Diligent implementation has reduced security risks, as well as been more environmentally friendly.
British-based Melrose Industries, an investment firm that buys, improves and sells engineering businesses, has turned its board meetings paperless, using Diligent Boardbooks.
Using Diligent’s secure, digital board portal, board information is delivered to company directors via an iPad app, laptop or other tablet device.
Adam Westley, company secretary and head of compliance at Melrose Industries had used Diligent Boardbooks at a previous company and had found the service to be "excellent". When Melrose decided to look for a board portal to make the process of creating, distributing and reviewing confidential board materials more efficient and secure, Diligent Boardbooks was an obvious choice.
He said: "Melrose sought to speed up the process of board pack dissemination, and to remove the need for hard copy papers. Paper board packs are also an obvious security risk, and we wanted to ensure that confidential materials are kept secure. Diligent offers us this security."
Receiving board papers via the Diligent iPad application means that board directors have access to business-critical information sooner, and so have more time to prepare for board meetings. This raises the standard of good corporate governance.
Westley said: "Before acquiring the Diligent software, we used to courier board packs on a Friday evening. As a result, papers were unlikely to be reviewed much before the following Monday. Now we upload them to Diligent on a Friday and they’re with the board immediately, so they get reviewed sooner. It is also much quicker to make amendments to board packs and deliver the updated version directly to the board using the Diligent app."
Westley cites Diligent’s market share, advanced technology and after-sales service as among the reasons for choosing its service over other providers. He said: "Diligent has a great reputation, and works with many other FTSE 100 companies. In addition, I had prior experience of the service, which was reassuring. It is a very customer-focused business, and the product is simple to use, making the transition from paper to electronic board packs far easier."
Charlie Horrell, Diligent Boardbooks’ MD, EMEA, said: "We’re seeing a huge growth in adoption of board portals. Password protection, encryption technology and sophisticated security mean a board portal is a far safer way of distributing confidential information than any of the alternatives. Directors, like everybody else, will use iPads or mobile devices personally, and so it’s a natural next step for them to be able to access board information digitally. For many companies, paper board packs are no longer a viable way of sharing sensitive data."