.
As well as compiling and processing a great deal of often highly confidential employee records, which they must secure and manage in compliance with GDPR, HR departments face stricter rules relating to Subject Access Requests (SARs). These include the requirement to disclose requested information more quickly (within 30 days) and to provide it in a commonly used electronic format.
Throw in the fact that companies can no longer charge for supplying that information (except in a few specific circumstances), plus greater awareness of employee rights and employer responsibilities in relation to SARs, and it is understandable why this aspect of GDPR might give HR managers cause for concern.
The combination of stricter data security rules and the need to respond more quickly to unpredictable requests for information, including SARs, places a significant burden on HR resources and systems already under strain from other trends. These include:
Changing working practices, such as the growth of short-time work, contract work and employees with multiple jobs, which add considerably to the HR workload;
Brexit and the impact it could have on existing employees and future recruitment;
Skills shortages and the challenge of attracting and retaining key staff;
Persistent low worker productivity, which HR departments can help tackle amongst their own employees and the wider organisation; and
the growing problem of ‘digital clutter’ – information, often unmanaged and uncontrolled, stored on employee computers, smartphones, USB drives and personal devices. Almost one year after the introduction of GDPR, 72% of office workers questioned by Kaspersky Lab admitted that some of their digital clutter contained personally identifiable or sensitive data1.
Seizing the opportunity
Given the cumulative effect of these challenges, it is not surprising that many organisations have embraced GDPR as an opportunity to re-assess their business processes and document management. In a survey of public sector organisations by KYOCERA Document Solutions, 87% said they welcomed the new regulations as an opportunity to review their existing storage systems2.
This is essentially the position adopted by the Neopost HR department, which took advantage of GDPR and an office move to modernise how it organises, manages and secures employee records, replacing a fragmented, paper-based system with a single, centralised electronic repository supplied by DCS, a Neopost company.
After scanning existing paper documents and combining them with files from across HR functions to create one centralised record for each employee, it uploaded these records (and all new records going forwards) to FileStore, a web-based document management system that enables HR staff to search for and retrieve scanned documents, faxes, email and MS Office files using keywords.
Concurrent licensing allows several HR team members to view and add to the document store simultaneously, while electronic segregation of information within records and variable data access rights help maintain data security and confidentiality.
The use of digital records and a web-based document management system is a significant improvement to the HR department’s previous filing arrangements. Benefits include:
A big reduction in the space needed to store hard copy documents;
A single system for all employee data, including confidential content;
Better security, by controlling and monitoring who can access employee records;
The ability to search for files in multiple ways;
Access to records from multiple locations;
Simultaneous access to records by more than one team member;
Time and date-stamping of documents for end-to-end auditing;
The ability to automate policies for the retention, retrieval and destruction of critical information and to redact sensitive information from documents; and
Enhanced monitoring and reporting.
In these ways, FileStore ECM has helped to remove bottlenecks in HR processes so that Neopost HR team members can respond to random and urgent information requests more quickly, boosting productivity and enhancing service levels.
In addition, it provides an essential building block for greater automation of business processes, which for HR departments might include employee on-/off-boarding, absence/holiday requests, employee appraisals, discipline and training. It also supports the provision of self-service solutions that enable employees to carry out routine administrative processes themselves, which has the twin benefit of empowering employees and reducing the HR workload.
The combination of FileStore EDM and FileStore BPM, also supplied by DCS, offers further productivity and compliance benefits by automating:
the collection of required documents from everyone involved in a workflow;
the capture and extraction of relevant information from scanned and digital documents, including CVs, forms, appraisal sheets, personal records and timesheets;
the routing of documents and information from the start to the end of a process; and
the monitoring of task progress, with automatic reminders and alerts to avoid delays.
These capabilities have the potential to improve document workflow throughout an organisation. In addition to HR departments (see case study below), DCS provides solutions for accounts payable, sales order processing, digital mailroom, claims and case management and compliance. The inherent flexibility of its platform enables customers to automate processes in stages, at a rate that suits their business needs, with a choice of deployment models (e.g. on premise or in the cloud) and the option of outsourced scanning services.
To find out more about how Neopost and DCS can help you improve the efficiency and compliance of your business processes, please visit
Case Study : NEW LOOK
Founded in 1969, New Look has grown from a single store into an international, multichannel retail brand with a distinctive value-fashion offer in apparel, footwear and accessories for women, men and teenage girls. The New Look Group has over 800 stores in 21 countries, including 650 in the UK.
Each UK store used to keep its own employee documents in branch. This made it difficult to audit and reference employee documents for compliance purposes and to ensure that documents remained secure, so the decision was made to switch to a centralised HR document management system supplied by DCS, a Neopost company.
Following a detailed analysis of New Look’s needs, DCS recommended a FileStore document management system deployed as a relational database that dynamically models the administrative organisation. The system is accessible by 60 HR team members and others in the distribution team, and includes both PC-generated and scanned documents.
The first part of the project involved the back-scanning of 18,000 existing employee files into the FileStore electronic document management system, which DCS configured to meet New Look’s specific business requirements.
Paper files were picked up from individual branches by New Look’s cash pickup partners and delivered to DCS Outsourced Services’ scanning bureau, where they were scanned and tagged with business information using Kofax Capture and Transformation Modules. Scanned hard copies were retained for four months before certified secure destruction.
The day-forward scanning of files created after an agreed date was treated as a separate task. Because these new files were most likely to be updated, immediate access for HR staff was essential.
In addition to the scanning of printed files, DCS set up an ad hoc bulk upload service, with its own desktop shortcut icon, which allows New Look HR staff to move other files or documents (not necessarily HR records) into an FTP transfer for DCS to pick up and add to FileStore.
FileStore itself provides HR team members with a number of notable features, including:
Variable access rights to ensure employee data protection.
Reports to alert the HR team of documents that are missing or need updating.
A customisable interface.
The option to upload documents individually or in bulk via a desktop shortcut.
Over 140 document classifications for easy retrieval via a Google-like search.
The ability to add new classifications without changing the existing system.
The solution gives the New Look HR team complete visibility of employee documents for all 650 UK stores, enabling them to deal with personnel enquiries much more quickly. At any time, authorised personnel can access HR data and documents for individual employees, stores, regions or the whole organisation, and make changes electronically.
ew Look HR staff are able to see who is sending in documents, and when, thus providing an invaluable view of branch stores’ use of the system; and, because FileStore has been configured as a dynamic and futureproof solution, DCS can easily add new stores or sub-divide regions, reallocating existing data appropriately.
Lucy Entwistle, the New Look Global People, System & Process Manager, said: “FileStore fits perfectly and landed really well. DCS were adaptable, practical and responsive throughout. They fully bought into our comms and engagement plan, ultimately delivering the project on time and on budget. It is great to have the information we need accessible at our fingertips, and we can be safe and secure in knowing that we are fully compliant in maintaining our personnel files.”