Established in 1925, Camion Transport AG is now one of the three biggest transport companies in Switzerland with 1,000 employees. With branches in 13 important locations within the country, the company ensures that there is nationwide piece goods distribution and therefore keeps the flow of goods for its customers constantly on the move.
When managing orders of this size, more than 8,000 transport documents are generated every day across all locations, which means up to 14,000 A4 pages which have to be processed reliably and securely. For this reason, Camion has been using the inboxx hyparchiv archiving solution since 1996. The archive is connected to the company's SAP system via an interface so that the scanned delivery notes and other information can be transferred directly to the ERP system via SAP Archive Link. The documents which get into the system in this way are scanned decentrally in twelve different locations. In 2009, for example, more than two million documents were digitalized at all locations, and can be easily accessed at any time via the SAP Transport Management System as well as the archive. "The digital archive is almost a tradition as far as we are concerned," recalls Albert Peter, the IT manager at Camion Transport. "But archiving is just one side of the coin. During the management of the supplier invoices, problems occurred time and time again which resulted in delays or unnecessary additional work and also additional costs."
The challenge of supplier invoices
One hundred of the documents which occur daily at Camion are supplier invoices – with an average of 3 pages per invoice, that makes a total of three hundred pages. Invoices don't make up a particularly large proportion of Camion's total document management – but those 300 invoice pages are trickier to handle than many other documents. "Of course, invoices are particularly time-consuming to deal with
because they have to be processed promptly," Peter explains. "Ensuring that this takes place is difficult, because they have to be examined and countersigned by multiple people – sometimes even across sites."
The invoices are recorded centrally at headquarters, but often reach the company in different locations. "It used to be a real problem," Peter recalls. "Depending on where they were received, the invoices had to be distributed to the responsible people in the branches for vetting, and then handed over to head office for recording. If there was a mistake, which happens more often than you think, the bills were sent back and then sent to Wil again after correction. After each mailing, the documents landed in an inbox with certain processing deadlines. In the end they simply accumulated, the invoice was not paid on time, and payment deadlines were exceeded. Of course, this is not an ideal solution for a company as decentralized as ours."
Faster payments with professional workflow
After successfully using hyparchiv at Camion for more than ten years, the company decided to evaluate an additional workflow management suite in 2006. During the course of this changeover, the archiving solution was also put to the test again. After the decision to continue relying on the existing archive, particularly in order to save the costs of time-consuming data migration, the requirements for the workflow extension were clear: It had to provide excellent compatibility with the existing solution, and enable a practical expansion that could be continued without problems even if the existing IT systems were changed. System integrator PMC Informatik AG, which had supported Camion to its full satisfaction for more than ten years at that time, brought MR.KNOW – BPM (formerly BPM inspire) into play. As well as seamless integration of the existing IT landscape, the high degree of adaptability and flexibility of the suite was the decisive factor. "In order to ensure that the central archive integrated seamlessly with our SAP system, it was necessary for invoice documents not to be entered directly into the workflow, but firstly in SAP," Peter recalls. Only in the second step does SAP transfer the information to the workflow with our solution, where the document is then examined, approved and finally transferred back to SAP." The majority of other workflow management solutions were unable to implement this unusual procedure". MR.KNOW – BPM , on the other hand, could be easily adapted to these processes and, despite special requirements, was implemented and running in ten days. "We didn't even have any performance problems", says the delighted IT manager.
Cash discount rather than reminder
Thanks to the new solution, all documents are now scanned centrally, automatically stored in the central archive in Wil and linked to the previously recorded entry via Archive Link in SAP. Supplier invoices are then sent to the workflow with MR.KNOW – BPM and processed much faster thanks to the centrally incoming invoice. Thanks to the new web user interfaces, invoices can be accessed directly from the archive at any time and from anywhere, and processing is very convenient for the users. Postal routes can be avoided if mistakes occur, and the workflow notifies the employees involved by e-mail if intervention is required. "The new system is significantly faster and more efficient", says a delighted Peter. "In the past, invoices often used to be left lying around somewhere, during the holiday period, for example, and nobody kept track of them..." Unjustified reminders were also a problem that should not be underestimated in the past. In many cases, without a central archive and workflow, the employees in the invoicing department were unable to establish which reminders were justified, and which ones were based on mistakes. "This led to duplicate payments", Peter recalls. "Clearing these up and repaying the money back then costed even more time and money."
Camion is completely satisfied with the workflow: "PMC assured us that MR.KNOW – BPM is extremely user-friendly and clear, which has been confirmed: In our most recent survey, all users rated the process and user-friendliness of our workflow and archiving solution as very good. We IT professionals are also completely satisfied: MR.KNOW – BPM is fast, efficient and was also able to accommodate special requests without incurring large additional costs."