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Email Management and E-Forms in the Contracting Office?

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I just presented a seminar to the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Valley of the Sun Chapter in Phoenix today.  Turns out that most construction firms, while using Microsoft Exchange Server, have not begun implementing a records retention plan concerning email.   Furthermore even some of the larger firms have yet to turn on journaling in Exchange and implement an automated archiving of email with an application server like EMC SourceOne or appliance like Arcmail.    If you missed the meeting and would like to view the presentation it is available from my LinkedIn Profile and/or it can be viewed here:

[slideshare id=1732957&doc=emailmanagementeforms-124779854882-phpapp02] Click on Menu to download the powerpoint presentation.

I am concerned that so many firms have left their only copy of email either scattered in PSTs on various PC and laptops or that they are dependent upon their in-house backups.   If any CFMA member wants to get this addressed ASAP, have your IT people contact me and we can arrange for a consultative meeting.

Also in the presentation I mentioned Removable Disk RDX as it has a 30 year lifespan, it’s total cost of ownership (TCO) is much less than regular hard disk and it’s good for backups & archiving data, email, etc.  Most IT staff and outsourced technology firms have not promoted this media as they haven’t been exposed to it yet – even though RDX has been available for years.  I found it when the manufacturers of optical disk systems closed shop in this current recession.  One large General Contractor here in Phoenix is using the Prostor Systems Infinivault as backup & archives for large swaths of data including their document imaging and email systems.  If you’d like the opportunity to meet with this firm, let me know and I’ll arrange for you to talk or visit their IT department.

Lastly, I must say that it seems that intelligent E-forms from firms like Formatta & PerfectForms will have to wait another year for most contracting firms here in Arizona.  With the construction industry treading water, new fangled approaches that integrate with other applications are more likely to be implemented by CFMA associate members that deal with mountains of forms.   I think the CFMA general members are still embracing the tried but true fillable Adobe Designer forms.  They’ll work on putting workflow, behavioral rules, reporting and integration to accounting systems to eliminate re-keying data sometime after they contend with their email issues.

For those reading this blog and are not currently members of CFMA, if you supply a service to the construction industry or work in a construction office as a controller, CFO, VP or have another accounting title you should attend our next meeting and consider membership.  You can’t find a better group for networking, education and CPE credits!

This is a blatant plug…if you do decide to join the CFMA, please put Carol Hagen in as the member who referred you on the application form.

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