Bergelectric Corporation Employs Seamless Workflow with Konica Minolta’s Enterprise Content Management System
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As a leading electrical contracting company, Bergelectric (Berg), headquartered in Southern California, runs upwards of 700 individual projects at any given time, which leads to a complicated paper trail involving customers, regional offices, sub-contractors and vendors. Ultimately, this paper trail leads to the Accounts Payable department, which is responsible for processing between 12,000 and 15,000 invoices each month, as well as the manual management and input of all the data required to effectively issue accurate, on-time payments. The AP department was increasingly racking up excessive amounts of overtime to keep up with the workload and still was unable to meet their target service levels. Searching for documents meant rifling through endless rows of file cabinets and storage boxes and was extremely time consuming. In addition, Berg was physically running out of room to store all the required documentation and was beginning to incur the expense of off-site storage.
Berg’s senior management was growing increasingly frustrated by the mounting overtime expenses and lack of process control that was only leading to unsatisfactory results. The paper was dictating how the Accounts Payable process was running instead of the other way around.
Berg’s management formed a small committee comprised of senior business and IT personnel to identify a solution to the Accounts Payable dilemma. “From industry experience, I knew an Enterprise Content Management system would be the best solution to our business challenges,” stated Kyle Swafford, Director of Information Technology. “My concern was the cost and complexity of implementing a solution – too often I have seen overly complicated applications deployed that only further exacerbated problems while mounting huge expenses.”
After conducting a needs analysis internally, Swafford and his team began evaluating several top Enterprise Content Management (ECM) providers. His primary requirement was to ensure that the workflow capabilities were robust and scalable. Ultimately, Berg chose Hyland Software’s OnBase® system as the right solution.
Swafford stated, “OnBase was extremely feature-rich and exceeded our requirements while maintaining an extremely attractive and competitive price point. We were impressed with the product stability and secure, scalable and reliable architecture. In addition, their modular components were attractive because we could add additional features as needs and budget dictated in the future.”
Berg engaged Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), an ECM solution provider and Hyland partner, to implement and optimize the OnBase solution in Berg’s environment. As a first step, Berg’s management, accounting and IT teams worked with Konica Minolta’s senior ECM consultants to document the AP process and exceptions.
“The Berg team was quickly able to identify how up-front planning and documentation can drive the success of a project,” said Les Walker, Konica Minolta’s Vice President, ECM Practice. “They took the time to create sophisticated workflows, engaging different stakeholders from throughout the organization, which ultimately saved them time and money in the implementation phase.”
After the process documentation was complete, Konica Minolta’s ECM consultants implemented the OnBase Enterprise Content Management Solution which drastically changed the way documents flowed in the organization. All incoming invoices were scanned and imported to OnBase as they arrived and, leveraging the pre-established workflow process, immediately routed to the proper individual, complete with back-up documentation. What took days to do before could be accomplished in minutes. In addition, the system made it easy to balance workloads and get invoices assigned more quickly. Corporate and regional stakeholders had ready access to the files as required, so performing ad-hoc tasks to speed processing was simplified. And with the new system, all documentation was contained within a central repository, which made documents easily searchable from any office in the organization.
Swafford commented, “The OnBase system is extremely intuitive and user-friendly, which led to virtually no learning curve for our staff. We were able to see the benefits on the first day of deployment. And most importantly, we now have complete control over our process and how to manage our Accounts Payable. The benefits of our new ECM solution range from hard dollar cost savings to greater overall employee, customer and vendor satisfaction. We have been able to eliminate overtime hours and focus our staff on more productive tasks.”
In addition to reduced labor hours and greater productivity, Berg is realizing cost savings through reduced paper and office supplies, late payment fees and manual errors. Overall, the system has helped Berg reduce departmental costs by 40 percent and achieve ROI in less than one year.
Based on the success of the OnBase deployment within the Accounts Payable department, Berg expanded the deployment to other areas, integrating the Project Management, Human Resources and Accounts Receivable departments into the system.