Customer focus, continuous improvement and innovation are just some of the core company values that have helped Swagelok Manchester to become a leading provider of fluid system solutions to customers in the North-West of England for 35 years.
Industry: Manufacturing (Mechanical Engineering, machine
parts / accessories)
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Departments: Accounting, Order Processing, Warehouse / ERP
Document Types: Bank statements, account records, offers, order
confirmations, inventory lists, incoming A/P invoices, product information, warehouse inventory records
Growing success also meant a huge growth in documents for all their paper-based administrative and logistical processes. Workflows were increasingly time and cost intensive. Managing their filing was hosting them 30 minutes per day, per employee. When the management team at Swagelok Manchester realised that the company had to put in weekend hours to tackle the out-of-control paper archive every quarter, it was time to take action. Inspired by the DocuWare system used by Swagelok’s sales and service centre in Munich, the Swagelok Manchester team began looking at ways to incrementally digitize their operations.
After seeing the benefits of the Munich operation, they decided to implement DocuWare in Manchester. To ensure a seamless transition from analog to digital document management, the local DocuWare Partner prepared a detailed analysis and documentation of various business processes as well as their existing IT infrastructure.
Led by Sue Brennan, Information System Manager for Swagelok Manchester, they created a four-step plan with their Authorized DocuWare Partner which called for successive, department-centric implementation. One of the goals was to make sure that during implementation there would be no interruption of their daily processes. They also wanted to ensure rapid acceptance among users. In addition, the system needed to be integrated with existing software applications like a SCALA ERP system, SIMPLE barcoding inventory management solution, and Crystal Reports reporting program.
- Analyze existing processes
- Develop successive implementation concept
- Integrate DMS in existing application landscape
- Define custom workflows
In April 2009, they began by implementing the DMS in
their Accounting department. Since manual workflows here
were already established, it offered an opportunity to
gather experience with DocuWare by basically mirroring
their paper-based processes in a digital manner. Once the
integrity of the digital processes were confirmed, in June
2009 they started the second and third project phases, this
time within Order Processing and Inventory Tracking.
The main task was to connect workflows created within
DocuWare with their SCALA ERP system along with
barcodes to use with their SIMPLE inventory tracking
system. Through the solution created by their DocuWare
Partner, data is now exchanged via electronic in/out boxes.
As index criteria, they are using order number, date,
customer number and an additionally generated document
Order processing is made up of four main
workflow steps: offer generation, order confirmation,
receipt of packing/shipping slip, and invoice generation.
Integrating their inventory tracking in a digital workflow has
been especially rewarding. With a yes/no stamp on each
packing slip they can check the availability of ordered
items in the warehouse with ease.
Only records for goods
which are actually delivered to customers are then
automatically transferred for invoicing. In 2014, the last
phase of this project, they further digitized their order
processing to include incoming A/P invoices.
- Active Import
- Content Folder
Swagelok Manchester are enjoying many benefits through
the use of their DMS, according to project manager Sue
Brennan. “Our productivity has increased significantly.
Alone in Order Processing, the six employees working
there were able to recapture 15 hours of work time per
week by eliminating the daily paper chase.” Paper was
also significantly reduced for invoicing: 70 percent of the
approximately 100 invoices generated per day are now
sent electronically by email. Also the majority of monthly
invoices going to 700 established customers are now
emailed. Only 270 of them receive their monthly statement
by mail. “Another positive is that with the help of Crystal
Reports, collections are largely automated with reminders
going out by email as well,” adds Sue Brennan.
- Reduced paper
- Higher productivity
- Central document pool
- Improved data security
- Access for employees working remotely
- Improved customer service through quicker