Instead of having to call us and request the documents they need, our customers can instantly access the information themselves, which not only saves them time but also takes the burden off our customer service department.
For decades, Agility relied on a core management system running on a legacy IBM iSeries platform to support all freight forwarding operations. However, the legacy system lacked capabilities essential for today’s customers and markets, according to Deepak Sharma, global IT director, Business Solutions & Support, for Agility. For instance, customers had no means of viewing shipping documents online; instead, they had to wait for documents to be delivered by email or fax. “We had definite room for improvement,” Sharma said. “Visibility is a key requirement in the freight hauling industry and an important component for optimal customer service.”
It was clear that we needed to improve efficiencies, visibility and integration to shorten cycle times for global shipments, but we needed to meet those challenges without compromising the operational ability of the company.” As a global operation, Agility also needed an enterprise-wide system flexible to meet the unique requirements of operating regions.
Integrated information management
After a lengthy evaluation process, Agility chose Intelligent Capture and the Documentum enterprise content management platform to provide an integrated, centralized repository for capturing, sharing and managing documents. Within a few years, the shipping company added InfoArchive to preserve and speed access to stored files and Documentum xCP to customize interactions.
Although Agility relies increasingly on electronic modes of communication, the company still generates a significant amount of paper—with most of the documents printed from the freight hauling control system. When shipping personnel in the branch offices scan the paper documents into the system, Intelligent Capture automatically transforms them into PDFs, captures index data and associates the PDF documents with metadata for storage in Documentum to enable easy search and retrieval.
Documentum is tightly integrated with Agility’s core logistics system and financial applications, ensuring reports and key financial data are automatically stored in electronic format. The Documentum system is available to more than 20,000 Agility users, with up to 3,000 users accessing the system at any given moment. Every eight hours, the Documentum repository receives more than 10,000 new electronic documents through the ERP, customs application and others. In addition, up to 5,000 printed documents are scanned into the system by the branch offices. “Documentum is the backbone of what we do … it is used all the way by senior management right down to the operator working at the warehouse,” Sharma said, noting the interface is straightforward and easy to use.