With DocuWare the accounting process has now been streamlined simply by using electronic stamps to mimic their old paper-based workflow process. A purchase order is created in QuickBooks and automatically filed in DocuWare using field recognition technology. Supporting documents are scanned and electronically stapled to the packet. Electronic stamps change the document status which automatically routes the packet through the workflow. “It was so easy to mirror our existing workflow process in DocuWare. The new electronic version of our workflow has created accountability from our employees. I can look up by whom and when a document was processed,” said Tani Michaud for ACD. “The fact that we didn’t need to learn a new process, but made our existing process work better, was something we were really excited about.” Today, job files are stored in DocuWare and easily accessible to the entire company while maintaining a secure and organized file structure. Even vital email messages, such as an approved change order can easily be stored with the file. Productivity and efficiency have dramatically increased now that information is so easily shared.
Job blueprints are also much easier to manage. Annotations and changes can be made to the TIFF file directly ensuring that the entire team is working from the most up-to-date information while eliminating the time and cost to annotate 12 copies by hand every time a change is made. DocuWare even allowed ACD to mirror their paper process of “red lining” a blueprint by allowing project managers and supervisor to review and make changes using a virtual red-pen. In addition, electronic stamps route the blueprint between project managers and supervisors until all changes have been approved. Better access to information has allowed employees on the shop floor to become part of the review process. Looking at the blueprints allows them to plan ahead for the shop schedule; but even more important, it allows them to make suggestions to the project mangers on better and more cost effective ways to construct a project. After a CAD drawing is complete, the information goes to the saw computer where the wood is cut automatically. With proactive reviews, re-cutting a job has been significantly reduced resulting in saved time and materials.
Additional time and cost savings were realized by moving meeting notes and agendas into DocuWare. The owners of ACD hold two to three meetings a day with different groups of employees. Instead of spending time and energy to create packets, which ended up in the recycle bin after the meeting, they now use a projector to display the agenda, job photos and type notes during the meeting. Afterwards, the information is stored in DocuWare and made readily available electronically.
With the down-turn in the economy and cabinet business, for about a year ACD was operating with about half of the number of employees compared to previous years, causing the owners to take over a good share of the administrative and paperwork tasks. Michaud, one of the owners, summed up the year saying, “I will once again sing the praises of DocuWare and its benefits during these difficult times. As employees left, never again did we have to go searching through offices wondering where they kept the files or projects that they were working on. As it became necessary for other individuals or groups to jump in and pick up the slack of tasks or projects that were falling through the cracks, ALL of our documents were at the fingertips of everyone at all times. No one, not even myself was able to use the excuse, ‘It’s not my fault, I didn’t know anything about that’, because someone else was always there to reply, ‘it’s in DocuWare’.”