• Document Management

Johnson’s Cleaners UK Ltd

Johnson Cleaners UK Ltd (JCUK) was formed in 1995 by Johnson Group, the largest dry cleaning organisation in the UK. The household name dry cleaning business also operates a central processing unit in Rugby which supports the traditional dry cleaning services available in its branches with specialist services around equipment and cleaning solvents.

An instantly recognisable high street name, JCUK also owns another well known and respected dry cleaning brand, namely Jeeves of Belgravia. With more than 500 properties around the UK and many field-based operatives and managers, JCUK became aware of the benefits that electronic document management (EDM) could bring to its business back in 2007.

Paper dominated and therefore slowed down many transactions within the business and with a growing base of field-based employees the problem became exacerbated as documents that needed authorising were copied and physically posted, further compounding the paper problem.

The process of capturing, storing and approving purchase ledger invoices was one of the worst offenders in this regard. The benefits of using an EDMS to automate this process were obvious and so it was that JCUK kick-started its search for a document management company to assist its finance function to reduce paper, and automate its purchase ledger invoice approval process.

JCUK’s IT Manager, Gary Marshall was charged with selecting a document management system that could meet this initial finance application and also address the wider document management needs of the business. EASY SOFTWARE had already established a good reputation with some departmental implementations within the Johnson Cleaners group making it an easy and popular decision to select EASY to tackle these more strategic implementations. Also, with the reassurance that EASY SOFTWARE UK has been providing Document Management solutions for over 17 years.

Peter Cawley, Financial Accountant at JCUK reflects, “Our motivation was to reduce paper and assist the finance function in its month end routine. So we began with document scanning, which we backdated to Jan 2006 and then we took on the challenge of how to introduce workflow to move forward on our ambition to deliver electronic invoice authorisation.”

Replacing paper based processes with automated electronic processes is a tricky business that demands careful consideration and understanding of the process, the people and their roles and responsibilities. Peter and his team knew that the successful take-up of the system relied on involving key stakeholders throughout the definition and design phase and establishing internal champions to smooth its acceptance. “We involved purchase ledger people, head office employees, internal audit, budget holders etc. So many people have a stake in the system it was critical to involve them to really understand how best to make it work and looking back I know that decision helped to underpin the project’s success. 60+ budget holders, 7,500 invoices processed a month – we knew the potential savings and efficiencies could be huge.”

EASY’s document and workflow solution was applied to scan documents, archive imaged copies, send invoices through to workflow where if approved they needed go no further, but if authorisation was needed, the workflow routed the document through to the appropriate budget holder for approval.

Control and visibility are now much improved as is the management of queries as Peter explains, “All invoices can now be seen in seconds without anyone leaving their desk. Wherever they are in the approval process, on hold, awaiting approval, in query etc – all are immediately visible so we can communicate better and handle queries much faster. Previously accounts staff would take a message, ring the budget holder, possibly several times and then relay the message back to the original caller. Hours reduced to seconds.”

This invoice authorisation process once tried and tested and successful was also implemented at Jeeves of Belgravia where the workflow system has been replicated.

Budget holders benefit too. Wherever they are they can simply login, open the invoice and approve it. No need for copies sent in the post that then need to be resealed and returned to head office. Once again a process that took days now reduced to minutes and less and less paper is consumed, copied and
stored.

  • Document Management

Success breeds success

The success of automating purchase ledger invoices with EDM soon paved the way for a number of other JCUK departments to come forward and request document and process automation.
The engineering department juggles thousands of documents like gas safety certificates and machine testing reports which need to be available on request and stored indefinitely. Health & Safety regulations demand that the documents must be available for inspection if needed, yet with 500 properties around the UK and field based engineers producing around 1500 documents a week, the task to collect, file and store these documents was increasingly difficult let alone the time consuming and unrewarding job of retrieving and refiling them. EASY’s document management technology was implemented to scan, store, index and retrieve this massive document collection. Documents are now electronic, archived and instantly retrievable – once again dramatically reducing physical document storage requirements, minimising loss due to fire and flood and increasing efficiency within the department.

One for all and all for one

Replacing paper based processes with automated electronic processes is a tricky business that demands careful consideration and understanding of the process, the people and their roles and responsibilities. Peter and his team knew that the successful take-up of the system relied on involving key stakeholders throughout the definition and design phase and establishing internal champions to smooth its acceptance. “We involved purchase ledger people, head office employees, internal audit, budget holders etc. So many people have a stake in the system it was critical to involve them to really understand how best to make it work and looking back I know that decision helped to underpin the project’s success. 60+ budget holders, 7,500 invoices processed a month – we knew the potential savings and efficiencies could be huge.”

EASY’s document and workflow solution was applied to scan documents, archive imaged copies, send invoices through to workflow where if approved they needed go no further, but if authorisation was needed, the workflow routed the document through to the appropriate budget holder for approval.

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