Speedy access to vital documents
Ford dealership, T.C. Harrison, needed a cost effective solution which enabled staff to find information quicker and easier whilst saving space.
Established in 1931 the T.C. Harrison brand has steadily grown into one of the largest family-run Ford dealer networks in the UK.
As one of the largest family run Ford dealerships in the UK T.C. Harrison required a solution which would bring back control to the hundreds of documents processed each day.
Group IT Manager, Neil Bailey who has worked for the group for over 30 years was tasked with finding a cost effective solution that would speed up search and retrieval of documents, as well saving vital space which the company was quickly running out of. A number of vendors were reviewed with Invu being the preferred solution of choice, which today is used in three of the T.C. Harrison sites across the country.
As well as the main dealership in Derby the group also utilises Invu Document Management (DM) at its leasing site in Sheffield and Head Office in Bakewell. The first site to implement the Invu solution, over ten years ago, was the Head Office which needed a solution that allowed invoices to be scanned and electronically stored, allowing employees to access them quickly and easily, without the need to hunt for them.
Moving forward both the Derby dealership and leasing site in Sheffield implemented Invu DM using the solution in a similar way.
“Invu does everything we need it to do, it has always been a user-friendly and modern solution that we can tweak if need be to fit into the way our business works.”
The Derby site, which first implemented the solution in 2010, receives on average 120 job cards every day, around 30,000 a year, as well as vehicle invoices. Neil explains that each vehicle that comes onto the site is given a job card detailing a list of work that is required. The job cards are then distributed across the Service department where the pages of each card increases, “What starts as one piece of paper can grow into 20 pages.” With Ford requiring the storage of these documents for a minimum of five years, paper soon built up in the archive which made searching for each job card extremely difficult. “An employee would have to go up into the archive and attempt to find the card that was required… there was no guarantee that the card would be put back in the correct place.”
This was a similar story at the leasing site in Sheffield where the Accounting and Sales departments would produce a vehicle pack. “Each time a vehicle is leased a vehicle pack is created, each pack is around 50 pages and again, these would be filed and searched for manually.” Neil Bailey, Group IT Manager.
“We had previously looked into digital archiving systems but found these to be very expensive, Invu was a system with everything we needed at a reasonable price.”
Finding the right solution
It was key that the chosen solution for T.C. Harrison was cost effective, Neil explains “We had previously looked into digital archiving systems but found these to be very expensive, Invu was a system with everything we needed at a reasonable price.”
The solution would also need to save the company time when it came to searching as well as saving valuable space. Neil continues, “At the leasing site we were quickly running out of space in the archive room and Invu allows us to get on top of that.”
With each site having different requirements is was essential that T.C. Harrison and Invu formed a good working relationship, Neil explains, “Our account manager is always happy to come and see us if we need anything, we’ve never had a problem with speaking to anyone from Invu.”
Although the initial implementation at the Derby site was complex due to the nature of their processes, Neil and his team ensured from the very start that all users were on board and were included throughout. “You can’t force a new system on people, you have to involve them.”
Since Invu, rather than manually filing job cards or vehicle packs they are now scanned and automatically indexed. With the Barcode Capture module added to the Invu solution, T.C. Harrison now adds a unique barcode, containing the vehicle registration and job number, to each job card. The use of barcodes enables T.C. Harrison to process large quantities of job cards at once; the process involves the barcode being read, enabling the card to be automatically indexed according to the information on the barcode.
“An employee would have to go up into the archive and attempt to find the card that was required… there was no guarantee that the card would be put back in the correct place.”
Realising the benefits
By far the biggest impact seen is at the Derby site where the benefits have become particularly clear. In early 2015 the site was faced with the need to expand a department, as one of the largest Ford dealerships in Europe there is always pressure on space, however, because of Invu they were able to use the space previously allocated for archiving. Neil notes, “If we hadn’t of chosen Invu the archive room would have become full and meant we’d be forced to build an extension on the depot to accommodate this expansion, a fantastic example of what Invu has saved us.”
The rapid search function has allowed T.C. Harrison to improved customer service, “If a customer queries a job, the staff are able to quickly pull the information from the system.”
Although it was not a key driver in choosing the Invu solution, T.C. Harrison also benefit from being able to access information from the other sites that use Invu if required.
The overall process remains very similar to how it was before but with the added benefits of saving space and a more effective way of searching in terms of speed and reliability.
“If we took Invu off the staff I’m sure they would complain!”
Since first taking on Invu at Head Office the Bakewell site has migrated from the very early 5.4 version to the latest release of Invu Series 6. The migration process was very slick and completed in under a day by the Invu support team. If an issue with the system does arise users know that the support team is only a phone call away, “It’s not very often we need to put a call into the support team as the system is very stable and reliable.”
The new version allows T.C. Harrison to take advantage of the new functionality to help maintain the maximum efficiencies that Invu brings to them.
T.C. Harrison now have a total of 33 Invu licences across the organisation with the view of implementing the solution into their two remaining sites at Peterborough and the JCB site in Derby, T.C. Harrison are one of the largest JCB dealers in the country. A multitude of departments across the three sites are benefiting from the Invu system on a daily basis and in doing so are improving customer service and the time it takes to locate important documents.
As a user of Invu for over a decade Neil advises anyone considering a move to Electronic Document Management to first address their requirements, make sure that the supplier can meet these, create an implementation plan and finally, it is essential that all employees are on board with the solution.
“If we hadn’t of chosen Invu the archive room would have become full and meant we’d be forced to build an extension on the depot to accommodate this expansion, a fantastic example of what Invu has saved us.”
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