Southern Railway puts board documents on iPads

Southern Railway is using software from Diligent to enable it to put all the papers required for regular board meetings on iPads

Southern Railway is using software from Diligent to enable it to put all the papers required for regular board meetings on iPads.

Every month the company has group and executive board meetings as well as meetings of sub boards including HR and finance.

Gathering reports in preparation of these meetings as well as printing, collating, binding and distributing them to members of the boards took three days to arrange.

“It took us half a day just to collate the material for each of the different groups,” said Heather Spring in Southern Railway’s administrative office. “In total three days of valuable resources were effectively gone each month. Although it’s important work, doing it more efficiently would have freed us up to focus on more urgent matters.”

The company decided to move digital. It looked at a number of offerings and decided on Diligent Boardbook software.

Traditionally board members would be sent hundreds of pages of documents before meetings. They would then have to travel with the documents to the meetings.

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Hosted service for digital files

But using Diligent Boardbook, board members have a direct link to the latest version of information via an iPad, which links directly to the servers the data sits on.

Diligent was a web design company in 2001, but when it was asked by a client to create a system that makes it easier to produce and deliver board papers, it helped create a cloud-based service.

Southern Railway's move to digital files was in two phases, with the main executive and group board first, followed by four subgroups. Spring said the transition was quick and easy. “What we wanted most was the ability to adopt the solution without any productivity hiccups. And since the Diligent Boardbook solution is so intuitive, none of our directors had any issues,” she said.

The organisation said that, rather than taking three days to prepare the documents for meetings, it now takes about half an hour. It also saves paper, toner and other overheads.

Southern Railway manages 156 stations, operates 300 trains and employs more than 4,000 people.

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