For ten years, the Dutch company HB Munters Group was mainly using DocuWare as a way to archive their purchase order documents. But after Operations Manager Bert van Os realized what other potential was locked within their document management solution, the company began to seriously boost their efficiency.
When the HB Munters Group originally decided to use digital document management, it was because they were increasingly losing documents and they were running out of storage space. They first began by scanning all their order documents and centrally storing them. This certainly provided some welcome relief, but didn’t really take advantage of digital processes and integration with their ERP. "We didn’t really realize the possibilities offered by our DMS," says Operations Manager Bert van Os.
Pivot Point: Review Workshop
When the company began expanding their ERP system, they also revisited how to make more out of their central document pool. Bert van Os recalls their aha moment: "In a review workshop with our new DocuWare Partner, we started noticing all the other features that were inherent to what we thought was simply a handy archiving tool – things like fully automatic indexing or the directing of workflows through electronic stamps. We realized that by using our DMS more comprehensively, we could significantly improve our company's efficiency."
Digital Order Processing: Fully Integrated with ERP
Quickly, the decision was taken to expand from simple electronic filing to an integrated, workflow-based document management system. The process started with the general purchase order process. In addition to various documents, this process involves different approvals. These are now all digitally controlled and directly linked with the ERP system.
Automatically Capture: 2500 Sheets of Paper per Month
Order processing at HB runs efficiently and transparently:
1. After receiving and checking a purchase order, a corresponding data record is created in the ERP system, which DocuWare virtually prints and stores as an internal order document in an electronic file cabinet. DocuWare automatically indexes each document.
2. Using a workflow, the order is then forwarded to the Purchasing department, where employees use digital stamps to signify approval. The purchase orders are then automatically sent on to the appropriate vendors. These are also stored in the central document pool.
3. After receipt of goods, the order process moves to their Logistics department, where shipping documents are created and automatically added to the order by the system as a copy.
4. Finally, the corresponding invoices are checked and paid for by using the digitalized purchase order documents for comparison. The invoices are scanned in batches, assigned to each order thanks to unique numbers, and then automatically filed.
Today, the company processes approximately 2,500 sheets of paper every month. "Compared to how we had used the system in the past – solely for simple filing – this turned into a small revolution for our company," says Bert van Os proudly. A further advantage of the digital solution is that unauthorized document access is blocked and quality guidelines are now automatically adhered to. In the case of tax or internal audits, the company has also already benefited from the system‘s simple approach to handling documents and increased security.
DocuWare was gradually expanded into other areas, which now includes project engineers, human resource staff and management who all regularly work with the system.
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