By digitizing business processes, Kremers wanted to drastically reduce the amount of paper that had been accumulating as well as the amount of time and effort needed to handle all of it. They also wanted to continue to develop the system, looking to significantly improve the quality of their service program in regards to both dealers and suppliers. "Our goal wasn’t only to speed up processes but also make it simple to electronically retrieve invoice documentation, so that we could ultimately improve the way we respond to customer and supplier inquiries", as summarized by Teun Kremers.
Their solution concept included creating a special dealer internet portal which would be used to distribute outgoing invoices. Outfitted with dedicated access rights, this portal gives every dealer the ability to access any invoices addressed to them, electronically and around the clock, and then print them locally. In creating the portal, the company considered both technological and legal aspects. According to Teun Kremers, “Legal guidelines in the Netherlands require that electronic records are retained for ten years. If a business relationship between DAF Trucks and a dealer is ended, we are legally required to provide all stored invoices in an electronic form – for example, on a CD.“
With the help of electronic workflows, they planned to optimize the processing of AP invoices. All paper-based invoice documents were to be digitized using a Fujitsu fi-6770 document scanner and archived centrally. Then an electronic workflow was created for checking and approving invoices for payment. Across Europe (and sometimes outside Europe) up to 700 DAF employees are involved in the invoice authorization process.
Their existing IT infrastructure posed a challenge for implementing their DMS: they have an IBM mainframe system, running a proprietary ERP system. "We knew that we’d need to make a number of software adaptations. Fortunately, DAF has a qualified team of IT specialists,” says Teun Kremers.