A New Web-based Document Distribution & Management Productivity Tool Designed Specifically For Architecture, Engineering & Construction Firms
bWERX, a Colorado-based provider of IT solutions for businesses, today introduced eTransmittal™ (www.etransmittal.com), an easy-to-use, Web-based document distribution and management tool that simplifies, streamlines, and automates the exchange and tracking of architecture, engineering, and construction documents. This Web-based software tool works equally well for architecture, engineering and construction firms, and allows them to quickly, easily, and securely transmit and track large files of any type (drawings, PDFs, MS-Word documents, etc). eTransmittal™ has been developed and introduced as an affordable, more functional, and far more secure alternative to transmitting large documents manually (by courier or shipping), by email (which can't accept large file sizes and has no tracking functions), and by ftp sites (which often are difficult to use, and provide no tracking, and little to no security).
Because eTransmittal™ is a Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) productivity tool, all that's needed to use it is an Internet connection and a Web browser. There is no need to install special software or hardware on each user's computer, and the system works for PCs and Macs. Browsers supported by eTransmittal™ include: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and others.
"eTransmittal™ solves a very real problem in the A/E/C arena, which is the need to quickly, easily, and securely transfer large files - often among geographically dispersed project team members," said Justin Culver, bWERX president, CEO, and chief technology officer.
eTransmittal™: Offering Features & Functions To Improve Profitability & Streamline Operations
"eTransmittal™ offers a variety of useful features and functions designed to streamline the operations of A/E/C firms, minimize risk, and re-route high-level professionals back to billable tasks vs. spending too much time on administrative work such as sending documents and checking with team members to make sure they received them," explained Culver. The following highlights key features of eTransmittal™:
Automated, Secure Document Transmission: Transmittals can be sent in as little as four mouse clicks. Users simply log in to the system and:
- Click to select the documents that need to be sent to other project team members (when this is done, a pre-numbered transmittal automatically is created);
- Click to select the contact (the person to whom the documents will be sent);
- Click "Send." (eTransmittal™ then automatically notifies the intended recipient by email, within seconds, that a transmittal with documents and messages is waiting for them to review and/or download as a guest user of the system.
- Automated Document Version Tracking: Each document is automatically given its own number and time/date stamp, thus allowing A/E/C professionals to make sure they are working on the correct version of the document for a given project. eTransmittal™ also maintains a Revision and Status History on each document.
- Time- and Date-stamped Transmission Audit Trail: eTransmittal™ automatically tracks when a transmittal was sent, who accessed it, and when they reviewed it and/or downloaded it, as well as when they sent the transmittal back with comments or changes.
- Automated Alerting: eTransmittal™ offers a variety of alerting options, including a standard email alert to a recipient that a transmittal is waiting for them. Advanced alerts include alerting users how much disk space is still available, and when guest users have accessed the information sent to them.
- Label-based Document Organization System: Users can apply as many "labels" to a document as they choose which allows for fast, easy searches and location of documents within the system. Typical labels applied to documents include: Multi-site, Vendors, Company Divisions, Confidential, Geographical, and other document associations that need to be flagged. This labeling function is far more powerful and efficient for document searches than traditional, folder-based structures.
- Multiple Levels of Security: eTransmittal™ offers multiple levels of security including: users must log in with a name and password; documents are encrypted both when they are stored on the system and when they are transmitted using online banking/e-commerce-level encryption; and the advanced "Pro" interface features a "Public/Private" project option in which documents can be password-protected, so only those with designated user access privileges can view, modify, and send specific documents associated with specific projects.
- Other features of eTransmittal™ include: One central repository for documents, redundant storage of the material with multiple back-up servers to protect the data; powerful document search functions; and 24/7 access anywhere in the world using an internet connection.
eTransmittal™ Offers Significant Benefits to A/E/C Firms
"eTransmittal™ offers a tremendous array of benefits to help A/E/C firms of all sizes improve operations," said Culver. "eTransmittal™ is being used by some A/E/C firms which already have seen operational improvements as a result of using it." Highlights of product benefits include:
- SAVE MONEY & IMPROVE REVENUE: eTransmittal™ frees up high-level professionals to focus on billable work rather than administration tasks that are non-billable, or billed at lower rates. There also are direct savings from reduced shipping and courier fees, as well as eliminating the costs of ftp site usage.
