VAR's Distributed Capture Solution Links 61 Truck Dealerships
Murphy-Hoffman Company (MHC) owns and operates a 10-state network of 39 Kenworth truck dealerships. Another 22 MHC locations lease and service all makes of trucks. Combined, these locations offer more than 40,000 customers a full range of truck sales and repair services. By 2007, the company's growth had resulted in mountains of paper records that were threatening MHC's ability to provide prompt, complete customer service.
MHC's locations generate about 10,000 pages in counter tickets (for parts purchases) and repair orders (which generally contain 10 to 20 documents) each day. In the case of dealerships, this paperwork was simply stored either on- or off-site. Leasing branches, in contrast, would retain only active documents (works-in-progress), eventually overnight mailing them to headquarters for final processing and filing. As paperwork increased, these methods of manual storage and retrieval had become both time-consuming and expensive. For example, a warranty manager in one branch location typically spends two hours each day searching for paper records. Likewise, a customer request to see a signature confirming a parts delivery or authorizing repair work could generate a cumbersome chain of events to have paperwork either mailed back or picked up at another location. It also wasn't uncommon for these documents to be rendered illegible by repair-shop grease and grime.
To solve its document access woes, MHC began to formulate a list of requirements for a digital solution. In March 2007, MHC selected solutions provider Cutting Edge Solutions (CES) for the project. An analysis of MHC's requirements revealed that the company needed a scan and capture solution that could be used in every branch, as well as an image repository that could be linked to the company's legacy AS400 mainframe for rapid storage and retrieval of document images. In addition, the solution needed to be scalable to allow for future growth, Web-enabled to operate in a distributed environment, and easy to use to meet the needs of nontechnical mechanics and counter staff.
CES created a distributed capture solution by integrating Datacap Taskmaster Web software with Fujitsu 5120 and 6140 scanners, Kofax VRS (VirtualReScan) software, and Hyland Software OnBase ECM (enterprise content management) software. The solution was implemented companywide between August and October of 2007. Now branch employees scan documents into the Datacap Taskmaster software, where they immediately become available to other MHC locations via secure Web access. Scott Courson, a business systems analyst responsible for document imaging at MHC, says, "Our people just double-click to get the information they need. They can answer customer questions immediately and, if necessary, e-mail a customer a document." Once scanned, dealerships simply discard the paper document. Leasing branches soon will do the same, as a leasing workflow application will soon be installed.
MHC estimates initial cost reductions of more than $442,000 annually from the solution, largely as a result of reduced document retrieval time, as well as storage-related time and space. In addition, imaging repair orders and counter tickets eliminates mailing, reducing postage costs and enabling faster billing. And more opportunity lies ahead for CES. The reseller is working with MHC on another project to extend automated data capture to MHC's hiring and accounts payable processes.