In the early days of digitalizing their processes, documents were generated and stored in multiple systems and locations. SEEPEX quickly recognized that a better, more efficient way of working was urgently needed. Roland Rottländer, Data Processing Manager at SEEPEX GmbH explained further, “We knew we needed to improve the way we manage our documents. We had no single place where we could reliably access documentation, as each application had its own document store. Duplicate versions of the same document were stored in different systems and colleagues shared documents via email. It was necessary to access multiple systems to get the full overview from the initial customer request to the work order for production and, finally, the shipping documents. We needed a better way of working that provides a single source for all documentation.”
SEEPEX had been using a combination of in-house developed software tools and various SAP modules, as well as OpenText Content Suite to store various documents for many years.
“We needed a solution that would allow us to store all documentation in one place, including email, which could be accessed from SAP, OHT, other applications and from the application itself,” added Rottländer, “We turned to OpenText partner Doctra GmbH, who proposed OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions. The decision to extend our use of OpenText was an easy one. This would provide exactly what we needed, a single, enterprise-wide document source to around 800 users. Content would be available regardless of the original document source, from anywhere, to help us meet our goals to deliver business growth, outstanding customer service and customer retention through faster processing speeds, agility, reduced costs and compliance.”
When planning the project to implement OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions, both the business and IT at SEEPEX worked closely with the Doctra team. Careful consideration was given to the documents used at all stages of the lifecycle and the impact on the various SAP modules. Modules in use include sales and distribution, production planning, warehouse management, material & inventory management, financial accounting and business objects/warehouse.
“To ensure success, we involved all stakeholders from the outset,” said Rottländer, “Their input was key in designing and implementing a solution that creates a single business object in OpenText to store every document and email for each customer enquiry, regardless of where that piece of content originated. As an enquiry proceeds to a proposal and then an order, every version of every document is captured and is instantly available to everyone, a great advantage to us.”
Users across business functions can now perform their daily activities with greater ease. They no longer have to call or email colleagues to gain access to the documents they need.
“The solution covers the complete lifecycle of our pumps,” stated Rottländer, “Even years later, when a customer contacts us for spare parts, we have very quick access to the component documentation and also drawings, which are stored as PDF files. This enables us to provide great customer service, minimizing any interruptions to their business.”
Integration with SAP and Microsoft Exchange are provided as productized solutions for OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions. The OpenText application programming interface (API) gives SEEPEX the flexibility to integrate with other applications. SEEPEX has now built up a body of knowledge of OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions that they can utilize in the future to integrate other applications.
“We are already looking at our purchasing department to bring their documentation into OpenText, associating documents with customer orders to provide even greater benefit,” said Rottländer.
For company locations outside of Germany, the OpenText solution provides additional benefits.
“OpenText also enables our overseas locations around the globe to always access the latest versions of relevant documents”, added Rottländer, “Which helps to further improve quality and avoid delays. Now they can access OpenText via a web browser and have immediate access to the right document. This ensures they are compliant with company policies, materials use, component variations and more. Users can also place alerts on documents important to them and receive notifications as soon as a new version is available.”
User feedback has been positive and the solution has become mission critical to SEEPEX. There is now one, and only one, central system that all personnel use and rely on.
“Whilst we have not undertaken any formal measurement of the cost savings, efficiency gains or increases to the speed of operations, we intrinsically know, that thanks to OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions, all of these have improved,” said Rottländer.
As SEEPEX looks to the future, any applications that have a document management element will automatically be considered for inclusion in the OpenText platform. In fact, as well as purchasing, other parts of the business are already asking that their requirements be considered.
“Users are coming forward with suggestions for improvements, as they take a more active interest in the future solution direction and how it can improve their work lives,” stated Rottländer, “We will also be implementing the latest innovations from OpenText, for example around personalization, to provide a more tailored user experience and greater use of mobile smart devices.”