Through some process changes, we streamlined the processing from 62 steps to 8, and we also bought a document management system software called DocStar. Once we installed DocStar, we used a scanner to upload all incoming documents digitally. An office person would index them by adding keywords for finding the documents in the future. Keywords included attributes like part numbers, customer name, etc. As a result, everyone had every document on their desktop with searchable terms all the time. This lead to no more walking from office to office looking through piles of papers to find a blueprint that someone misplaced!
Document Management 101: The Importance of Document Management System Software
Let a system manage your documents for you
Not many people know about the power of document management system software and the benefits it can provide; so, let me tell you a story…
Years ago, when we were operating our own manufacturing company (then called Decorated Products), we attended a lean workshop and learned about the Kaizen strategy. A Kaizen is an intense analysis, usually conducted over a few weeks, of a specific department or process where you apply lean principles. At the time, we identified eight key procedures that we knew weren’t as efficient as they could be.
The first critical process was our office activity. We knew that it would sometimes take a week or longer for a new job to get processed. In an environment where we were trying to ship the whole order in 3-4 weeks total, it was unacceptable to waste 25% of the lead time merely processing the order.
In the Kaizen, we analyzed the whole process, and we discovered two incredible things. First, we found 62 steps to processing an order that took an average of 4.5 days to complete. Second, we learned that more than half of that time was spent searching for documents such as purchase orders, blueprints, faxed approvals, etc. As a result, we set forth working on a solution to resolve both problems.
Now, fast forward 25 years, and Epicor has bought DocStar and integrated it into Epicor ERP, which means no one needs to index the documents anymore manually! Plus, DocStar has some fantastic features, like Intelligent Data Capture which “reads” the document and automatically processes it (like processing an order) so people aren’t doing data entry any longer either.
Contact EpiCenter for Expert Document Management System Software
If you’re not aware of the power of document management system software and the integration of document management to ERP, or you have questions on how to implement Kaizen, DocStar, Epicor, etc., please feel free to contact us! We’re more than happy to share our knowledge with you. Our team of ERP experts has worked in numerous industries and is capable of executing a variety of ERP services to help you optimize and scale your processes.
written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President