- Improved productivity of End Users, IT Support Group
- ISO certification maintained
- Improved responsiveness
- Reduced operating expenses
- Decreased dependance on a ‘paper trail’
- Predictable IT cost structure
Recognizing an issue with their current email infrastructure was going to require attention, the Automotive Supply Manufacturer had a rapidly pending decision to make:
(1) Force 100+ users to purge their individual email box (and foster this habit),
(2) Deploy an automated email archive system, or
(3) Investigate a more robust email platform. The final decision would put the Manufacturer on the fast track towards their collaboration vision and improved operational efficiencies.
“Like most companies, we fell in love with email to communicate with each other – everything was email, email, email” explains Michael Suski, IT Coordinator, “We were heavily reliant on email to communicate and collaborate within the organization, suppliers and customers. As we examined the situation deeper, we realized our use of email gave us a perceived sense of organization: we were comfortable with storing everything in paper, emails, public folders, and desktops – which in the end, caused the big issue we faced.”
The simplest approach to have everyone individually purge their email file was cost prohibitive. Convincing senior management to force the sales team (a disproportional amount of large files belonged to the sales team) to manually purge and archive their mail file rather than drive sales quickly killed this idea.
Finding a Solution
The search for resolution focused on several different solutions, including IBM Lotus Notes and Domino. Viewed as a more robust email platform than their existing one, Lotus Notes and Domino gained acceptance as the migration costs were comparable to maintaining the current state with some email archiving enhancements. “In the end, Lotus Notes and Domino had a cleaner cost structure over our current platform. We had a better idea what our costs would be now and in the future – we could accurately plan for it” adds Suski.
The Lotus Notes solution also supported something much broader: the Manufacturer’s collaboration vision. While products were available for their existing IT environment, too many different technologies had to be considered – creating potentially significant licensing costs, steep learning curves, and complex, time-consuming customizations & integrations. “One of the core benefits we saw in Lotus Notes was everything we needed to take collaboration beyond email was in one (1) integrated platform. We could see how the IT group could respond faster. We could see how easily we could leverage Domino for our future needs, either through internal development or 3rd party applications. It became very apparent a Lotus Domino foundation could produce significant cost savings and cost efficiencies in the broader context of our collaboration vision. Despite the short-term pain of a mail system migration and a new mail interface via Notes, the move would better position us for the future versus an in-place upgrade of Microsoft Exchange with no rollback option” continues Suski.
Addressing the Collaboration Challenges
With Lotus Notes in place, the Manufacturer quickly addressed managing documents, emails, and content relevant to business processes and people. To ease the challenges associated with ten (10) initial collaborative processes, DOCOVA ECM was selected for containing all the required elements at an attractive price-point: Web-based Interface for remote access, integrated workflow, alert features, meta-data capture, scanning capabilities, improved search & browse capabilities, integration with email and ease of use.
“One of DOCOVA’s core strengths is providing the common interface to our web applications. Each new application doesn’t have that ‘need to learn something new’ feel to it; rather we’re simply exposing new capabilities to something our users are already familiar with. This accelerated end-user adoption, reduced human error, and shortened end-user training. Also, DOCOVA is helping eliminate the need to send file attachments through our mail system, addressing the original concern. From my perspective, we reduced the amount of IT administration, support and development time needed for existing and future applications” adds Suski.
Results Quickly Realized
Since introducing DOCOVA for their VCR (Communication) process, users are becoming comfortable with not retaining paper to demonstrate activity. By getting rid of the paper, operational responsiveness is improving, while operating expenses are decreasing through less re-work and less paper output for filing and retrieval. “We’re reducing our dependence on asking someone for information. While we’re trying to quantify the impact of less distractions and interruptions placed on workers by their peers looking for a status update or other information, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our most interrupted workers will end up with 30 to 60 minutes a day returned to them,” adds Suski.
Through a centrally-managed approach, version controls, and other possible automations, DOCOVA is expected to help mitigate the risks and effort required for ISO maintenance recertification audits.
DOCOVA Delivers Peace of Mind
“How do you put a figure on the peace of mind that comes with knowing our people have access to the right version of a work instruction every time – ensuring we can pass our maintenance ISO audit? Losing our ISO certification is not an option for us. We lose that, we lose our strategic customers. Lose our strategic customers, we go out of business” states Daniel Omari, QA Manager.
In the end, DOCOVA is responsive to the Manufacturer’s needs.
“If I can make our peoples’ lives easier today, then we improve our ability to deliver and compete almost instantly. By delivering today, we move forward faster today, not 1 to 2 months from now. This puts us in front of the curve, producing more value for our stakeholders,” concludes Suski.