Board Management Solutions - using an electronic system for agendas, policies and other board materials - can save organizations thousands of dollars annually and reduce staff time, while increasing efficiency.
The benefits are many, but an advanced paperless meeting system requires consideration of change, training and security issues. Below are a few things board members should know when they’re considering moving to a board management solution, according to Emerald Data Solutions President and BoardDocs Chief Architect, Ari Ioannides.
How much change is to be expected? Board members and administrators perceive adopting a board management service as a radical change - like going from a telegraph machine to an iPhone. It’s not that radical. Done right, using a board management service should look like what you’re doing now, just easier. Like going from a typewriter to computer for word processing.
Before widespread use of computers, people had no concept what it was like to use one. We all thought learning to use one would be hard; we were fearful, but we wanted to do it because there was a huge benefit. People are most afraid of using a board management system right before it gets implemented. After they’ve have been through training, the first thing they say is “why did we wait so long”?
How does a board management system save time and money? If an organization doesn’t have a board management service, it has staff gathering documents and printing out a master copy. Then they go to scanner and make a PDF. It gets printed, copied, scanned, posted to the website, then bound and shipped out to others. Any changes to the packet starts the process over again. If a board meets twice a month, this is done 24 times a year. With a good board management service, the material automatically gets released to board members and everyone else who needs it via the organization’s website. An organization can see up to $20,000 - $30,000 in cost savings the first year in labor, printing and mailing costs.
How important is data security? The system’s security must be rock-solid. Companies deal with confidential data - health information, student discipline, land purchasing and lawsuits - that has to be secured, by law. Data must be encrypted and be maintained on a secure server. With BoardDocs, we believe board documents must be as secure as banking information. Local copies of the data and emails are very insecure. Information always needs to be physically and electronically secured.
What else should board members look for? Ease of use is huge. Most board members are like me, born before 1960. Technology is not second nature. Any board management system has got to be easy to use. Well over 30,000 board members use BoardDocs. This might be the only computer software they use. Also, no matter how they get to it, whether it is an iPad, computer, or laptop, it needs to look the same.
Serving more than 2,000 organizations nationwide, BoardDocs’ services give governing bodies turn-key, electronic solutions for processing virtually any type of governance document, including agenda items, supporting documents, policies, procedures and much more. Their services alleviate the enormous task of assembling, printing, distributing and revising board packets.
For more information about their services, call (800) 407-0141 or visit http://www.BoardDocs.com to experience the solutions firsthand.