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St Mary Magdalene Academy

The initial training got us up and running quickly and since then it has just been a case of learning with the product. It is very user friendly.

Ian Ship, Finance Director
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London based St Mary Magdalene Academy is a co-educational school, committed to strong academic achievement and developing confident, successful and globally-minded citizens. This vibrant Academy uses Arena’s mstore for Education electronic document management software.

From the outset, St Mary Magdalene Academy was keen to set up efficient and scalable processes, ensuring that they are prepared for growth. Finance Director, Ian Ship, led the project and he explains; “We knew we would become a very large academy so we started early. Getting the document management system in early helped to create a good culture at the academy.”

He highlights the goals of using mstore; “We wanted the information to be centralised, incorporating a work flow for specific job roles. This would naturally make it auditable as we can see who has had access, trace the document process, and track them when they are sent out. We also wanted it to ease data capture from emails for example, and fundamentally to make finding documents easier.”

Simplified searching

The superior searching functionality within mstore has made a huge difference to staff at St Mary Magdalene Academy; “The search capability is principally what the system helps with.” This is a great improvement on the alternative; “A paper based system may put you off searching as you have to hunt through quite a lot of files. Now we can find information very quickly and logically. We manage our own documents and are safe in the knowledge that it works for everyone who can have access to that information.”

Ian comments that the more efficient storage is taking away the stress for the team; “There is just a feeling that people are able to access things more quickly and timely. This takes stress and time pressures out of filing and finding documents and having to search for them. Everything is categorised a lot more clearly.”

Ian explains that being centralised makes sure that people who need to access a document can and at the same time keeping them secure; “We use centralised filing and set it up for specific roles, controlling who can access certain information which gives us peace of mind.”

Easier auditing

While they already had processes in place, Ian says that mstore provides complete reassurance; “Where traditionally it was a bit more difficult to check, with an electronic system you just scroll through to see that everything is there, so we are assured of compliance.”

The audit process is eased for all involved; “It takes away some of the workload as we give the auditor a login and they have access to Finance and HR. They can continue with their audit easily and efficiently finding their own documents.” Furthermore, the system also benefits the auditors: “There is a perfect trail and there have never been any issues.”

Disaster recovery

“There has been discussion about disaster recovery and what we would do. We realise that paper documents are more at risk as they are generally on site if there is a fire.” Ian explains how mstore prevents this risk; “Backups are taken and kept off-site. It’s part of our IT protocols, our management processes.“

Needing fewer documents has reduced their printing too; “We find that there might be occasional printing but there is certainly no copying. Things are just scanned to be filed in. This must have reduced the print and copy side of things quite considerably.”

Overall, Ian has been very happy with the impact of mstore; “The initial training got us up and running quickly and since then it has just been a case of learning with the product. It is very user friendly.”

Ian concludes; “It has transformed the way the office works. No files, no paper, paperless desks and a lot more efficient way of working throughout the department.”


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