- SAVE TIME: eTransmittal™ results in a streamlined process for sending, receiving & retrieving project files overall so less time is spent on the transmission and tracking of project documents. The labeling and search functions mean less time is spent searching for project documents.
- IMPROVED ACCURACY: eTransmittal™'s sophisticated version control and version tracking functions ensure that A/E/C professional are working on, and finalizing, the correct version of the document.
- IMPROVED PROJECT ACCOUNTABILITY: eTransmittal™ improves communication and coordination between project team members, and provides a complete audit trail of what documents were sent to whom, and whenâ€¦as well as updating document status (for example, from "in review" to "approved"). Project team members can be held more accountable for IF work was done, and WHEN it was done.
- MITIGATES RISK: eTransmittal™ mitigates risk and the costs of non-compliance with deadlines because the system can verify the transmission, receipt, and downloading of documents. In the event that a dispute arises, eTransmittal™'s audit trail functions can lower attorney's fees and resolve disputes faster by quickly providing time-stamped proof of when documents were sent and received, and in what version.
- INCREASED SECURITY & PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: eTransmittal™ provides a much higher level of security than email or ftp sites. This protects intellectual property (design work), as well as business intelligence (such as pricing information on services, and profit margins, etc.)
- PROTECT DATA DESPITE TURNOVER: eTransmittal™'s labeling system and powerful search functions mean it's easy to find old documents and data, even if a key staffer leaves the firm.
- ECO-FRIENDLY APPROACH: eTransmittal™ is eco-friendly in several ways. First, it minimizes paper usage; and second, it minimizes carbon emissions from physically shipping drawings to another locationâ€¦allowing A/E/C firms to market and promote their eco-friendly, sustainable approach to business.
eTransmittal™: Two Product Versions, Two Pricing Options
eTransmittal™ is available immediately, by monthly subscription, and in two product versions and pricing options: eTransmittal™ Standard (the basic version of the product) and eTransmittal™ Pro (an advanced version that offers more features and functionality). Both product versions offer unlimited guest accounts for the project team members at other companies who will be receiving and reviewing transmittals, and then sending them back.
eTransmittal™ Standard is available now for $199/month for the required administrative level license, and $49 per month per individual user. Functionality included at this level includes: automated document transmission; document transmission history tracking; document version tracking; document labeling functions for fast document searches; basic reporting functions; a submittal inbox; basic email notifications when a transmittal is waiting; up to 10 projects for which eTransmittal™ can be used; disk space of up to 10 gigabytes for the account; and email-based technical support.
eTransmittal™ Pro is available for $499/month for the required administrative level license. Individual user licensing starts at $99 per month per user, and scales down to as low as $24 per month per individual user, for 25 users or more. eTransmittal™ Pro includes all the functions of eTransmittal™ Standard, plus the following:
- Advanced reporting capabilities (which includes a "report builder" that allows users to customize and create their own reports);
- Enhanced project file security (designate as "public" file, or "private file" that requires user access privileges);
- Archive function for inactive projects;
- In-house document transfer for review of work internally;
- CSV file contact import for easier population of the contacts listings;
- Advanced alerts;
- A handy transmittal forwarding function;
- Online and phone support;
- An unlimited number of projects that can be supported by eTransmittal™; and
- Disk space of two gigabytes per user, on top of the 10 GB limit for the customer's overall storage needs.
"Unlike unwieldy, comprehensive document management systems that can take months to implement, and require heavy technical intervention, eTransmittal™ can be implemented in minutes, and users can send a transmittal with little to no training," noted Culver. "Simply put, it's a tool designed to bring about time and money savings for A/E/C firms, and it can be implemented and learned very quickly -- with efficiencies becoming evident within a short period of timing using eTransmittal™."