Automobile Manufacturer Realizes Better Communication And Collaboration With Enterprise Content Management Solution
Before we implemented the solution a financial document would be received at the regional businesses, routed, sorted and classified and then sent for outsourced scanning and indexing on a daily basis. Once scanned the coded batch would be returned to our central accounts payable centre for import into the accounts payable system. The outsourced process meant that it could take up to five days for documents to reach our accounts payable system.
Nissan had a business imperative to cease a Business Process Outsourcing contract that included paper courier and scanning services. The impact of terminating the contract would apply to nine Regional Business Units (RBU‟s) scattered throughout Europe supporting a total of 28 businesses.
Nissan employs around 12,000 people in its European design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. Last year, the company produced a total of 506,602 vehicles in its Spanish and British plants. Nissan Europe‟s Head Office is based in Trappes (Paris), France.
Trappes (Paris), France
Aside from the scope of the challenge the timeliness of implementation was also critical because any variance would mean that the entire outsourcing contract may have needed a further extension with a significant financial impact. The implementation plan needed to be comprehensive in the sense that it had to cater for configuration, user training and system handovers to local teams within a delivery period of less than five weeks.
"Using Fujitsu scanners and KnowledgeLake throughout our European businesses we have decentralised our financial documents scanning and classification and now commence our accounts payable processing up to six days earlier."
-Maria Nagy, Financial Projects Nissan Europe Finance
The solution enables regional teams to scan information locally and is designed to deal with volumes of around 1000 multi- page financial documents per day.
Implementation of the solution and roll-out to the nine European Sites took less than five weeks which meant that contractual deadlines were met and that it was not necessary to extend outsourcing arrangements. The roll-out plan included onsite training and installation which was completed within as little as one day per location.
Multilingual operating instructions and training manuals were used to ensure that regional users were able and confident to use the solution. The implementation plan also made provision for business continuity by providing a Fujitsu scanner ‘hot-spare’ at each of the key sites.
The solution deployed included Fujitsu 6130 workgroup scanners for every business unit together with software to ensure the safe transmission of the documents to the accounts payable system. KnowledgeLake Capture and Branch Capture Server technologies were introduced to meet the requirements for quality scanning, secure and timely transmission. The Fujitsu workgroup scanners were selected based on their small footprint, ease of use and the scanning volumes expected. The ease of use aspect enabled fast training of finance and back office administration staff and received positive feedback.
By selecting Fujitsu scanners and using KnowledgeLake Document Imaging for SharePoint, VolkerRail ensured that a generic and scalable platform for document imaging is available to the whole group while at the same time leveraging their investment in Microsoft technologies.
"The implementation of the scanning system in our department has been quick and easy, we found staff required minimal amounts of training before being confident on using the software. Scanning has reduced the amount of time staff had previously spent copying filed invoices for commercial staff, the system means any member of staff can have access to electronic copies of documents anywhere in the country."
-Michelle Walters, Purchase Ledger Supervisor Nissan Europe Finance
"More recently the AP team has stopped filing invoices away, we are now solely storing our invoices electronically, and this again has saved the department valuable time. The scanning system has proved a valuable tool which has saved our busy department valuable man hours; I would recommend this software to any AP department without a scanning solution."
Michelle Walters, Purchase Ledger Supervisor Nissan Europe Finance
Finance managers are in control of the scanning process which means that they can fast track the urgent payment of an invoice to accounts payable team in India within a matter of minutes.
The solution allows for real time scanning instead of batched scanning which in turn allows regional teams to regulate the load on the accounts payable system at peak times.
KnowledgeLake’s inbuilt ability to pace the electronic transfer, to time the transfer or to throttle bandwidth down ensured that the solution topography had negligible impact on the Nissan Wide Area Network.
Fewer documents are sent for processing that are not readable or corrupt. This result was achieved by introducing a scanning quality check at the regional business unit level ensuring that scans are clear and readable.
The solution reduces the number of lost in transit invoices and suppliers have only one location to forward their documents to and a contact at the local RBU if they choose to raise queries.
Once scanned, a document is now searchable in the accounts payable system within one hour, displaying the common reference number between the accounts payable team and the finance team allowing for better communication and collaboration.
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