For nearly a century, Spirax Sarco has been committed to providing industrial steam users with the knowledge, service and products to improve and maintain their steam heating and process plants. The group is the world leader in the control and efficient use of steam.
Spirax Sarco employs 4,000 people around the world.
The company has 42 sales companies in 32 countries, 7 strategic manufacturing plants, 35 training centres and more than 100,000 customers who regularly buy its products and services.
Slow paper processes takes steam out of the business
Spirax Sarco's management team wanted to improve the efficiency and control of their financial processes, in particular to accelerate the payment of creditors.
The company employed a slow and laborious paper-based invoice approval process, which involved moving thousands of documents between their four sites in Cheltenham. This resulted in regular delays and, occasionally, lost documents.
The system also gave management very poor visibility of the financial processes. Users could not quickly see the status of documents and they had difficulty in retrieving and accessing information. All this generated a perception that things were not getting done.
Spirax Sarco management were determined to modernise their business processes; doing away with reliance on paper, accelerating workflow, removing cost and providing employees with better access to information.
Manufacturing Sector: Choosing Document Manager
"Initially we weren't looking for a full document management system, we just wanted a solution for raising purchase orders, receiving goods and receiving and processing invoices that could be easily integrated with our existing systems. When we looked at the DM market, we found that other solutions were too structured around image capture and storage, whereas our focus was on finding a solution that worked with our existing, non-image based financial applications and workflow", says Spirax Sarco Cost Accountant Adrian Powell.
Spirax Sarco selected Document Manager because it met their requirements. They could integrate it with their existing software, it was lower cost than the competitors and the staff demonstrated a strong understanding of the company's business needs and objectives.
The Document Manager Manufacturing Solution
Document Manager has helped Spirax Sarco get a firmer grip on its financial processes and provided a platform for better financial planning. The business benefits included significant time savings for the Accounts Payable and General Ledger departments, elimination of paper in most workflow activities, with consequent savings in storage and other overheads, and improved security, back-up and disaster contingency. Implementation was conducted smoothly, starting with the processing of purchase credit notes, then non order-related invoices, followed by order-related invoices.
"We were always seen as good payers and this has helped develop strong relationships with suppliers. With Document Manager we felt that we could improve even more and further enhance these relationships," says Powell.
Immediate benefits included a dramatic reduction in the time taken to process invoices. Typically, the time taken to process an invoice was nearly halved and the number of invoices paid late fell significantly.
Document Manager has enabled Spirax Sarco to achieve more reliable information capture, more secure data storage, improved access to information and improved visibility of data throughout the corporate infrastructure.
There have been a number of annual system upgrades and each upgrade has gone smoothly with a minimum of disruption.
"On the rare occasions when we have needed to contact the Support Team, that support has always been readily forthcoming and the problem rapidly resolved", says Powell. With Document Manager, Spirax Sarco staff can access document details very quickly to answer queries. Audit trails are clear and simple, there is a full daily data backup, which satisfies the auditors' disaster recovery requirements, and the software has significantly improved the company's information security.