Helping public companies and their suppliers deliver better and more cost-effective programs since 1994

Automated board books

Way back in 2006 we also urged readers to get cracking on making all their Board materials available to directors over the internet, in a secure environment…And at long last, this has been gaining major traction….

One of the biggest benefits, we’d remind again, is that having an automated process - with standards as to how and when materials need to be submitted - improves your own internal discipline enormously. Yet another big benefit is the huge amount of time and aggravation that is saved vs. doing things the old-fashioned way. We’ll never forget the first time we witnessed the frantic copying, collating, page and sequence-checking and frantic calls for still-missing sections…then the packaging, addressing and address-checking that took place…quite literally into the eleventh hour on the third or fourth day before the board meeting.

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These days, savvy directors are demanding fast, secure and easy-to-use internet availability of board materials. And many savvy corporate officers are using their portals to send news clippings, analyst reports, etc. between meetings - which most directors love to get. Even the least-computer-savvy board members are viewing this as a great opportunity to stay on top of things – and to get their own tech-skills up to speed with company-sponsored tutorials.

Not surprisingly, this “space” has become rather over-crowded with over-eager but often under-ready vendors. Please look at our December, 2014 Special Supplement (it’s one of the first items in the “What’s New” tab) and turn to pages 31 & 32 for our recent and “Interesting Interactions With Board Books Providers” for some rather startling cautionary tales about selecting one.

Whether you are a public company, privately and/or employee-owned - or a non-profit - you need to be sure that the security of all your data will be absolutely airtight, and will continue to be state-of-the-art. There are numerous highly confidential items in a typical board-book – often with significant market-moving potential too – so insecure sites are prime hunting grounds for hackers.

Our top tip: Before you make any investment of time and money here, make sure the provider you choose will be around for the long haul: Many will not be, we guarantee. The space is way overcrowded and total demand for the service is building-out fast. Who owns them? What other products and services do they have? What do their financials look like? What will all these vendors do for an encore? The last thing you want to do is to explain to your directors that the provider you picked has folded its doors.

Currently, we have no recommended suppliers, but please feel free to contact the editors if you would like additional background information and a few names to investigate.