Document management game changers from GDPR to the pandemic

How do logistics and transportation firms cope with three document management game-changers: GDPR, Brexit and the pandemic?

The number one conclusion for Logistics firms is that digital processes are paramount.


The introduction of GDPR in 2018 meant that all organisations were forced to implement strict data management controls. Logistics and transportation companies historically held large quantities of paper records on customers, orders and staff. The management of records is further complicated by the varying lengths of time that data and document types have to be retained and when they must be purged from company records.

Following the GDPR data game-changer, Document Logistix helped logistics companies to implement digital records by back-scanning and indexing millions of paper documents in the Document Logistix in-house bureau and loading them directly into Document Manager, a centralised digital hub. Digitisation facilitates fast document retrieval, authorisation, amendments and automated deletion in compliance with regulatory periods prescribed for financial, contractual or staff (HR) records.

Immediate benefits following digitisation
Customers saw immediate benefits in their ability to workflow documents automatically in Document Manager, and route incoming documents to the appropriate person or department, and make tasks visible in user dashboards.

Management has an overview of workflow and tasks and can respond quickly to prevent bottlenecks. Senior management has access to real-time business intelligence and can gauge productivity accurately. Regulatory compliance is assured as the system purges data according to prescribed time limits.

According to one Project Manager, digital transformation resulted in “huge savings in time and resources.”
Document management game changers GDPR, Brexit, pandemic

Rising costs and increased complexities post-Brexit
It is well documented that Brexit created an additional administrative burden on UK exporters. John Waldock, a UK Retail Logistics specialist, noted that some UK firms opted out of cross-border fulfilment completely until the levels of complexity associated with these operations settle down.

The urgency for change is highlighted in a February 2022 article published on the BBC website. There could be delays at the UK's borders later this year without prompt government action to prepare for new border checks, MPs have warned.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee said there was potential for disruption as passenger volumes return to normal. Logistics UK backed the committee's findings saying traffic could "grind to a halt" if more wasn't done soon.

Reasons for digital optimism
Spokespeople such as Jaap Bruining, Head of Logistics at Coyote Logistics, are optimistic that some areas, if improved, could facilitate smoother UK-EU trade and logistics, such as opportunities presented by digitising documentation.

“It is not ideal to still be working with so much paperwork and there is a massive opportunity to digitise. The winners will be those who can manage processes more efficiently through digitisation.” 

New efficiency levels following the pandemic
During the pandemic we all became accustomed to working from home for periods. In 2022 there is talk that when the reopens fully a significant portion of workers will continue to work from home, or mix working at an office and remote work.

In 2020-21 Document Logistix helped companies to implement digital business processes faster than ever before, and to integrate them with other business systems and platforms.

Today, Document Logistix customers enjoy operational flexibility that keeps them fully productive regardless of staff location. Dispersed teams can work collaboratively with the help of visual dashboards, while management can rest assured that best practice and company policies are embedded in digital workflows. Threshold alerts quickly notify supervisors of any potential problems so that issues can be dealt with before they escalate.

Jason Field, Document Logistix Logistics specialist, says: “The main requirements for change today include accommodating remote working, as well as traditional commercial objectives such as workflow efficiency, reduced operating costs and regulatory compliance. Many logistics companies are holistically integrating IT solutions, and this trend in digital transformation is opening up opportunities that change the accepted rules of commerce.”

Auditable digital records and simple subject access request fulfilment
Digitisation means that every user’s action is time-stamped and recorded, so internal and external audits are no longer a time-consuming and costly worry.

The past two years have seen a significant increase in subject access requests (SARs). The increase in SARS has been fuelled by several factors. One, people are simply more aware of their rights following GDPR; two, the pandemic led to a significant number of redundancies and people naturally want as much information about the decision making as possible; and three, insurance companies have become a major player in making SARs or encouraging their clients to do so.

Document Manager users are equipped to fulfil SARs comfortably within the 30-day GDPR deadline, and without the strain on staff resources. Personal data can be auto-redacted (erased) so that information can be shared compliantly without the risk of data breaches.

Think about integration when considering digital business systems
An important factor to consider when looking for a document management solution is the software’s ability to integrate with your current systems. Data is useless if it’s inaccessible to other programs in your IT infrastructure.

Document Manager integrates with leading platforms such as Sage, SAP, Microsoft, as well as specialist systems such as MHR’s HR solution. Check out Document Manager integration. 

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