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Case Study: Construction / Building Management

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GFT Fassaden AG pays around 14 million Swiss francs a year to its suppliers for materials and services. Transparency and speed are therefore required to verify all these invoices. A workflow ensures reliability.

At GFT Fassaden AG, a supplier of innovative building exteriors in St. Gallen, Switzerland, invoice approvals used to be complex and time-consuming. It was often difficult for management to keep track of everything. Today, a modern cloud-based DMS ensures efficient and transparent workflows in their administration.

"Invoice approvals used to be a major problem for our administration," explains Iwan Thür, one of the two managing directors of GFT Fassaden AG. The company receives about a hundred a week, mostly by email. They would first print them out and present them, one at a time, to all responsible employees to verify and to management to approve, before they could ultimately be paid by the accounting department. The invoices represent significant sums of money – around 14 million Swiss francs a year after all – which all had to be paid on time. Since employees are often on the road working at a customer or from other decentralized locations, invoices sometimes remained on the desks for a longer period of time before management could check them and pass them on to the accounting department. They realized that they couldn’t keep track of it all – and that a better solution had to be found.

Iwan Thür was introduced to the DocuWare Document Management System (DMS) at an information event. The solution’s coherent workflow concept and smooth integration into their existing ERP system (MyFactory) were ultimately decisive factors in choosing this software. "The Authorized DocuWare Partner did a really good job," summarizes Iwan Thür. Since the company obtains its entire IT and ERP system in the Cloud, it was only logical to choose a Cloud-based solution for the DMS as well, according to Thür. The favorable price/performance ratio was another winning argument for this mid-sized company with 27 employees.

Construction / Building Management
Sales |Customer Support |Administration |Accounting |Project Management
MyFactory (ERP)

With DocuWare, it’s both easy and efficient to work in a decentralized way. Thanks to our workflow for verifying and approving incoming invoices, we can ensure that we pay invoices on time, even in times of crisis like a Corona pandemic.

Iwan Thür
Managing Director, GFT Fassaden AG, St. Gallen (Switzerland)

DocuWare has been in use at GFT Fassaden AG since the beginning of 2020. According to Managing Director Thür, implementation went quickly. The invoice verification workflow proved to be especially useful right from the start. For this, all incoming invoices are archived in a central document pool – this includes the 95 percent that are already coming electronically, while the rest are scanned, indexed and stored. The responsible employees check over the invoice and then, depending on the amount, it is either forwarded to their superior or immediately to the managing director, who finally approves it. Even during the Corona crisis, employees were able to issue their approvals from their home offices. Invoices were still able to be paid on time.

With another workflow, credit notes and payments to customers are first checked and approved by the accounting staff and then by the management before the payments are sent. The HR department is also involved in the DocuWare deployment. Here, a workflow ensures that expenses are quickly settled. The management of their vehicle fleet was most recently set up using the DMS. "Now I have a precise overview of what happens to individual vehicles and when I need to invest in new ones," says Thür. The fact that these work processes are now uniformly handled and that it’s clear who is responsible for what and when – the company now enjoys many advantages, emphasizes Managing Director Thür: "We work much faster and more efficiently when we have to search for documents or issue approvals." If employee do not complete their tasks on time, the company can now quickly react. No matter where everyone is working, there are rarely delays – thanks to the DocuWare App, employees can access documents from anywhere, even when they are on the road.

Iwan Thür particularly appreciates the fact that the DMS offers so many possibilities and can be flexibly adapted to individual needs: "Now that we know the system, we are keen to automate many more processes.” This includes their central ordering system. In the future, a workflow from price inquiry to order should prevent the production of faulty orders, which will be another win for their bottom line.

Before we introduced our DMS, we experienced some resistance from employees to make a change, mostly because they were busy tackling orders and had a full workload. But the benefits of the system quickly convinced them. Today, everyone thanks me for making the move.

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