European non-ferrous metal trading company, ALUMAX wanted to cut down on paperwork that they received from multiple sources, in multiple document formats. The Business-Critical Solution, GScan Online implemented by GRADIENT not only helped them reduce paperwork through automated document capturing and image processing within Office 365, but also improve company-wide productivity though business-process automation.
Metal trading company, ALUMAX Inc. (ALUMAX) specializes in the import, export, and re-export of semi-finished non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, brass, copper, and bronze. They work directly with top metal producers and deliver semi-finished metal products for warehouses, stockholders, end-users, or other trading companies throughout Europe.
|Thanks to GScan Online, our productivity shot up an astounding 68%. It's easy and effortless to work with, and our documents are in a constant motion, safely and securely.|
| Renata Gracova|
Member of the Board of Directors
Similarly to most companies, ALUMAX was using several stand-alone Line-of-Business (LOB) systems and IT applications to run its business. With a specific LOB system serving a specific department, it was difficult to keep business processes organized, easily access data from the LOB systems, and keep information secure and safe. For example, purchase orders would come in via many different resources, such as emails, hardcopies, faxes, and more, without any standard way of processing them and keeping client filings organized that could be accessed anywhere, at anytime.
Also another example noted, when the travelling sales team needed access to the latest manufacturing data for the next client meeting, they had to call or email the manufacturing department and request hardcopies of reports, as they did not have access to the manufacturing system.
According to Renata Gracova, a member of the Board of Directors at ALUMAX, “We had an abundant amount of purchase orders that were received in multiple document formats, from multiple sources, such as emails and faxes, with no systemized way to make the process easy to order, file, fight the inefficiencies in multiple loose versions of client orders, and all the overall chaotic workflow that took place, leaving matters disorganized.”
ALUMAX started looking for a solution to digitalize its business, as previous attempts did not provide the flexibility they needed. Their requirements included the followings:
Automated document capturing with no need for manual retyping
Solution availability from any location with the capability to search and retrieve all business case documents
Supporting business operations
Managing Microsoft Office documents
Creating a common workspace for employees
User-friendly interface and scalability options
Elimination of paper communication
Minimizing company expenses
Increasing employee productivity to allow employees to focus on fulfilling business goals
As Gracova summarizes it, “Ultimately, we'd like to eliminate paper communication, be able to process order forms once without manually retyping information and having it somewhere securely stored, but easily accessed to all of us.” Solution
ALUMAX selected GRADIENT, a local Microsoft Gold partner to help achieve their business goals. GRADIENT implemented a Business-Critical SharePoint solution, called GScan Online which connects SharePoint 2013 with their LOB system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV to improve cross-company productivity. It provides document capturing with effortless image processing, automated metadata recognition, and an easy-to-use click-to-index OCR (Optical Character Recognition) with only a single click. All the functionalities are available to the user directly through Office 365 from a single window. With just a simple plug n' play feature into SharePoint as an App, setup is quick and hassle-free.
With clients and employees travelling and working from different locations, SharePoint Online and Office 365 with GScan Online were the logical solutions to achieve ALUMAX’ goals. Office 365 provides user-friendly capabilities in SharePoint Online to process documents from various devices or other resources. The most typical resource is a hardcopy document, which can be digitalized and shared with other users, without having to retype it. Now, all information is searchable and retrievable from any location, so the travelling sales person has the most up-to-date manufacturing data at his fingertips on his mobile device for his client meeting. Also, any new documents/contracts undergo the same process to eliminate paperwork, allow for proper client filing and search capabilities.
More specifically, the solution can provide the following options:
Processing documents from any source, including emails, file folders, and Cloud storages e.g. SkyDrive, Dropbox though any devices, including mobile phones and tablets
Supporting Document Capture with production scanners, multifunctional printers, and mobile devices
Advanced algorithms for digitalized image processing such as automated color functions or auto-rotation
Editing documents taken as a photograph with any mobile device
Automated recognition and extraction of information into SharePoint metadata fields, through GScan Online's premium functionality, click-to-index OCR
Profile configurations within SharePoint Online as well as content structures for various types of documents for metadata entering
A clean HTML5 solution with no installation needed.
The Business-Critical SharePoint solution offered the first step toward improved cross-departmental teamwork, information-sharing, and productivity at ALUMAX, including:
Reduction of data entry and manual errors
Empowering workers to access data via self-service from other departments’ LOB systems
Enabling remote and mobile workers with up-to-date information
Improving company-wide efficiency via business-process automation
”Thanks to GScan Online, our productivity shot up an astounding 68%. It's easy and effortless to work with, and our documents are in a constant motion, safely and securely," says Gracova. She continues, “We immediately saw the potential for efficiency gains with a system that would automate our processes and eliminate errors and redundant workloads, not to mention, it's easy accessed, has a great interface, and really gets the job done. "
Business-Critical SharePoint (BCSP) is a Microsoft partner program that includes top solution and service providers who focus on LOB integration with SharePoint. © 2014 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Dynamics are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.