UPLB rolls out Document Tracking System to all offices

With several documents being processed in a day at UPLB, losing track of one paper is bound to happen. To address this and provide employees a more convenient way to keep track of office documents, UPLB rolled out the Document Tracking System (DocTrax).

The UPLB DocTrax is an online and integrated system that enables users to monitor documents from office to office and from one personnel to another, much like tracking orders from online shops. The system offers real-time status of the documents, thereby decreasing the time spent on following up. It also saves time spent on encoding and reduces duplication of data.

It was created by a team of developers composed of Ms. Czarlina May Magnata, university extension specialist from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE); Mr. Angelo Guiam, instructor at the Institute of Computer Science; and Mr. Marc Enrico Saulo, senior technology/development management aide from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Mr. Eriberto Roxas from OVCRE and Mr. Jeoffrey Magnata from the Office of the Chancellor (OC) are also part of the team as system administrators.

After its official implementation last 15 July 2021, the UPLB DocTrax team held successive virtual demos for each office to guide employees in using the system. The first one was held on 21 July, with personnel from the OC and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration (OVCA) and its supervised units as participants. There have been a total of five virtual demos since July.

During the first demo, Ms. Magnata traced back the beginning of the UPLB DocTrax to 2009 when the UPLB Information Technology Center (ITC) launched the first UPLB Document Tracking System, then called UPLB DocuTrack. It works similarly with the current system, except that the user is unable to monitor the document's status once it is forwarded to another office. The system was eventually discontinued.

Without an integrated tracking system, each unit implemented their own systems and processes to monitor their documents. This resulted in duplication and redundancy of data as documents are repeatedly being encoded everytime it is forwarded to another office.

Hence, the development of a UPLB-wide document tracking system resumed in 2019 to address the duplication. A year after, the UPLB DocTrax was launched in September, with personnel from executive offices as the early users.

Since its launch, there have been a few changes in the system.

The UPLB DocTrax now offers four kinds of user access, as a processor, a unit administrator, a registered user, or a non-registered user. It allows users to encode and receive documents, approve registration of other staff, or to only check documents, depending on their duties and responsibilities in the office. Students and external parties can also check documents if they have the Document ID that is generated once a document is encoded and tagged as public.

With these features, the UPLB DocTrax is being used gradually on the campus.

In the future, the UPLB DocTrax team is planning to integrate the system with the ongoing Digital Transformation of UPLB. Adding features, such as dashboards, customizable reports, and notifications, are also in the pipeline. The team also aims to make scanning, uploading, and forwarding of documents through an app, and to link procurement documents to the system.