Located in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon Tilth is a leading nonprofit certification provider, educator, and advocate for organic agriculture and products. Founded in 1974, and employing over 50 people, their main work revolves around certifying organic growers and producers to various organic standards. Their customer profile includes organic growers and producers and anyone who wants to be part of a sustainable food system. We sat down with Joel Borjesson, a Systems Administrator at Oregon Tilth, to find out a little about their journey to find a document management system that fit their needs and how then ended up using SecureDocMan.
Oregon Tilth conforms to ISO 17065 standards which are requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. “As part of the ISO requirements we are required to provide a compliant document management system that will allow us to ensure the certification program is consistently carried out in accordance to internal requirements and those dictated by external requirements. We needed a system that would keep our controlled documents organized and available.”, Joel said.
The impact of ignoring this challenge would have been quite substantial. Joel stated, “Without an effective controlled document system, our business would be very difficult to manage. Certification documents must be consistent so everyone is using the same version. We also need to be able to easily show how the documents have changed with each version.” He went on to describe other ways in which their company has addressed document management. “In the past, we used only a file system to organize and manage controlled documents. Historical data was kept in subfolders while new versions were available on a file server. Revision history was not easily available. We made the transition from that to OpenDocMan and hosted it on an internal server. This was a great improvement over using only a file system for document management, but it was only available on the local network.”, he said.
When asked about the process of finding an alternative solution Joel stated, “We were ready to move from hosting OpenDocMan ourselves to having a hosted solution online. However, OpenDocMan does not have a hosted solution available and that’s how we found SecureDocMan, which is created by the same company.” Joel said the decision to utilize SecureDocMan was an easy one: “We were very happy with OpenDocMan so it seemed like the logical choice to continue working with the same people.” When asked whether they considered other alternatives Joel stated, “No because we already had OpenDocMan and SecureDocMan offered a plugin to port all of our data over easily.”
Once the decision was made to go with SecureDocMan, the process of migration began. As Joel stated, “After the importation of our data, there was quite a bit of cleanup to be done because SecureDocMan offered features that weren’t previously available to us, such as tags, workflows, and folders.”
He also had some things to say about his experience with the folks at SecureDocMan: “One of the first things I noticed after importation of our data was that I didn’t see a revision comment field that we had in OpenDocMan. I contacted their support and they were very responsive. They quickly implemented a solution so I could input revision comments when updating a document and have a feature request on their list to implement a table for revision history much like the one in OpenDocMan. I’ve contacted them for various other questions or issues and they’re always quick to reply and very helpful. I couldn’t be happier with the support team.”
The document management system is working well for them. “We have over 300 controlled documents and the tools SecureDocMan offers makes managing them easy. With an online repository available that serves up the most recent version of a document by default, our employees can grab the correct version from any location that has an Internet connection. The revision history helps our auditors see how and why documents have been updated. We also need to show that only certain people are allowed to approve document revisions. With SecureDocMan‘s Workflow feature, we’re able to implement and enforce that requirement.”, said Joel.
Once the employees started using the new document management system he began to receive their feedback. “The first thing I heard from users was that they like the user interface and organization much more than OpenDocMan. The filters and folders especially.” He also stated: “Overall, We’re very happy with SecureDocMan. The software is solid and does what we need it to. The SecureDocMan team is very responsive to requests and problems. My users are happy with the solution and it’s so easy to use, they hardly ever ask for help.”