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Case Study: Manufacturing

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Even before the dawn of the new millennium, the HB Munters Group started to digitize all of their order documents. By expanding to fully automated document workflows, the company was able to boost overall efficiency of their internal business processes.

Internationally operating HB Munters Group creates systems for temperature, humidity and climate control. The focus is on custom solutions – from the design of large scale air conditioning systems to state-of-the-art dehumidification systems to systems with operating ranges below minus 70 degrees Celsius. The company has been using DocuWare since 1999 and has since expanded the solution – taking it from a pure archive solution to a fully integrated document management system.

After running out of storage space for their paper documents and having more and more trouble finding individual documents, the company began to digitize all of their order documents over twenty years ago. This initially brought some hoped-for relief: office space was freed up and employees had access to important documents, which in turn saved loads of time previously lost to searching and forwarding documents. Unfortunately, hundreds of documents had to be manually indexed every month to help find them later using these search terms – mostly because HB Munters was not fully aware of the full capabilities of the solution at the time. In 2009, they decided to enhance their ERP system and revisit how they were using their document pool and DMS. During a review workshop with a new DocuWare Partner, the company’s IT managers learned more about the complete functionality of what they had assumed was purely an archiving solution. This included tools to fully automate their indexing and workflows driven by digital stamps. During a tour of their Partner's facilities, they were amazed at the possibilities of a fully digitalized office. It didn’t take long and they began maximizing their own solution.


The move from a simple archiving solution to a fully integrated and workflow-based document management system was an immense improvement for our organization. With full DMS functionality, we were able to significantly improve throughput times and customer service quality across our group of companies.

Bert van Os
Operations Manager, HB Munters Group, Almelo (The Netherlands)

Integrated and Workflow-based DMS

The change began in general order processing, which includes several release steps and a variety of documents. Today, these are controlled completely digitally. After an order is received and checked, a corresponding data record is created in the ERP system, which the system virtually prints and places into the electronic file cabinet as an internal order document. DocuWare then takes over the fully automatic indexing of the documents. Orders are then forwarded via workflow to the Purchasing department, where employees release documents with digital stamps and initiate the purchase orders. These are also stored in the central document pool. After receipt of the goods is logged, the order is forwarded to the Logistics department. The system automatically adds shipping documents to the corresponding purchase order. Finally, the Accounting department checks all related incoming A/P invoices against the digitally available order documents and initiates payment. In a second step, incoming invoices are scanned in batches and assigned to all orders already digitally archived using unique numbers. In this way, about 2,500 sheets of paper are processed – fully automatically! – every month.

Quick and Transparent

Related documents (like purchase orders, invoices and shipping documents) are now available to employees at the touch of a button. Customer inquiries are answered immediately – improving customer service quality and saving the company loads of time. Approval processes are also much faster: Documents are no longer lost on their way through departments, but are available to all employees involved...immediately. Transparency has also been greatly improved. Since only authorized users can set digital stamps, illegal approvals are prevented and quality guidelines are automatically adhered to. The company has already benefited from this on several occasions during tax audits and internal company audits.

In the past, if I was out of the office for a while and a customer‘s order was on my desk, the entire order process was delayed. Thanks to DocuWare, we can access and share documents from anywhere - even via smartphone - and complete a process in minutes.

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