Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Industry: Metal fabrication
Complete reliance on paper across departments, causing issues with interdepartmental communication and workflows. Disorganization of documents due to physical files being stored on desks, in filing cabinets, and elsewhere.
Epicor ECM (DocStar) Document Management, advanced workflow, Datalink integration with their ERP, Syspro, combined with PiF Technologies’ Professional Services
Anomet had a clear problem to solve, they had simply too much paper. “The general manager kept a lot of stuff on his desk. And if he’s not in or can’t take a call, and customers call and try to figure out when we received the order, what’s the delivery, etc., it was difficult to find that information,” quipped Production Engineer Peter Scott. This level of disorganization was what drove Scott and (outgoing) Controller and Finance Director Peter Backiel to find a better option. It’s a common story from PiF customers, the office has too much paper and typically someone has their “we need to do something” moment.
With Scott’s 30 years at Anomet under his belt, he was able to see the clear organizational impact automation would make. But even those with a shorter tenure saw the night and day difference before and after investing in their solution. Quality Engineer Jim Boudreau, joined the Anomet team shortly before they invested in Epicor ECM (DocStar) Document Management and Automation, but remembers a great deal from what he dealt with before. “Everything was paper. Literally, everything on my end was paper.” Their solution allowed them to empty filing cabinets and folders that were filled to the brim with paper. Documents in their quality department have become completely digital, with custom modules and workflows that have streamlined their day-to-day work.
Beyond each department’s individual impact, the entire team at Anomet has been able to benefit. Rather than before, when only select individuals had access to documents and data, virtually everyone in the office now utilizes the system. “It really, really helped us with our information or organizing to make that accessible to more people right in the office,” said Scott.
“The less paper I have to interact with the better,” joked Boudreau.
In addition to eliminating physical paper in the office, increased efficiency, communication, and security were notable impacts after investing in their solution. At it’s most basic level, Document Management scans, captures, retrieves, and stores documents digitally in a central location. For Anomet, having their content stored and accessed electronically allows their entire organization to improve collaboration, increase efficiency, and enhance security. Given the nature of their work, they needed granular document and content security. Access permissions, such as who can email, print, view, approve, and annotate, were crucial, and why scanning documents into a folder on a desktop or a free file system wouldn’t cut it.
Boudreau noted that his team now is far more independent than they used to be. “The crew can access things on their own when they need to, from their terminals. With the old school way, they would walk down the hallway, wait for somebody to kind of dig to find what they need, or maybe they would rummage through filing cabinets held back and storage.”
Their solution has meant that every important document is stored right in their system, and any employee can access them whenever they need it. This ease of access has had an organization-wide impact for all employees. Incoming Controller Mike Reilly has been a part of the Anomet team for just two months but has already noted the impact just within his onboarding process. “Not having to go to a person, to be able to look up a document in different ways, whether it’s by an invoice number was by a vendor, a vendor number, or name, I found has been pretty remarkable.” This allows Reilly to get answers and gain knowledge of the ins and outs of the organization faster to be able to evolve into his new role quicker. “I really haven’t run into a situation where I have been able to find the answer I was looking for independently,” he stated.
Beyond just storing documents within their digital filing system, they’ve simplified their accounting processes with workflows directly integrated with their ERP, Syspro. When materials are delivered they receive an invoice from their vendor that gets approved and filed right into DocStar. On the flip side, when they issue purchase orders out of Syspro those are also imported into DocStar.
“Anything that we can do electronically, going forward, is a time saver. It’s a space saver, it gets backed up, it’s accessible to more people,” said Reilly. When it came time to implement Anomet’s solution, they were easily able to train their team on how to utilize it. Even once they began expanding their solution and adding in more complex workflows in Accounts Payable, the PiF team was able to support them and easily expand on their solution.
As their business needs continue to evolve, Anomet will continue to build upon their processes to ensure that they can easily keep up communication and collaboration within their organization.
In 2021, PiF Technologies celebrated its 25th year in business. They’ve been a DocStar partner since day one and got their start selling a simple solution; scan, file, and retrieve. While the technology and complexity of their projects have evolved, their dedication to their customers and their desire to stay on the bleeding edge of technology has been their number one priority.
They cover a broad range of applications and industries. Popular implementations include AP Automation for Manufacturers and Distributors, Non-Profits, Construction firms, school districts, and any other business that faces inefficiencies in their processes.
Their expertise lies in their ability to design, deploy and support complex, fully integrated solutions with workflow automation, artificial intelligence including intelligent data capture, smart web forms, robotic process automation, and Cloud hosting.
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