Tech Update



Electronic Document Management for Stainless Supplier

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Brown Metals Co., Rancho Cucamonga, CA, boasts the largest inventory of thin-gauge stainless-steel coil on the West Coast. As the company has grown, keeping track of order-related paperwork became increasingly challenging, adversely impacting customer service.

When an order shipped, accompanying paperwork first went to the company’s accounting and quality assurance departments for review, then to the file room. When a customer called with an order-related question, staff had to leave their desks and visit each of these locations to search for the relevant document, while the customer waited on the phone.

Laserfiche, Long Beach, CA, with its document-management platforms, has helped Brown Metals eliminate this inefficient process. Now, staff scan order-related paperwork into the Laserfiche repository, and the system’s Quick Fields module reads a barcode printed on each document. Quick Fields then uses this information to automatically populate the document’s template fields with relevant data, retrieved from the company’s orders database.

As a result, customer-service staff can quickly locate a document using any piece of information they have, including customer name, invoice number, sales order number, purchase order number, part number or ship date—without leaving their desks.

“Our orders are easy to locate and retrieve, and important information can be relayed to customers more quickly,” says Justin Lasley, corporate information officer. “We’ve built our business on the ability to quickly respond to customer inquiries. Laserfiche helps us maintain that edge over our competitors.”

The Laserfiche document-management platforms, offering high-volume information capture, retrieval and distribution organization-wide, promise reductions in misfiling and document-retrieval time as well as costly photocopying and paper distribution. Advantages of its document-management capabilities, according to Laserfiche officials, include:

• Intelligent search that provides instant document retrieval;

• Reduced labor and clerical mistakes;

• Comprehensive security that protects digital archives from unauthorized access;

• Ability to emulate paper filing structures with customizable folders and index fields;

• Digital archiving that provides long-term document preservation; and

• Ability to manage entire document repositories from workstations.

Lasley plans to use Laserfiche in the future to manage accounts payable documents as well as Microsoft Word, Excel and Visio files associated with the company’s ISO 9001 registration.

“When we started implementing the document-management system, several users were skeptical about the value it would bring to our business,” Lasley explains. “After they started using the software, however, these users saw its value. Customer-service staff can quickly locate tracking numbers and other information for customers. Production personnel can easily retrieve order-processing instructions, which speeds order fulfillment and promotes greater accuracy. And, everyone spends less time worrying about lost documents.”

Laserfiche: 562/988-1688;


See also: Laserfiche

Related Enterprise Zones: Materials/Coatings, Software

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