Sedus Stolls process for purchasing production materials is complex, divided between several departments and locations. This decentralized process caused long delays in accessing information, resulting in innumerable copies of documentation being sent to different offices. The internal mailing service was overloaded by the delivery of so much paper and the last thing the employees in the Records department could complain about was underemployment. Over the years, more and more working copies and local subdirectories of information were created; soon anyone looking for information was forced to also rely on the memory of coworkers. Too often, this information was exchanged by phone, making the transmission of figures especially error-prone. In addition to numerous private subfolders, the purchasing information was also available on microfilm. The Sales and Accounting departments had access to two microfilm readers in order to retrieve order confirmations and invoices. With so many working copies of information, finding needed documents became more tedious and difficult. Because of this, in 1998 Sedus Stoll finally decided to implement a document management system to enable process-oriented, electronic filing and access from any location within the corporation.
When looking for a document management system, the most important solution requirement Sedus Stoll had was that the new system allow their employees to look up a document in multiple ways using different keywords. Additionally, they needed their ERP solution to be integrated with the DMS and they needed the ability to access documents directly from the SAP accounting software. The company uses a mainframe SR2000 as host system, running Siemens-Nixdorfs BS2000 operating system and has a network of 250 Windows PCs.
Sedus Stoll needs to file approximately 25,000 documents per month from Sales, Service, Purchasing and Engineering departments and once a year, 45,000 records from the Financial/Accounting department. All in all, this generates 350,000 documents per year consisting of order confirmations, delivery notes, invoices, accounting records, proofs of payment, credit notes and general correspondence. Even if these were only one-page documents, this volume of information equals 213 feet or 65 meters of paper filed shelves.