Ron Crouch Transport
One of our aims in business is to be a leading part of the industry… Laserfiche as a product and Ricoh as a partner are helping us do just that.
“Transport you can trust” is the motto of Ron Crouch Transport, a family-owned business founded in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, in 1978.
The company now employs close to 50 people, operates a fleet of 50 vehicles and has depots in Wagga, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra. Management systems have had to grow with the business and a customised Laserfiche solution from a Ricoh Australia Business Partner is helping Ron Crouch Transport stay at the head of its field.
Challenge: Managing thousands of vital documents
“Every job has a corresponding hard-copy proof of delivery [POD] document that the recipient signs,” says the company’s Compliance Manager, Matt Christian. “With the vast majority of our customers, we don’t get paid unless there is a POD as evidence the job has been completed.”
With approximately 500 new PODs generated each day and an archive of over 300,000, managing this documentation is vital to the success of the business.
Yet the sheer volume was rapidly becoming unmanageable and the company needed to move to an online system that improved efficiency, allowed for better customer service and also integrated with existing systems.
Solution: A custom Ricoh document management solution
Following extensive discussions with the company’s local Ricoh Business Partner, Ron Crouch Transport made the decision to upgrade from paper-based filing to a customised Laserfiche Avante Document Management Solution to facilitate online digital document filing, management and retrieval capabilities.
According to Matt, the customised Laserfiche solution was designed to allow signed PODs to be batch scanned and then put through an optical character recognition (OCR) process to capture the printed information. Each document would then be stored in a searchable electronic repository while custom scripting exported copies of each POD to the company’s information management system.
Managing PODs electronically was seen as a definite means of saving the company time, ensuring more rapid response to customer queries; and the customised integration with existing systems would save the company from having to make substantial infrastructure investments.
Saving time and serving customers better
Matt estimates filing paper PODs took a half-day every day under the old system. With the introduction of the Laserfiche solution, there has been a reduction of that workload of 80 per cent, which has given staff more time to focus on other work and helped the company respond much faster to customers.
“A common situation is when a customer claims they haven’t received a delivery,” Matt explains. “With Laserfiche we now have the ability, while we’re on the phone with them, to say, ‘Actually, person X signed for that delivery and we can email you a copy of the proof of delivery right now’ and it really is as quick as that.
With paper PODs that could have taken an hour – provided, of course, that we were able to locate the document.”
A key feature of the Laserfiche solution enabling that rapid response is the in-built OCR technology that captures and interprets POD barcode and recipient information.
With the recipient information, company personnel now have the ability to conduct general and precise searches for specific or groups of PODs. Matt explains: “Quite often we’ll have customers call and request details for deliveries made over a certain period of time to a specific recipient.
“With the Laserfiche solution, we can do a search for the recipient’s name and bring up a full list of every delivery made to them.” Similarly, with the automatic interpretation and capture of POD barcodes, personnel can enter the specific job number and have the POD displayed automatically on their screen.
“These are capabilities we simply didn’t have with the old paper-based system, and it’s saving us an enormous amount of time and effort,” Matt states.
The alternative to Laserfiche was to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on electronic equipment for the trucks so deliveries would be signed for digitally.
Customisation for a perfect fit
At the core of Ron Crouch Transport’s IT systems is TransLogix, a software application designed specifically for the transport industry. To protect the company’s investment in the software it was vitalthat any electronic POD management system was able to interface with TransLogix; and it was here that Ricoh’s Laserfiche expertise was brought to bear.
“TransLogix does everything from booking our jobs to managing customers, invoicing, payroll, warehousing, truck maintenance… it’s the crux of our business,” Matt says.
“Our Ricoh partner worked with us to devise a custom integration solution so that now each POD is scanned and stored in the repository then automatically exported as a compatible file to TransLogix.”
In addition to protecting Ron Crouch Transport’s investment in TransLogix, the introduction of a custom Laserfiche solution from Ricoh has helped the company avoid substantial infrastructure expenses.
“The alternative to Laserfiche was to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on electronic equipment for the trucks so deliveries would be signed for digitally,” Matt says.
“That’s not something you can implement overnight, and just trying to make it happen for a medium sized business like ours would have been very difficult. Our Laserfiche solution has given us an equally efficient system without having to make that huge outlay in time and money.”
“One of our aims in business is to be a leading part of the industry and get ahead where we can,” Matt concludes. “Laserfiche as a product and our Ricoh as a partner are helping us do just that.”
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