TN Americas, a division of AREVA Inc., is a leader in the American nuclear dry storage market, manufacturing solutions for interim dry storage of used fuel, radioactive waste, and other radioactive materials. Sixty percent of American nuclear plant operators use TN Americas’ fuel solutions. Engineers record every aspect of operations, resulting in the creation of hundreds of records weekly, including technical files, purchase orders and contract-related documents.
“Because we’re in the nuclear industry, document oversight is extremely important—so we undergo lots of audits and have to be able to find data,” says Gloria St. Denis, Records Management Consultant for TN Americas.
While TN Americas manages its records with Laserfiche enterprise content management, AREVA uses a different system. The added complexity recently led TN Americas to examine its recordkeeping and related processes, aiming to improve accuracy and efficiency while saving time and money.
Rethinking Document Storage
Although the company had been using Laserfiche as a document repository for a number of years, a complex configuration of document folders hindered employees’ ability to find critical information quickly.
“Laserfiche was not the problem, the problem was the way it was configured,” says St. Denis. “Information was siloed by the business and all the document templates were siloed by each department.”
“It really needed to be re-engineered to have a common structure, so users could meet the needs of customers and the needs of the regulatory body, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, when we were doing audits,” says Mark Stone, Technical Architect at TN Americas.
“You need good governance,” St. Denis adds.
In order to provide staff with streamlined information access, the company needed to simplify and standardize its Laserfiche records management program.
Centralizing Records Access
Using St. Denis’ system analysis, the company created one standard document template with a few core metadata fields. Simple online forms now enable any employee to submit a new record in this template to the Document Control team, automating and standardizing document classification and storage across the company. Staff can now find any engineering record, design record, purchasing record or any other customer or vendor documentation in just a few keystrokes, regardless of the information’s origin.
“The goal was to give people the ability to find the data they were looking for,” says St. Denis. “Rather than thinking of Laserfiche as just a place to put electronic documents, we organized and standardized everything. That made it simpler.”
- Documents are submitted, classified and found using the same enterprise-wide standards, no matter where they are initially created in the company
- Audits are completed more quickly and efficiently
- Improved staff and management satisfaction with document access