TDIndustries

Company Gains More Control Over Historical Records With Electronic-document Solution

TDIndustries, a building management and construction company, had hundreds of paper documents detailing past financial reports. To gain more control over these files, the company digitized them using products from KnowledgeLake, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and put them on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server-based intranet. The result is fast, efficient lookups and technology that can help streamline other business processes.

BUSINESS NEEDS

TDIndustries is an employee-owned company that provides facilities management and construction services. Headquartered in Dallas, TDIndustries has several branch offices in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. It has more than 1,600 “TDPartners” who work in a variety of specialized areas such as heating, ventilation, plumbing, refrigeration, electrical, and life safety systems. The company had revenues of about $324 million in fiscal 2008.

Founded in 1946, TDIndustries has generated hundreds of audited financial statements over the decades. The documents are vital to the business, particularly with the increase in regulatory and security concerns facing companies in the construction industry. However, the sheer volume of paper stored in boxes created its own issues. The company decided to seek a technology solution that could help reduce or eliminate the storage and access problems associated with the paper documents.

TDIndustries-Logo1-300x267-1

TDIndustries is a Dallas-based facilities management and construction company with offices in three states. It has more than 1,600 “TDPartners” who provide a variety of services.

www.tdindustries.com

United States

Building and construction

“The financial statements were taking up way too much space in our archive room,” says Marge Angers, Controller for TDIndustries. “It was time-consuming to find, copy, and then return particular documents when they had to be accessed by auditors or by our legal or credit departments.”

"With the KnowledgeLake technology, searching through old financial records — a process that could take hours in the past — is now done in a matter of seconds."

-Scott Castelberry, Senior Applications Developer, TDIndustries

SOLUTION

TDIndustries deployed Microsoft SharePoint and products from KnowledgeLake, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that provides document imaging, capture, and workflow solutions that integrate with SharePoint.

The company began scanning the archived financial statements using a Konica Minolta bizhub 600, a multifunction machine that includes a scanner, in September 2008. A single employee spent about one hour a day over the course of three weeks to scan approximately 300 audited financial statements dating back to 1946. TDIndustries used KnowledgeLake Capture for scanning and indexing the documents, and KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which enables rapid searches across SharePoint Server sites and libraries.

KnowledgeLake Capture supports various file formats during the scanning process, including TIFF, XPS, and Adobe portable document format (PDF). TDIndustries chose to scan its documents as PDF files, which are read using either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat client software. As they are scanned, the documents are indexed by type with meta-data tags that include Audited Balance Sheets, Audited Financial Statements, Audited Financial Statements with Supporting Documents, and year. The company‟s IT department uses security features that are part of SharePoint Server 2007 so that only employees with authorized permission can access the documents.

BENEFITS

Implementing a solution using the KnowledgeLake products and Microsoft SharePoint allowed TDIndustries to streamline the storage and management of its historical financial documents. The technology was easy to implement and requires minimal training for users. The indexing functions allow for fast searches, helping company employees save time doing their research. And the success of the solution has also led other company departments to consider using it for their business processes.

Easy to Implement and Support

The process of implementing the KnowledgeLake products in tandem with SharePoint was relatively quick for the TDIndustries IT department, and the intuitive interface of SharePoint Server makes it easy for users to find and retrieve documents.

“Implementation was very straight forward and the indexing process is very easy for our users,” says Scott Castelberry, Senior Applications Developer for TDIndustries. “We had a couple of meetings to determine what index data needed to be collected, and where a data lookup was required to help fill in some of the information. After the documents are scanned, they reside in a subsection of our corporate intranet. Once users are trained there is virtually no support required from the IT department. The KnowledgeLake solution has been a virtually ‘fire and forget’ system. We set up the content types in Office SharePoint Server, install the client software and the users are off and running.”

Solution Allows for Fast Searches

The KnowledgeLake solution allows TDIndustries employees to search for and open the financial documents quickly and easily. The KnowledgeLake Imaging query builder tool— provided as a link on the TDFinancials home page—enables searches by document type, year, or both. A user simply enters the year or type of document that they’re looking for. The search returns a list of appropriate documents in about one second. Clicking on the desired document title opens it in either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, where the user can search for the information that is needed. Because the documents are saved as searchable PDFs, users can also use the SharePoint full-text search feature when searching through the financial information.

“The KnowledgeLake solution has helped us virtually eliminate the old search process, which involved getting the key to the archive room, finding the box holding the document, and rummaging through the box until the file was found,” says Castelberry. “With the KnowledgeLake technology, searching through old financial records—a process that could take hours in the past—is now done in a matter of seconds.”

Technology Viable for Many Different Tasks

The success of the project and ease of use of the KnowledgeLake solution is leading several different departments within TDIndustries to look at how they might benefit from the technology.

“We are evaluating how we could use the data integration features of the KnowledgeLake products for looking up customer information on our Microsoft Dynamics SL business software,” says Castelberry. “And our legal department is really excited about the security features, which will make it safer to scan customer contracts for construction projects. Ultimately, we feel the KnowledgeLake technology will help our project managers, project accounting department, and other employees provide better service to our customers."

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