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Toshiba and DocuWare: Implementing Best Practices for Their Clients and Themselves

28 Apr, 2016

Toshiba Business Solutions implemented DocuWare to manage sales orders from origination through payment. By staying true to their “Best Practices” focus, the company developed a seamless workflow that improved cash flow by $4 million a month and saved $1.25 million annually by streamlining the management and access of information while gaining the ability to develop real time business metrics.

Toshiba Business Solutions is a network of wholly owned office equipment dealers throughout the United States who provide their clients with software solutions to help capture, manage, deliver and secure documents. They also offer printing systems such as MFPs, barcode printers and fax machines. Toshiba Business Solutions is a division of Toshiba America Business Solutions or TABS, one of seven divisions of the Toshiba Company.


As a company focused on developing Best Practices, Toshiba Business Solutions evaluated its sales order

processes, from order inception to payment, and decided to implement a document management solution. The new solution needed to streamline workflow, simplify information access by multiple departments and speed up the time it takes to process an order. It also needed to integrate with their Oracle ERP system and Salesforce CRM system. The company also wanted to create a full audit trail and standardize procedures between different  locations.

The Tasks

·       Streamline workflow

·       Simplify information access

·       Speed order processing  time & improve Days Sales Outstanding



As an Authorized DocuWare Partner, Toshiba was very familiar with DocuWare and its capabilities; they knew it was robust enough to meet all of their needs. Initially, DocuWare was rolled-out to just the Texas offices, but it was so successful it was subsequently expanded to every Toshiba Business Solutions office in the United States.

Each time a sales order is created by a sales Account Executive a coversheet or passport is created using an Excel template then saved to a watched folder along with the sales order. The information on the passport is used to automatically index and route the document through an established workflow, allowing many departments to access different parts of an order simultaneously. The passport provides a place for notes and electronic stamps. It records a document’s “travel history” and becomes part of the audit trail. In order to eliminate double data entry and improve record quality, DocuWare is integrated with several other key business applications.

When a sales order is created in Toshiba’s Oracle ERP system, each sales order is assigned a sales packet number. Whenever a supporting document is stored in DocuWare, its unique document ID is changed to the sales packet number creating an index term that can be used as a “match code” between the ERP suite and DocuWare, allowing the company to pull information back and forth between both systems, keeping them running in tandem. Other documents such as shipping tickets and invoices that are created in the Oracle ERP system are also automatically indexed and stored in DocuWare.

“Integrating Oracle and DocuWare saves on keying information and we are able to move data both directions between databases which ensures the quality and accuracy of both key business information systems,” said Scott Robinson, Director of Operations and Acquisitions-East for Toshiba America Business Solutions.  Toshiba has also integrated DocuWare with its CRM application, SalesForce.com. When a Sales Rep logs into SalesForce.com, they can click on an imbedded DocuWare link and gain access to only their sales orders in DocuWare.

With over 650 Reps in the field and constantly changing territories, keeping up with access rights updates was challenging. By giving reps access to DocuWare through Salesforce.com, Toshiba Business Solutions has been able to manage the access rights of two systems within just one, providing document security and easing the burden on the IT staff.

“With best practices in mind, we often hear from the field, wouldn’t it be nice if… and we work hard to make those statements come true. Managing DocuWare access rights through Salesforce.com evolved out of a wish to access all information relative to a customer from one system. With the flexibility and toolkit DocuWare provides we were happy to be able to make that happen,” said Robinson.

Applied Modules

·       Task Manager

·       Barcode & Forms

·       DocuWare Import

·       Autoindex


Between all 120 locations across the United States, Toshiba Business Solutions processes 3,000 orders a

month. As supporting documentation is added to each order, the sales orders blossom into sales order packets requiring the company to store and manage 100,000 documents a month. Centralizing and standardizing document storage has improved document retention and simplified information access.

Prior to implementing DocuWare, the company found an average of 5 copies of each sales order among

departments. Managing multiple copies of information was slowing down work processes.

Today, different departments can view a sales order simultaneously, allowing the maintenance contract to be set up at the same time another employee is working on billing the equipment. With standardized document processes in place and increased sales order visibility, the company was able to regionally consolidate order processing tasks and more effectively use its human resources now that order processing is no longer location dependent. Today, the company has the ability to shuffle workloads between locations to cover vacations and leaves of absence.

Electronic processing of sales orders has reduced the time to bill by 2.8 days, equaling $2 million Return on Investment (ROI) above and beyond the cost of the system over a three year period. The system has been in place for 7 years and the ROI continues to grow. Toshiba Business Solutions was also able to reduce its Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) to just over 5 days, equaling a $4 million monthly cash flow improvement as a result of speeding up billing practices and having the transparency to know which customers to focus on for collections. Additional annual savings of $250,000 were realized from

administrative time savings and another $1 million in savings comes from eliminating the need to search for lost documents.

Using DocuWare’s Sequel Server Reporting Services, Toshiba Business Solutions was able to develop high-level reports for its parent company, TABS. The report allows TABS real time access to business metrics for each market.  The robust report allows TABS to drill down and see how long each step in the process takes for each market, providing essential information.

DocuWare has had such an impact on Toshiba Business Solutions' operations that the solution was expanded to further automate and improve cash flow by streamlining receivables through direct integration with a bank lockbox.

When a customer sends in a payment, it is mailed directly to a PO Box at the bank. The bank makes the deposit and scans the check and remittance statement then loads the images to a secure FTP site. DocuWare monitors the site and automatically sends the payments to the receivables staff’s DocuWare inbox. The payments are processed and applied quickly without waiting for a physical copy of the check or even a daily email.

The Benefits

·       Reduced Days Sales Outstanding, saw a $4 million increase in cash flow, more transparency in the accounting process.

·       Centralized and standardized document storage, eliminating time spent looking for documents and IT administration saving $1.25 million annually.

·       Reduced Time to Bill by 2.8 days and gave the Accounting department the ability to balance

·       workloads between locations.

·       Streamlined payment processing with seamless integration with bank.

·       Developed high-level reports from real-time DocuWare database, providing management with drill-down results for every market.


More than 2,000 employees have access to DocuWare. The solution is tightly integrated within Toshiba Business Solutions and a testament to the way implementing Best Practices can impact a company.

“Aside from its financial impact, the biggest benefit of using DocuWare is that we can ensure the right information is getting to the right person at the right time. For a lot of our employees DocuWare’s Inbox is the plan for the day’s work, we would be lost without it,” said Robinson.

At a Glance

Toshiba Business Solution
:  Service
Location:  USA
Application:  Sales, Accounting
Document Types:  Checks, Remittance Statements, Invoices, Shipping, Sales Orders, Maintenance Contracts, Supporting Documentation

“Integrating Oracle and DocuWare saves on keying information and we are able to move data both directions between databases which ensures the quality and accuracy of both key business information systems.” -  Scott Robinson, Director of Operations and Acquisitions-East, Toshiba America


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