FAQs - Document Direct
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Do you provide training on digital dictation systems?

Document Direct recommends training for all projects before we commence offering you our service. This would include anyone who you considered should be introduced to our service, and can often take just a few minutes for a new fee-earner or admin support.

We are confident that digital transcription from Document Direct will become a vital part of your workflow management and it is crucial that implementation is as smooth as possible. Document Direct will tailor a programme to suit the way you work and the type of work generated. This may take the form of on-site or remote learning or a combination of both.

How do I know you have received the work I sent and when it is ready?

You will be able to log onto a secure web page and view your jobs list and status.

We aim to complete your work within your agreed timescales, so generally the proof of our service and receipt is found in our very fast turnaround times.

If you require a notification we can send an email to your specified email address or we can even send you a text message to your mobile phone.

You can go to an internet page, login and download your work from there, or your work can be collected from anywhere by yourself or your secretary. We do not believe in filling up people’s mail boxes with messages each time a letter is typed, but, if requested, we can notify you, for either all documents, or ones which may be of a particular urgent nature to you.

How do you charge?

As a starting point, Document Direct charge on a per-minute of recording basis. Our charges are based on a formula relating to the length of dictation and the service required. Depending on the nature and the quality of sound, speech and number of voices, the length of time to type clearly spoken dictation should be between 3 and 4 times the length of the recording. For example, a single clearly-spoken voice of 15-20 minutes should take approximately one hour to transcribe into a standard Word document. However, we are totally flexible regarding charging, and will work with you to reach the best charging structure for your own business and it’s particular needs. It may be that, for example a fixed price per standard letter is more appropriate, or a monthly retainer to help budget costs. As you will find, just discuss the point with us, and between us we will reach an answer that suits us both.

How do you handle confidential work?

We treat all of our work as confidential and all of our typists and secretaries are bound by a Confidentiality Agreement drafted and approved by our legal advisers. Our secretaries do not have the ability to save your work on their own computer or even to print any documents. All of your work is transferred, encrypted and stored on our secure server.

How long does it take to get set up for digital dictation or a full secretarial service?

If you already have the digital recorder or a suitable mobile device (apple, android or blackberry) then your account can be set up in less than 10 minutes. You will be issued with a log-in name and password to your own secure area and you then transfer dictated sound files to Document Direct.

Where we are planning a more extensive transition to our service we will deliver a carefully considered project plan with you involving all key parties, which will likely include fee-earners, current typists, IT, HR and any relevant operational and management teams.

My work is seasonal – I may not use you for several months a year. Is this a problem?

The beauty of outsourcing is that it is a facility that you use when you need it, and subject to our agreed terms, we will only charge you when you use our service.

Once we have your style and templates within our system, we retain them so that when you do need our service we are ready for you.

We print out on headed notepaper here – is that a problem?

Not at all. You can provide templates which will be stored by us and
amended as required. Document Direct can replicate all the formatting in your
office. We train each of our typists to your specific needs and provide them
with a Knowledge Base to refer to. Functions such as autotext and autocorrect
can all be added to client templates to maintain consistency.

What equipment do I need to record sound files and how much does it cost?

There are now many devices that you can use to record your dictation. The traditional one has been a digital sound recorder and Document Direct can recommend a variety of devices which give excellent quality at a reasonable price. Do not be fooled by cheap digital recorders- they are practically useless for this high level of transcription. The prices of recorders vary but they have come down in price over the last few years. You should be able to obtain a device for £150 with next-day delivery. A USB socket is best for file transfer from a digital recorder and a good fast internet broadband connection, will help enormously for transfer to Document Direct’s server.

The other hardware device you can use is probably one you already have – your mobile phone device.

We have apps that are suitable for apple i-phones, android and blackberry devices, and these help save you the capital cost of a dedicated device.

They also save you the normal aggravation of needing a second or third piece of hardware in your pocket or briefcase, and add a further level of convenience with our service.

What is the minimum charge for using your services?

Document Direct has no minimum charge.

There are no contracts, no fees, and no monthly charges – unless they suit your business. Document Direct will typically charge on a per-minute basis, calculated on length of dictation. It is a true pay-as-you-go service with complete flexibility. The pricing model is usually based on length of time spoken. Imagine it just like a mobile phone bill, and just like a mobile phone, once you’ve tried pay-as-you-go, you may feel it more beneficial to have a monthly contract and pay a set fee each month. The choice is yours.

What software do I need for digital dictation?

If you work from a permanent location (i.e. your office desk) then a simple download and configuration can be installed to optimize efficiency. If you want to work from any PC anywhere in the world then no additional software is required at all, just internet access.

The same simplicity applies if you use your mobile handset, and it takes minutes with little or no IT intervention.

When do you invoice?

We normally send invoices monthly. They can be as fully detailed as you require with a per-line entry for each sound file received, although usually our clients just require a simple summary detailing the sum of the dictation received by each author. Payment is due within 30 days subject to our agreed terms.

Where are you based?

Our head office is based in Liverpool, England, and we have offices in London and Dublin. We are a 100% UK owned business and registered limited company with full UK VAT status.

To contact us please write to Document Direct Limited, One Hamilton Square, Wirral, CH41 6AU, or telephone  +44 (0) 1926 821900, or of course email us at info@documentdirect.co.uk

Where will my typing be done and by whom?

Your documents will be typed in the UK and typically by UK trained typists. They are experienced and qualified secretaries who have been thoroughly assessed by Document Direct to provide the best service for you. All of our typists will be personally known to us, and will have undertaken rigorous assessment and screening. We do not send your dictation to another country to be typed nor are our servers based outside of the UK.

Why not use voice recognition for digital dictation transcription?

Speech recognition works for those people with a reasonable degree of computer literacy, patience and certain standard formats who are not reliant on secretarial support. In the right circumstances it offers a workable solution to a number of your document production needs, but it generally requires a good degree of patience in “training” your dictation and processor power to train the voice recognition program. External influences need bearing in mind, as a cough or cold can alter speech patterns dramatically, as can incidental local background.

Typing skills are still essential for proofing the work and only basic templates should really be used. If you are able to invest this time then it may be for you. If you have other priorities, or need precisely formatted documents which match your firm’s house style, then Document Direct may be a better solution.

Why should I use Document Direct for my secretarial and digital dictation needs?

We stand by our mission statement – “We are committed to working closely with our customers in order to help them achieve their goals by offering them the best typing and document production service”.

We do not outsource your dictation to foreign countries or jurisdictions and all of our typists have UK based knowledge, experience and qualifications.

We personally build our relationship with you to provide the best service for your needs – to help you achieve your goals.

We are also truly 24/7, and have the same level of concern that you do for confidentiality and security, precision and accuracy.

We not only offer a digital dictation outsource but other additional document production services such as designing Microsoft PowerPoint and desk top publishing templates to enhance your business image and branding.