MJB Wood was looking for a better way to process essential business documents such as payroll requests, payments to vendors, and legal documents. It deployed a KnowledgeLake ECM solution on top of Microsoft SharePoint to create an efficient, fast system for document management, which includes integration with a portal for sharing some documents outside the company’s network.
MJB Wood is a Texas-based company that supplies a wide range of wood products to the building products industry, including panels, plywood, moulding and millwork, and specialty products such as shelving, door cores, and drawer components.
The company began business in 1975 as a local wood-products supplier. In the intervening years, it has grown into a major distributor with 200 employees, 13 sales offices, a large manufacturing facility, and hundreds of partners. It serves customers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and South America.
A company with that kind of growth typically experiences growing pains, including the challenges involved in managing vital documents. For MJB, issues related to mountains of paper documents grew as the company expanded operations.
“The sheer volume of paper we dealt with was affecting essential business processes, such as accounts payable, payroll, and legal,” says Rama Sundaram, Director of Technology for MJB. “We had to find a better solution for dealing with essential documents. We wanted to streamline key processes, such as AP payments, eliminate the need to store boxes of paper, and provide electronic indexing and visibility to documents across the business.”
MJB wanted a solution that would integrate with Microsoft SharePoint, which the company had recently deployed. It decided to implement a KnowledgeLake enterprise content management (ECM) solution after discussing its options with the company’s technology solutions reseller.
“We initially considered using the Documentum solution, but decided that the cost and complexity was overkill for our needs,” says Sundaram. “Since we had already installed SharePoint, we felt strongly that KnowledgeLake would not only deliver the functionality we wanted, but would also integrate seamlessly with SharePoint to leverage existing technology.”
MJB installed KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which is used to attach metadata to documents during scanning as well as for document search and retrieval. The company also deployed KnowledgeLake Capture, which it uses with its scanning hardware for document scans. The company is currently using Canon scanning equipment, but is planning an upgrade to Fujitsu fi-7180 series scanner hardware.
Our initial KnowledgeLake deployment went smoothly and took about three months to roll out to several departments, including accounting, production, payroll, finance, and legal. MJB received assistance from KnowledgeLake to “train the trainer” so selected company staff members could get other employees up to speed quickly on the technology.
The KnowledgeLake ECM solution helped dramatically streamline business processes at MJB. Information can be accessed much more quickly, there is far less handling of paper, and the company can now more easily share selected documents with partners through a secure portal.
Easy and fast access to documents
The KnowledgeLake solution has helped MJB dramatically reduce the time it takes for employees to find information.
“In the past, an employee would spend valuable time hunting through boxes to find one document,” says Sundaram. “With the KnowledgeLake solution, we have one single place where documents are stored, and can search for and retrieve a specific document in just a few moments. It allows us to be much more productive and to easily access information to make business decisions.”
Reduced paper handling and more space for business activities
The new ECM solution has allowed MJB to cut down on the amount of time employees spend handling paper documents, and to reduce the time and overhead associated with storing paper in boxes. The reduction in paper files also has allowed the company to put more office real estate to use for business activities instead of file storage.
Easier sharing of information
MJB does business with dozens of external partners. In the past, sharing information with them or getting payments quickly to vendors was always complicated by paper forms.
“Now, with the KnowledgeLake products, we have digitized documents that can be easily and securely shared through other solutions, such as our accounts payable electronic payment system,for vendor payments. This streamlines business processes and frees up time for employees to do other tasks.”