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Better Business With Content Management Software

As part of its ongoing effort to improve quality, limit costs, and increase efficiency, Gallatin Steel sought to alleviate a significant document storage issue and facilitate better businesses processes through the investigation and eventual implementation of enterprise content management software.

As part of its ongoing effort to improve quality, limit costs, and increase efficiency, Gallatin Steel sought to alleviate a significant document storage issue and facilitate better businesses processes through the investigation and eventual implementation of enterprise content management software.

Gallatin Steel is a Kentucky-based producer of 1.5 million tons of hot band coils on an annual basis. The company recycles scrap steel from such items as junked automobiles, old household appliances, and demolished buildings and bridges to make coils through its compact strip production process.

As part of its ongoing effort to improve quality, limit costs, and increase efficiency, Gallatin Steel sought to alleviate a significant document storage issue and facilitate better businesses processes through the investigation and eventual implementation of enterprise content management software. 

Prior to the 2004 implementation of OnBase, Hyland Software’s enterprise content management (ECM) solution, the company stored all of its business documents in the basement of two houses. Aside from the obvious business risk this presented, Gallatin Steel was running out of storage space.

“So if we continued on like we were doing, we were going to have to build a building just to store the paper,” says Tammy Vaughan, Process Manager, Information Systems, Gallatin Steel.

Once Gallatin Steel representatives began to look into the concept of ECM as means to automate their processes and avoid a significant storage problem, they quickly discovered they could broaden their knowledge with regard to using workflow software to enable the company’s business processes and increase operational efficiency not only on the plant floor, but in the business office as well.

“We see an evolution of solutions from transaction-based and heavy document-focused processes to lower transactional volume, but high reliance on business process automation workflow,” says Becca Toth, Industry Manager, Hyland Software. “Oftentimes, the criticality of those business processes is far more important than the reduction of paper for many companies.”

Gallatin Steel also recognized approaching ECM from a traditional ROI mentality would not yield desirable results. The company chose to look at it from a perspective of determining how modern, effective and efficient it wanted its processes to be moving forward. It’s really become a long-term strategy to manage documents and information.

The company eventually purchased the OnBase ECM solution from Hyland Software in 2004 and completed its first implementation process a year later. OnBase is designed to be a modular solution that allows its user to adjust functionality as needed. It captures business information from a variety of forms, including paper documents and electronic data streams, and makes it available to a company in one central place. Implementations include a hosted option, an on-premises option, and a full software-as-a-service option.

Gallatin Steel’s information is then driven through its processes and validated. OnBase also assists with making critical and calculated business decisions. Furthermore, company information is securely stored and available for access by permitted users from a variety of devices and any location.

“We’ve pretty much made it our standard,” says Scott Alsup, General Manager, Information Systems, Gallatin Steel. “We’ve taken it global.”

All of Gallatin Steel’s business documents and procedure sign-offs are paperless and in OnBase. The company has been able to leverage the technology to improve its management of employee information and safety. For employee information, Gallatin Steel has seen a lot of change. Without electronic sign-off, dealing with that information would be extremely inefficient and cumbersome. Furthermore, all of the company’s safety procedures are electronic. This ensures employees receive the most current information and the proper forms.

The biggest challenge for Gallatin Steel moving forward is employees simply want to take all of their existing paper processes and automate it. However, Alsup says the company has learned to take a step back, vet it out, and look at the value of each step of the process before deciding to go ahead and automate a process.

Right now, the company continues to focus on cutting cost and improving efficiency. And it looks like its investment in ECM is really allowing them to accomplish those goals.

“Coming in, I had never seen an organization that was this paperless, and had built in the workflows necessary to really facilitate efficiency,” Alsup said. “A lot of people store documents, but that’s only half the battle.”

For more information, please visit http://www.hyland.com/industry-solutions/manufacturing.aspx/manufacturing.

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