As the UK’s leading firm of patent and trademark attorneys, Marks & Clerk produces a lot of paperwork. The challenge facing a company with more than 10,000 files was getting to a particular piece of information quickly.
With a lot of time being wasted looking for files, it was decided that a bar-coded system, previously seen by Oxford office manager Liz Lehmann being used to manage medical patient records, would solve the problem of tracking documentation in an incredibly busy office.
A tender was sent out to provide a bar-coded tracking system and three companies responded, including SB Electronic Systems. Within eight weeks tenders had been assessed and SB appointed to build the system.
“Most of all we were impressed with the simplicity of managing the SB Electronic Systems solution,” said Liz. “Their pricing was good but the thing that attracted us most was the ease of use.”
Scan a file to record its new location, leaving a clear audit trail
The solution developed by SB Electronic Systems was database driven, with each file being entered onto a database and a unique barcode generated. There are eleven barcode scanners in the offices and every time a file is accessed, the barcode is scanned. If a file is passed on to another person, it is scanned again using a drop-down menu, so you can select the recipient whilst leaving a clear audit trail.
“It took two of us a week to attach the barcodes to all the files,” said Liz, “but the system works brilliantly. Occasionally, we get human error, for example someone in a hurry forgetting to scan a file, but 99 percent of the time you can find the whereabouts of a document immediately simply by entering the unique identification number, which also identifies the country of the patents and the applicant.”
“The project implementation took less than a month and all 25 staff using the system were trained in under two days, which shows how easy it is to use. It was brilliant working with SB Electronic System’s staff; they were consistently helpful, friendly and patient. I really can’t fault them,” said Liz.
Marks & Clerk is a leading group of patent and trademark attorneys with an associated firm of intellectual property lawyers, Marks & Clerk Solicitors. With an expanding network of offices in the UK and abroad, they provide a wide range of integrated intellectual property services covering patents, trademarks, designs, copyright and domain names.