HB already began with its Document Management System (DMS) project in 1999. Initially they used the DMS purely as an archiving solution. "Before setting up our digital document pool, we only worked with paper-based processes, so we encountered the typical disadvantages of paper," says Bert van Os, Operations Manager of the HB Munters Group. For example, the company simply ran out of storage space for all their documents. Plus, they increasingly lost track of documents. Some were simply never returned after being checked out of the archive by a colleague. "This was a main reason why we were scanning all our order documents including proposals, corresponding customer correspondence, and technical drawings in the old millennium," confirms Bert van Os. Digitizing the documents brought the organization some hoped-for relief: additional space for workstations was freed up and everyone had simultaneous access to important documents. It also saved valuable time when searching and forwarding documents. "Our employees were now able to display any document on their screens and forward it directly to customers or suppliers via email. This was of course a great thing, but had one drawback. We had to manually index hundreds of documents each month, to ensure we had the right search criteria in place to find them later. At that time, we didn’t yet know of all the possibilities that our DMS had to offer," explains van Os.
In 2009, their ERP system was expanded, which was the perfect time to review how they were using their document pool. "In a review workshop with our new DocuWare Partner, we suddenly realized what other functionalities were actually available with our document management solution, such as fully automatic indexing or workflows controlled with electronic stamps," the Operations Manager recalls. “During a visit to our implementation partner, we saw what a fully digital office can look like when using DocuWare. We were made aware that the broader use of a DMS would significantly improve our efficiency." Bert van Os did not hesitate for long and set up a meeting with all parties involved. "The feedback from as many people as possible was important to us. That is why we decided to start with the general order process," van Os explains.