RNA is launching an online management tool integrated with the current website to support RNA project management and client communications. This creates a client area on the RNA website and enables customers to login with a user name and password. Files can be shared that have been uploaded specifically for a client.
Simultaneous management of multiple projects is supported as the entire system is accessed and managed online. There are four main functionalities of the system: Messages; File sharing; To-Do lists; and Milestones.
The message board is a useful tool for communicating with clients. Customers can post messages and notify any or all members of a project, who is required to "˜action' or respond. The message threads encourage active participation from our clients, giving them the opportunity to comment at every stage of a project. Even at the quotation stage, this can be a useful forum to complement telephone and email. An instant message discussion can occur at any time and include many project members at the same time. RNA is also using this function for internal discussions on how to handle tasks between all members working on a particular project.
With built-in file sharing functionality, it is easy to share documents with clients for a project. This allows clients to exchange files and documents with RNA project members by uploading them onto a secure, fast and reliable online storage area. Upload photos, videos, CAD drawings, quotations, or reference items. With this functionality, it removes the potential difficulties of sharing large files such as reference videos and high resolution photos; with the advantage of exchanging information at any time from anywhere.
Within the system, multiple to-do lists can be created for each project, with specific items added and relevant people assigned for each list. This function allows clients to check the status of a project, and understand progress against milestones and outstanding issues to be dealt with. RNA's clients are also allowed access to post comments and attach files to an individual to-do list, thereby participating very closely in the manufacturing process. In combination with Milestones, this function effectively supplements RNA Project Management procedures and helps prevent possible delays, at the same time keeping the customer fully in the picture.
The Milestones feature provides a simple framework to map out general project timelines at a high level. The functionality enables RNA to keep track of important project deadlines, such as due date for quotations. With this function, it is more effective for an RNA project manager to allocate tasks to project members and monitor their progress. Equally, clients are also able to keep track of what is due, when it is due, and who is responsible.
RNA is primarily using the system to manage exchanging files and improve communications with clients. The system is used as a single information repository, mainly for external projects, often with clients and partners around the world. A case in point is communication with RNA's North American facility, where time and distance can become an issue. So the ability to access all information, documents, and files from one centralised place is valuable to not only workflow, but also to clients. This portal becomes a focal point effectively allowing access to RNA projects "˜24/7' for all of staff and clients.
RNA considers this initiative to be key in its ability to improve communication with clients and believes it will result in better and faster decision-making and exchange of ideas.
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