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Selling High Performance Document Management

1 Nov, 2006 By: Editorial Staff imageSource

Selling High Performance Document Management

Mercedes has its C-Class; S-Class; M-Class and CLS-Class. We, in the document
solutions arena have our DM-Class, ECM-Class, CPC-Class and CRM-Class. And,
like  Mercedes, document management solutions are about speed, performance, and
function. Mercedes salespeople tout their cars as a solid investment in quality,
with reliability and satisfaction unlike any other vehicle. And so can you, in
selling the opportunities that document management has to offer.

Such was the case of Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz (FJMB) in Newport Beach,
California. As the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in the United States, FJMB
found a quality solution that not only satisfied their document management and
ECM needs, but would carry them into the future, allowing the dealership to meet
all their goals of excellence in sales and service.

A Look Under the Hood

The documentation generated every time a car is sold consists of a stack of
paper forms about a half-inch thick. With over 580 employees, and sales of 700
cars a month, the dealership generated a 29 foot high pile of hard copy records
per month just from new sales! That equates to 30-40 pages of required customer
information for every sales client. In addition, FJMB services more than 440
cars per day, each requiring a written Repair Order (RO) that is twelve pages
long. The paper generated each day was causing a huge problem for both the sales
and service departments.

In addition, office space at FJMB was at a premium and the company could only
store six months of documentation onsite. The company utilized their cashiers,
as well as temporary employees, to box up records older than six months and move
them to a third-party offsite storage facility. Onsite paper records took up so
much space that call center employees were scattered throughout the building,
limiting the efficiency and customer service of the department. Employees were
constantly visiting the file room to access information, and with only one way
to look up information, by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), retrieval was
slow and could take as long as 24 hours. The paper-based system was not keeping
up with the volume of records FJMB needed to manage; it was slow, cumbersome and

Custom Detailing

Wayne Fitkin, IT Director for Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz, spent three years
researching electronic document management solutions and compiling a detailed
list of requirements. He wanted a system that could index automatically without
the need for manual intervention, and that had the ability to scan a stack of
documents and automatically recognize and separate the pages into individual
records. FJMB only wanted to invest in a system that stored the images in a
non-proprietary format and would give them the ability to backup information on
CDs or DVDs that would work as a stand alone system. The system needed to be an
out-of-the-box solution that didn’t require extensive programming and could
provide employees with web-based access to information.

With 22 years of experience in the copier/technology sector, solutions
salesperson and certified applications consultant, Roozy Moabery, came to the
lead with a system solution from DocuWare that would fulfill Fitkin’s
requirements. Certified by DocuWare more than two years prior, and with total
support from the dealership, FJMB became one of Moabery’s largest endeavors. “It
took about eight months and six meetings from the initial meeting before an
agreement was finalized,” said Moabery. “We needed to prepare a comprehensive
proposal to the company with both an action plan and cost saving measures before
Fitkin could approach the owners with the solution.”

The cost included $25,000 for software, $12,000 for two Ricoh 450DE scanners,
and six full days for Professional Services which included time, training,
installation and follow up at approximately $1,200 per day. The training that
was provided to FJMB department managers (who then trained their employees) on
scanning and product software was wrapped into the overall Scope of Work
estimate; included into the Professional Services package. However, when or if
the time allotted should take longer than estimated, perhaps in days due to
interfacing with other client owned programs, creating a delay, a fee is charged
either hourly or daily for the additional time needed. While this may seem
initially expensive, the proposal to FJMB outlined benefits and a cost savings
in overhead of more than $40,000 annually.

Once approved, the race was on and, with the help of senior systems engineer,
Peter Kimbrell, the entire installation was completed within two weeks. A test
drive utilizing Docuware’s Active Import, Recognition Module and Auto Index
programs blew away more than 400,000 pieces of paper, 40 metal file cabinets and
multiple bank boxes full of forms; indexing and recording nearly a half-million
pieces of information for easy access.

Tearing Down the Information Highway

Today, after a repair is completed and the paperwork has been processed,
Repair Orders are scanned and automatically indexed. As per FJMB’s
specifications, stacks of ROs are placed in the scanner where they are
automatically separated into multi-page repair records. Using OCR technology,
the RO number is “read“ from the page and used as a match code to pull indexing
information from an existing database, indexing documents down to the container
box without manual intervention. Sales documentation is scanned and
automatically indexed in a similar way.

FJMB employees now have instant online access to information and never need
to wait for a courier to deliver a box of documents, improving employee
productivity and raising job satisfaction ratings. DocuWare is the tool FJMB
employees needed to help them focus on their core responsibilities. Missing and
misfiled documents have been eliminated along with most manual filing tasks.

FJMB was able to eliminate the filing room and create one physical location
for their call center, contributing to better departmental communication and
team unity. Customer service improved dramatically now that documentation could
be retrieved not only by VIN number, but by car model; customer name or date
purchased, thus providing the Service Advisor instant availability to the entire
repair history for a specific car. Electronic annotations are now made directly
on the ROs, giving any Service Advisor the ability to answer customer questions
and eliminating the practice of writing notes directly on the hard copy

With virtually limitless file cabinets, the system currently contains 300 GB
of information, but search queries return a response in just seconds. The system
is backed-up nightly. As an additional step, for disaster recovery purposes,
each month a copy of all the documentation from new car deals and ROs is burned
to DVD or CD. In the event of a catastrophe, FJMB can be back in operation in a
timely manner as the information on the DVDs can be easily reloaded or simply
accessed from the disc.

On a corporate level, FJMB now has complete control over original documents
by securely storing them in an onsite warehouse immediately after scanning,
reducing legal concerns and liability. Accessing information electronically,
FJMB eliminated the need to store and access documents from a third-party
storage facility, eradicating tens of thousands of dollars in annual storage
cost and courier service fees. Temporary employees are no longer needed to purge
documents, eliminating another cost and the huge headache of managing and
training short-term help.

Today, there is not one filing cabinet left in the file room and FJMB has
regained premium office space. However, what is most impressive is that the
dealership has seen dramatic improvements in customer service now that the call
center is located in one place. Better customer service helps FJMB maintain its
strong commitment to the customer which in turn contributes to new and repeat
business resulting in greater sales.

On the solutions side, Moabery was able to secure a profit margin of more
than 40 percent for his company. “While a lot of time and energy went into the
initial development, the profit was realized through the installation process
and retail cost discounts from the software provider,” said Moabery. “Add that
to the yearly service fee that is 20 percent of the software costs, not
including labor and professional services, upgrades and onsite support, that can
bring upwards of $1,200 to $1,500 a day. And,  dealerships are getting a great
return on their investment in the training of solutions sales.”

Moabery stresses that successful sales strategies, proposal development,
implementation and product are key to repeat and return business. “The
investment in solutions sales by a copier dealership is necessary to ensure the
longevity of the company; cuts out some of the competition, and will help in
soliciting and retaining new customers.”

Today, FJMB is able to offer their clients the same quality and reliability
as their product. By listening to the customer and utilizing proven sales and
training techniques in combination with quality products and solutions,
committed dealerships can offer speed, performance and function.

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