Sunday, November 19, 2017

New technology to help companies, NGOs to cut document processing cost, time

By Alawi Masare @AMasare

Dar es Salaam. A new technology firm plans to help companies and nongovernmental organisations with standard documents to reduce processing cost and time by providing institutions with templates using new software.

Virtual Advocate also plans to record all title deeds with disputes from judicial registries to help commercial banks identify the documents normally used as collateral for loans.

The Tanzanian company, which has just started operations after about seven years of developing, researching and testing, said the system proved success in and outside the country.

The application targets companies, agencies and other nongovernmental organisations with standard documents, which consume time to process and sometimes need hiring or contracting of professionals like lawyers to prepare them.

“When we started developing the software in 2012, our target was only the legal sector, but we have realised that there are many organisations, which have standard documents that they frequently use. So, we have expanded the scope,” said Virtual Advocate chief executive officer Nzaro Kachenje.

“We have found the existing traditional processes of drafting, monitoring and managing documents to be unnecessarily time consuming, costly, stressful and prone to errors. Our system then provides a one-stop centre for most documents used in daily activities.”

He added that the application in which the team invested more than $150,000 would reduce the document processing cost and time by 90 per cent and 99 per cent respectively.

The application provides templates of standard documents like credit letters, renting contracts and warning letters, among other things.

“We tested the system in 10 organisations in Tanzania and Kenya, including banks, insurance and real estate and all of them are now our clients. This is the first of its kind in East and Central Africa and we are sure we will cover the market,” said Mr Kachenje.