Based in Bistritz, Romania, Comelf AG is one of the most important Romanian manufacturers of technical components, parts and machines for the environmental and construction sector. After the fall of the socialist system, the company was one of the founding members of the Bucharest Stock Exchange in 1995. Today, the company employs more than 800 people and sells its products worldwide.
Before the introduction of an electronic document management system (DMS), the company’s purchasing, sales and technical departments were responsible for managing the majority of their documents. Every week, thousands of documents were created, copied, processed and then stored locally. For time-critical processes, email was also used.
The flood of documents had a particularly disruptive effect on their work processes. For example, if a department needed a certain product earlier than planned, this request would unleash a series of not always clear processes in purchasing. In order to find out which components were purchased last year by which supplier and at what conditions, a buyer had to search through documents page by page, before digging through old email. This analysis is enormously important and budget-critical. But the process was simply too lengthy and a time-waster for employees. The subsequent approval process wasn‘t much simpler: signatures were not easy to obtain, especially if colleagues were working outside the office. Small details could derail the entire process.
Kaizen Manager, Process Improvements Comelf-FCT Coordinator, Bistritz (Romania)
Complete digitization ... right down to the stamp
The first step was to use DocuWare as a test run in the purchasing department. The pilot project was so successful that expectations were exceeded several-fold. For example, employees quickly began approaching the IT department with suggestions to get even more out of DocuWare. Today, Comelf has digitized its sales and technical processes as well as its procurement process. Currently, 15 employees work with DocuWare Cloud every day. During the purchasing process, departments send their requirements in electronic form via the central document pool. Using various search terms, a buyer then calls up past procurement processes on the screen and compares offers and conditions. Using an integrated full-text search, individual parts of a document can be found using component names, eliminating the need to manually scroll through documents. Even in a multi-stage approval process, managers can now digitally sign-off on segments of offers with the help of digital stamps – even when they are travelling.
Small changes, big impact
Thanks to DocuWare Cloud, processes at Comelf are now much more efficient than paper-based processes could have ever been. Central storage of all document types eliminates the need for multiple searches, which had been the case with parallel storage of paper and email. Overall, their process quality could be significantly improved. Approvals are faster, there is no more hunting through different departments, and the elimination of tedious search processes has clearly had a positive effect on employee motivation. Comelf is driving DocuWare forward in small but determined steps.
Continuously improving and cloud technology truly go hand-in-hand. Companies can make needed changes while keeping IT costs to a minimum. Small improvements can therefore have a huge effect - as is very often the case.