Stationery Supplier automates processing of shipping dockets

The Business Challenge

A Stationery Supplies company was having a problem managing the storage of over 300 shipping dockets per day. The dockets were being stored in hardcopy format, but they needed to be available on line to help with customer service enquiries.

The shipping dockets were individually bar-coded. The barcode was an EAN13 barcode that contained the Sales Order number embedded within the Shipping Docket number.

The client wanted to implement a scanning solution without having to implement a commercial EDMS (Electronic Document management System). The clients’s IT team designed their own simple Archive and Retrieval system based on existing Microsoft and Adobe product functionality.

In order to get this project off the ground the client needed a batch scanning application that could scan 300 shipping dockets, index each one based on the barcoded Sales Order number, and then combine them into 1 combined shipping docket file stored in PDF format. In any one year only 264 daily shipping docket files would get created, and usually only the last 3 months (66 files) would need to be searched in most cases.

These shipping docket files could then be searched for using a standard Microsoft Find command (enabled for PDF searching using the Adobe Ifilter.exe plug in). They would be able to easily find a shipping docket within a daily file based on it’s sales order number, and jump straight to that docket within that file.

What a simple yet functional solution! The only problem was that the client could not find a batch scanning solution that could create the daily shipping docket files in the format needed by their Archive and Retrieval system.

The EzeScan Solution

The client found Outback Imaging during a web-based search for scanning solutions. They were excited to discover that our BCR module supported EAN13 barcode scanning, but unfortunately it was not able to recombine 300 individual shipping docket output PDF files into 1 searchable PDF.

After discussing the scope of the project Outback Imaging decided to modify it’s BCR solution to provide all of the functionality required by the client. The good news was that the core code changes required to support this new design were already in use elsewhere in other EzeScan modules.

Within 4 weeks Outback Imaging delivered the new BCR solution to the client for testing. The client was very happy with the new solution. They purchased an initial 1-seat configuration based on EzeScan PRO (batch scanning), EzeScan OCR (text searchable PDF) and EzeScan BCR (barcode processing) modules.

The client has plans to rollout the EzeScan solution to each of its State and Regional offices.

The Value

Once the shipping dockets have been scanned there are numerous benefits to the client.

The servicing of shipping docket telephone enquiries is vastly improved as the Customer Service Reps can now deal with an enquiry in real time since the shipping docket paperwork is now online. There is no need to locate the physical hardcopy of the shipping docket.

Finding any shipping docket is simply a matter of using the Sales Order number to locate that individual docket within any of the daily shipping docket archive PDF files. This is achieved using standard Microsoft Find functionality. Viewing of the dockets is performed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. These applications (Microsoft Find and Adobe Acrobat Reader) are commonly used by most PC users, so there was little retraining required to use the new system.

Over the next 10 years the client will have only created 2640 daily archive files. They can be simply archived based on a \YYYY\MM subdirectory structure.

With the simple design of the Archive and Retrieval solution the client was able to save itself the cost of purchasing a commercial EDMS solution.

Expensive office floor space and storage has been reclaimed. Once shipping dockets have been scanned the physical hardcopy dockets can be sent off site for cheaper long term storage.

For this client the EzeScan Solution provides tangible benefits with regards to cost savings and productivity increases.