• Document Management

Pregis

No matter what product needs protection, from delicate china to heavy industrial parts, Pregis Protective Packaging Europe (PPE) provides customers with world class protective packaging products and solutions to meet the most rigorous protective, mailing, cushioning, wrapping or void filling requirements. Its extensive product lines include many well known brands, one of the most instantly recognisable of which is Jiffy.

Manufacturers worldwide were one of the first to suffer from the effects of the global recession and Pregis PPE was no exception. Looking closely at costs and efficiency within the business, the Pregis PPE leadership team, supported by IT Director Gary Kempster, embarked on an ambitious project to centralise its financial service processes from its many Finance Units across Europe into one new financial shared service centre in Poland. Not only was this a sensitive project requiring delicate people management skills, it also needed to be done at speed so choice of technology partner was key.

“EASY SOFTWARE was known to us as a leading provider of robust workflow technologies,” recalls Gary. “We knew that the success of the project would be as much down to the supplier as the technology they delivered. After some in depth discussions, we decided to choose EASY for their speed, flexibility, attitude and ability to deliver and our instincts have proved to be correct.”

EASY SOFTWARE UK has been providing Document & Content Management solutions for over 17 years.

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Smoother workflows

Gary and the Pregis PPE team set to work with EASY to create a seamless accounts scanning, management and approval solution designed initially to handle invoices and travel expenses. At its core is a document repository that ensures tamper-proof controls on all document attachments and this will securely store around 24,000 invoices annually.

Whereas previously approving invoices or travel expenses had to wait for managers to be in the office, the new system is Web-based and includes a workflow that automates the routing of invoices enabling them to be authorised by approvers wherever they are.

Each entity scans documents locally and then uploads to the shared service centre in Poland where they are then routed by EASY ENTERPRISE ™ to the appropriate inbox for approval. Documents are now seamlessly captured electronically, stored and archived, fully searchable and routable via workflow.

Furthermore in keeping with EASY’s product philosophy the solution is completely scaleable and the architecture deployed will support all future scanning and capture growing to an estimated volume of 250,000 to 500,000 invoices a year.

The end in sight

Gary explains, “We are now around 90% through the project. Having started with the UK and progressed through our entities in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Czech Republic and Poland. As we have completed each local entity, we can see that the project objective to take costs out of the business, improve control and deliver more consistent, visible business processes are certainly being met. The next stage is to use reporting metrics to demonstrate to the business precisely how efficient the new service is.”

Implementing any new technology can be a business challenge but document management technologies even more so given how closely most workers cherish paper. “People were sceptical at first and treated it as ‘yet another thing to do’,” recalls Gary. “But most people have been pleasantly surprised and can see the benefits of working without paper. Finding information is easier and faster, approvals are simpler and traceable. The whole process is so much more visible. It really is second nature to work this way.”

The future’s bright

Now Pregis PPE can see many more potential uses for document management across its business and in particular workflow technology. Product change requests, procurement processes and HR are just some of the areas that have been identified for future business improvement projects using EASY.

“We are delighted with the progress of this project and the way in which it has been positively adopted by our users. EASY has been a great team to work with and has contributed very positively to the project both in attitude and commitment and meeting ambitious delivery timescales. We are now ready to take some of those skills in-house as we see more and more applications of EASY in the future. To that end we are putting some of our IT people through the EASY training academy so we become self sufficient in building and designing our document and workflow processes.”

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