Integrator Lands A $70,000 Workflow Installation For A Convenience Store Chain
By offering enterprise content management solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, this integrator expects 20% sales growth in 2007.
Pressures for increased productivity plague today's businesses. However, many of the available solutions focus on personal productivity and fail to address the needs of the entire organization. The good news is solutions that aid an entire organization's productivity do exist, and many companies need help finding and integrating them. Enter Risetime, Inc., a systems integrator growing its business by meeting the enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM) needs of Fortune 1000 companies.
In early October 2006, Captaris, a developer of software products that automate business processes and electronically manage documents, gave Chris Youngren, Risetime's VP of solutions, a sales lead for a 500-location convenience store (c-store) and gas station chain. Until meeting with Risetime, the company had relied on its own homegrown document management program for validating and processing its business information.
For instance, at each of the c-store locations every day, the store manager enters into the corporate accounting system a summary of cash register receipts, invoices paid, lottery sales, and gasoline sold. The manager then scans all of the supporting documentation using a document scanner and sends the resulting images to the corporate office via FTP (file transfer protocol). At headquarters, accounts payable (AP) staff verify that what was entered into the accounting system matches the document images. Each store uploads 8 to 10 document images per day, creating 4,000 to 5,000 total scanned images per day across all stores. "After learning this c-store's business, it was apparent the company needed a true enterprise document management system," says Youngren. In addition, the company was in a hurry to get a new document management system in place. Its homegrown document management program was experiencing performance problems (e.g. crashes and slow response time) due to the volume of scanned images coming in every day and the number of users accessing them. Risetime met with the c-store chain management to present a demonstration of Captaris products.
Deliver A Customized Workflow Solution
"Part of Risetime's philosophy is that we don't want project requirements to be 100% perfect before we start building something and put it in the user's hands for a beta test," says Youngren. "We want to create something in the first three weeks that meets 80% to 90% of the client's needs." During the beta testing, Risetime reviews the status with users every day, refining the process and making improvements. "We believe that's a more efficient way to reach our end goal," adds Youngren. In the case of this install, the beta testing with a select group of stores lasted two weeks.
Risetime's solution included Captaris Alchemy (a document management software package) and Captaris Workflow. As scanned images are sent to the FTP site at company headquarters, Workflow uses rules to automatically move the images into Captaris Alchemy where they are indexed, sorted, and made available for viewing in the AP verification process. Under the previous system, this process was performed manually. Due to the added efficiencies of the software, the client was able to reduce head count from seven to four in its internal AP department.
Risetime also added value with its professional consultation services. "The c-store chain came to us with a proposed improved process," says Youngren. "We were able to provide further refinements, which gave us instant credibility." One of Risetime's recommendations was simple, yet effective. When an AP user is working with the existing software, they often need to exit the software to match accounting information to the amount that's on the electronic image. Risetime recommended running dual monitors to the AP staff so the accounting information can be compared to the digital images side by side. In addition, Risetime recommended adjusting the sort order on the electronic images so they are displayed in the same order that they appear in the accounting system. Minimizing keystrokes was one of the benefits of the improved software system.
Youngren states the c-store chain and Risetime plan to continue to use Captaris Workflow and Alchemy to help automate more processes, such as invoice processing. "This is just the first part of a significant investment that will be made over the next 5 to 10 years," concludes Youngren.