Behind the Scene at the Office – The Cloud

Many people don’t understand the ins and outs of Process Serving, I hear all the time “That’s such a cool job.” or how can I get involved and become a Process Server?

Cloud ComputingIn a series of posts, I am going to attempt to explore “Behind the Scene at a Process Serving Office.”   I am going to give tips and hints of what has worked for us and invite comments from anyone on tricks that have worked for them or ideas of things that would work better.

I want to start the Series with the storage solution I have found that best fits our business and the reason behind it.

Many years ago, if you were to walk into a Process Serving company one of the most common things you might see would be a filing cabinet or seven or eight!  Process Servers need to maintain records in the event one of their serves is ever challenged in a court of law.  This challenge could be months or even years down the road.

If you were to visit my office,  you would find 4 computers a laser copier/printer and internet router (okay, I do have one file cabinet, but it is a small one and holds my blank paper and Misc office supplies — NO FILES!)

Something I want to point out is you need to keep in mind, I am a little OCD on file backups, knowing this will assist you in understanding the computer setup I have.

When I first started, I did create a file for each company and keep everything separated, then one day I began to think, what happens if there is ever a fire and I lose these files, there has to be a better way to maintain my files and prevent anything from happening.  This is when I purchased a file server.  This was like a “perfect solution, I was able to run my SMTP (email) server from it so I could easily control it and many other things that I thought were cool at the time.

SO, when I receive document I will scan it and save it to my laptop and then it will auto sync to my file server. Problem solved right? Wrong.   The day AT&T failed me and the internet was down, so was ALL of my email. Not to forget the file server and laptop would still have the same fate as paper files in the event of a disaster in the office!

That is when I decided to move everything to the cloud.

I started by moving my email to Google Business, at the time they were offering 50 free accounts per domain.  This brought me to a point where I could access my email from my phone at any time, effectively upgrading my customer service by allowing me to minimize delay in replies to clients and potential clients.  Step one complete.

The second step came when I began thinking about that file server and laptops possible demise, I also realized by using Google Business (now Google Apps) I had what is now called “Google Drive.”  So I began to sync my laptop to my file server and the file server to my Google Drive account.  This effectively gave me 3 digital copies of all documents! But I still had one problem, all of my attempts and affidavit were still hand written and susceptible to the elements.

The third step came a bit later when I finally found a company that dramatically improved my customer service ability.  I signed on to ServeManager.com (a Serve-Now.com Company. Give them a try here)  As I receive a document I scanned it to PDF, and create a case with ServeManager this saves another copy of the documents on ServeManager.  ServeManager also saves all of my attempts, and Affidavits in PDF format.

How has this dramatically affected my business here is a list:

  • Email anytime, anywhere!   (Office internet down? That’s fine I can still access from another location or my phone!)
  • Access to all my business files anytime, anywhere (office internet down? That’s fine, I can still access from another location or my phone!)
  • Client need a copy of an Affidavit anytime, anywhere (Office internet down? That’s fine, I can still access from another location or my phone!)
  • The client need a list of attempts I can email it to them or they can access it using their FREE ServeManager account anytime, anywhere  (Office internet down? That’s fine … You get the point … )

As you can see, since Process Serving has progressed, I find myself needing to be in the office very little!  I am able to access all my documents instantly, no matter where I am at or what I am doing.  This has dramatically improved my customer service and allows me to get the job done without being tied to a computer!

Need Invoice and Expenses? Yes, there is a cloud app I use for that too!

I hope this has not been too long-winded, and maybe a bit informative.  Please comment and leave your suggestion on ways you have found to streamline your Process Serving business.

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