They say a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step. ¬†Getting folks to take that first step is my job. Most of the time it’s the thoughts of all those file cabinets or boxes of paper that cause the hesitation. Below is the story of how one customer took a small bite to start and the journey has been one of constant growth and progress.

We can always come up with obstacles to prevent us from doing the things we know will benefit us. In the end we always look back and say why did I wait so long, that was well worth the effort. Then we are proud of our progress.

I could easily tie this to my getting started running. It was walking at first with short runs of 1 to 2 minutes at a time. Then I worked up to a 5k. Then half marathons and eventually a full marathon in December of 2016. But I did not decide to run one day and the next day run a marathon. I worked up to it.


“The act of taking the first step is what separates winners from losers” – Brian Tracy

In 2008 a customer purchased 1 user license, 1 scanner, 1 signature pad and a few hours of services. I remember It was $2,500 total. It was made clear from the start that was the budget to work with. We were barely able to make it happen but I knew once they got started they would fall in love with paperless…and they did.

We installed the Cabinet SAFE software on a Windows XP computer because they only had one Windows Server and it was application specific and we were not allowed to install anything on it.

I checked on them from time to time to be sure things were going as planned and mostly that the backup was working.

First thing to setup was a form. I normally charge for this but in this case, I wanted them to have a good experience with the budget they had, so I threw in the forms work.

We created a fill-able form to replace a paper form that was used with their customers several times a day. In the paper world they would fill out this form and get customer to sign it. Then they would make a copy for customer and put a copy in their file.

With Cabinet SAFE they open the form inside the customer folder. It populates some data and they have to type in the rest. Customer signs the signature pad and they print the customers copy leaving their digital copy in the Cabinet SAFE folder for that customer. We truly cut the paper off at the source, which is the ultimate goal in any paperless endeavor..

Fast forward 3 years. It was time to buy a Windows Server and the customer was happy to do so. We also installed some nice backup software and now we have a real system that can be scaled to do so much more. We recently added cloud backup to this same server.

Along with the new server they purchased 5 or 6 more user license for the Cabinet SAFE software. They decided to scan in all archived files putting them a mouse click away in case of retrieval. We also made another form and they bought some more signature pads to place on the counter where customers stand as they do business.

Often times at the customers request we would have short meetings to brainstorm ideas. That’s what makes a document management system a success. There are always improvements to be made.

We made additional filing cabinets (Cabinet SAFE Software) to accommodate other parts of the business.

Here we are in 2017 and I recently began a project with this same customer. A new boss is in town and wants to make changes. Now they have over 20 user license.

So, we met to assess the situation and see how we could improve upon it. They have property appraisers who go outside the office and need access to some of the documents filed inside of Cabinet SAFE. We installed Cabinet Mobile which was very inexpensive to do but it would give these appraisers access from their smart phones.

Once they had access to Cabinet Mobile they could easily open a property folder in SAFE and take pictures of that property. The pictures are now filed in the property folder while in the field and anyone at the office can be notified immediately via workflow if need be.

This led to another project of combining some old digital cabinets with a new master cabinet.

Using the Cabinet Database Synchronizer Utility we are able to sync all of their property data from their main data system to build over 60,000 folders in Cabinet SAFE. Then we will take documents from multiple old cabinets and migrate them to the single master cabinet. Everyone will now be working from the same file cabinet. This is when appraisers started using Cabinet SAFE full time from the field

60,000 folders!! Can you imagine doing this with paper files? Me either.

The journey for this customer has had some twist and turns but has been very productive. As with many of our customer we have literally changed the way this business operates and there is no way to measure the increased efficiency and cost savings both now and in the future.

As I have always said; In 16 years of doing this nobody has ever called me and wanted their paper back.

Have a nice day!

Tim Peek, OnPoint DMS