Written by Ana Canteli on 6 April 2018
One of the characteristics of transportation and logistics is its systematic nature, composed of very specific steps that are repeated on a daily basis, from the product’s creation to the delivery to the customer through distribution.
Trucking companies, logistics providers, moving companies, airlines, package delivery services and other transportation organizations are also characterized by the large amount of documentation they generate: Sales orders pick lists, delivery receipts, change orders and invoices, delivery notes... For this reason, it is not surprising that success in transportation industries is closely related to document management.
The implementation of enterprise content management means efficiency, effectiveness, increased productivity, minimization of errors and cost savings. Any transport or distribution process requires the management and delivery of the physical product, within the document management linked to the product and the sales operation documents.
When several departments or offices that handle the same information participate in the process, alongside thousands of documents that can pass through the hands of the personnel involved; it can lead to human errors, duplicities, deterioration, and even loss. That is why the purchase of a document management solution can be a great improvement, both for the company and for the client.
The OpenKM document management system offers the necessary tools to improve the performance and satisfaction of all the stakeholders involved in the logistics sector, both transportation and logistics companies and customers.
The fact that the tasks of a logistics or distribution process are produced in an orderly and consecutive manner, invite to the identification of these steps to convert them into automatisms, within the document management system. In this way, human errors are minimized or eliminated, and the process can be updated easily; that contributes to the adaptation of the logistic process to the changing needs, whether of the company, requested by the client or the result of a regulation.
The way of work in logistics can be assumed in document management system through workflow management. The workflows are very useful to provide a channel of communication between all the participants of the process. Documents can be included in the business processes, subject to the interest of different users, which through the electronic signature client could add their signature and therefore show their agreement. The OpenKM document management system includes a workflow engine that allows the definition of the most intricate workflows, as reflective of the business process that takes place in the company.
This methodology allows the management of documentation, without the need to print it, contributing to the adoption of the paperless office.
The document management system can be used to control the life cycle of transportation industries files. Making an analogy, we can compare the flow of goods with the flow of the documentation that it generates, associated with each phase.
In OpenKM, the organization could assign a different status to the documentation in the form of metadata. For example, invoices can go from proforma status, to invoice, pending of payment, accepted, paid; as the business cycle progress.
The OpenKM electronic document management solution also allows the user to access the history of the file. In this way, we can know the versions through which the document has passed, and the information that each author have included: received a stamp, pending stamp, the signature of the customer's purchasing manager, etc. All these details could be highlighted from the Diff tap, which allows us to see highlighted the contributions of each author.
In addition, through the Activity Log section, we can analyze in detail all the events that have taken place on the merchandise. This information can be subject to Reports, which can be regularly received by the managers to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the logistic system applied and thus detect errors, deviations, bottlenecks; among other incidents.
The OpenKM search engine allows the document retrieval thanks generic queries - free text search - or advanced queries, to perform explorations on the information repository associated with the flow of goods. Name or reference of the product, terms that are part of the description, keywords or labels assigned, categories, and any advanced information; Exact location in the warehouse - aisle, shelf, box - container - or barcode. In fact, the OpenKM document management system offers barcode identification and reading module. The barcode module supports many formats by default and thanks to the plugin architecture it can easily be extended to other types.
A transportation and logistics company decides to expand its business by opening more offices in the country while increasing its fleet of vehicles. Each driver is responsible for the distribution of a wide variety of items, each of which has their own delivery note. Each driver sends dozens of packages per day, which represent thousands of delivery notes at the end of the month that the administration department must manage. All the delivery notes are managed in the headquarters. For this reason, to maintain part of the original logistics system, on one hand, and on the other hand, adapt it to the new situation that has meant that the expansion of the company; The organization decides the acquisition of a document management system.
The electronic document management solution is at the service of all the company's departments: it allows the improvement of a human resources management team, it helps to apply a more exhaustive and detailed control of the transport management and the associated information.
The driver can access the transportation management system through the mobile application of the document management system or log in on the system through the tablet.
This way, each time that the driver makes a delivery, they can capture the proof of delivery pod. Through the OCR feature, the EDMS solution recognizes the document, identifies it, extracts the key data, indexes, categorizes and classifies it - file management - all thanks to the application of document automation in the software for logistics, which are applied automatically thanks to the zone OCR. To improve customer’s experience, the customer could have their own user session (customer login), and access the electronic document of the bill of lading, proof of delivery and other business documents to apply the electronic signature when necessary. OpenKM offers an electronic signature client, where stakeholders can include their certificates.
Each time a proof of delivery is updated - by the carrier or the customer - the management officer receives a notification by email, informing them of the assignment of a new electronic document, included in the workflow automation. The employee carries out the next phase of the transportation and logistics process, which can be followed up through the electronic document management solution
After a few months, management identifies the following benefits:
In addition, the company has decided to clear the offices from paper documents, reduce costs related to the work surface dedicated to storing the physical archive, so the logistics company will use the content management system to digitize the repository of paper documents, use document custody service and manage queries of digitalized documentation.
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