Copies, double receipts, triple copies, more and more paper. Due to lack of space, the special machine manufacturer groninger searched for a solution for its archive and found it at the software house intex.
Special machines for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries are the core competence of Crailsheim-based groninger & co. gmbh. At the main plant in Crailsheim, more than 600 employees manufacture systems for the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on liquid filling of drugs. In the Bavarian town of Schnelldorf, 150 employees build plants for the cosmetics industry. Finally, there are about 40 employees at the service and assembly site in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, as well as representatives in over 35 countries. 850 employees generate an annual turnover of over 100 million euros. From 1980 to the present day, more than 1,200 processing plants have been produced worldwide for the processing of chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations. Today, the focus is on systems for the liquid filling of syringes and vials as well as upstream and downstream processes such as cleaning, sterilisation and filling. „The technical specifications of our customers have to be redesigned for each machine, so that in the end we almost exclusively produce unique items,“ explains Purchasing Manager Thomas Ilg.
DMS and ERP should fit together.
From offers to orders, construction drawings and invoices to correspondence, there shall be no right to claim any compensation for an enormous amount of written documents. Purchasing alone filled 600 to 1,000 folders a year. „We have been able to expand steadily over the last few years, which has led to space problems,“ recalls Ilg. Consequently, the management decided to digitize the archiving. In an invitation to tender for a suitable document management system (DMS), three providers were ultimately shortlisted. Finally, the decision was made to use the Easy archive and the iCenter for automated invoice processing of the company intex Informations-Systeme GmbH from Lauf near Nuremberg, a premium partner of Easy Software AG.
In addition to the fact that the contact persons were very competent, Ilg mentions another important point: „Very important for us was an optimal integration into our ERP system PSIpenta. We wanted an optimal coupling and communication. And there was intex leading.“ Particularly in the case of electronic invoice control, you can feel that the interfaces between the ERP system and the intex solution are very well coordinated and ensure trouble-free invoice control.
In trial runs, the interfaces to the ERP system and to the financial software Varial were tested to eliminate any teething troubles or to introduce small adjustments. „For example, we had to teach in the FCI formcraft invoice© document recognition software so that it could better allocate the individual values read,“ says Ilg.
Document recognition with FCI formcraft invoice©
The software now automatically reads in data such as supplier number and document date and assigns them to the corresponding order number. The entire archiving process was then tested by intentionally incorporating errors and thus ensuring the accuracy and correctness of the system. An additional module makes it possible to automatically archive the data that the purchasing department receives via Microsoft Ofﬁce – i.e. Word, Excel, Outlook – via a button. So there is no need to print out and scan anything, but everything is immediately digitally assigned and archived on the basis of defined key figures such as order number or plant ID.
Only half the time left.
The incoming invoices are briefly inspected manually and paper clips, staples and duplicate copies are removed. „Then everything goes intermittently into the scanner,“ Ilg explains: „I always make packages with 20, 30 receipts.“ If a document is scanned, ﬁ immediately carries out an automatic document check, the documents are scanned, recognized, assigned to orders and subjected to an invoice control. The system then automatically distributes them to the individual clerks. „We only need half the time to check the invoices,“ Ilg is sure.
Some of the products receive factory certificates confirming the material quality to the customer. Today this documentation is digitalized from the beginning and the documents are available for inspection in the shortest possible time without a long search or can be sent to the customer by e-mail. The system automatically archives purchase orders from the ERP system with the print order. Conversely, it automatically books every invoice released by the iCenter in PSIpenta.
Ilg is also satisfied with the cooperation with the IT partner: „We are always anxious to use our systems more efficiently and always provide competent support at intex“. Together with the specialists from Lauf, another process has just been optimized: In the past, the drawings provided to the supplier always had to be picked up from the design program, printed out and sent by fax. Today, ﬁ access takes place automatically; the drawings are sent by e-mail and simultaneously sent to the archive. „Whereas we used to spend one to one and a half hours working on it, today this time is zero. This is now only possible with software,“ said Ilg.
The Crailsheim purchasing department previously acted as a pilot with the intention of transferring electronic archiving and invoice processing to other departments at a later date. In the meantime, the Schnelldorf plant is already archiving electronically and the iCenter will be operational from autumn 2013. The initial skepticism of the employees, whose everyday work has changed completely due to paperless processing, has quickly diminished. „I don’t think anybody would give back the DMS and the iCenter today because they appreciate the advantages,“ says Ilg. In the administration wing of the head office, a complete floor could now be cleared and made productively available to the company, for example as Lagerﬂ space. The halving of the time required for invoice processing and the automation of several processes increase efﬁciency, minimize the error rate and thus demonstrate the success of the cooperation between groninger and intex, who also want to continue working together in the future.