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It was just a casual remark that led to the implementation of a document management system (ECM) at the “Bodenmechanisches Labor Gumm.” This provides a revision-safe digital archive and ensures the automation of various business processes. The specialised technical service provider can now speed up internal procedures and enhance their transparency, increasing the company’s profitability.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we no longer had to file every scanned page by hand but could archive documents automatically, using barcode recognition, for example?” Considering this no more than a pipe dream, Meike Wohlfart, assistant to the management of the “Bodenmechanisches Labor Gumm,” mentioned her idea casually when Konica Minolta installed a new multifunctional system for combined printing, scanning, copying and faxing at the company’s headquarter in Laufersweiler near Frankfurt/Main.
Initially, the Gumm management team could hardly believe it when the Konica Minolta representative pointed out that this could easily be achieved; they immediately agreed to a follow-up consultation to hear a detailed proposition. Konica Minolta suggested installing a document management system (ECM) as the basis for a digital archive and automated business processes.
“Right from the start, we were enthusiastic and in favour of the project,” tells CEO Werner Volker Gumm. “The only precondition was that our processes, filing structure and system of project numbers should remain unchanged.” After all, the existing workflows had been tried, tested and approved over the years and are certified to the EN ISO 9001 quality standard.
With 50 employees in five locations, the “Bodenmechanisches Labor Gumm” is active in the areas of contaminated sites, foundation soil, road construction, earthworks and landfill construction, engineering geology and hydrogeology, as well as vibration measuring. All over Germany, the specialised service provider compiles appraisals and carries out specific measurements and analyses.
“Already in the past, we digitised the entire documentation for each project and archived everything on the file server in order to ensure easy access for the employees in all of our branches,” recalls Werner Volker Gumm. Among the project documents were for example many site protocols, which the employees filled in by hand while on location. Back in the office, the protocols had to be scanned and saved to the relevant files.
Since Konica Minolta has established a document management system (ECM) at the “Bodenmechanisches Labor Gumm,” the project coordinators allocate the site protocols to the projects and enter relevant data like project number and client details beforehand. For every protocol the ECM creates a barcode, which is included in the protocol form that the employee fills in on site.
Back in the office, the protocol is scanned and – thanks to the barcode – automatically saved to the correct project file within the ECM. Meike Wohlfart is pleased: “The new process saves time because the protocol head no longer needs to be filled in by hand, but mainly because the filing process has been completely automated. This also means that protocols are no longer inadvertently saved to the wrong file.”
Another important advantage is that the employees find it much easier to search for specific information, as Werner Volker Gumm reports: “If employees are for example searching an expertise with radon measuring, they no longer have to look through all of our projects but can simply enter ‘Radon’.”
The company owner is particularly pleased that the ECM also helps enhance the transparency throughout the company: “In addition to more efficient processes, we expect advantages from evaluations and analyses that for example enable us to easily obtain detailed information on the number of analyses carried out and their profitability.” The auditors also pointed out this entrepreneurial advantage, when they recently assessed the ECM while carrying out the recertification to ISO 9001. In addition to the new evaluation possibilities, they stressed the auditing acceptability in accordance with the law, which the new ECM reliably ensures.
Almost one year after the ECM implementation, CEO Werner Volker Gumm is entirely satisfied: “Everything that we wanted to achieve by now, we have achieved!” This, he explains, is largely due to the excellent cooperation with Konica Minolta and the fact that those in charge of the project answered questions speedily and solved challenges quickly. As a consequence, the management is already looking into new ECM applications targeting the in-depth development of more extensive workflows and the integration of time recording programs for project control.
Automatic archiving of scanned business documents
ECM, including automatically generating barcodes
Time savings as well as comprehensive possibilities for enhancement and extension