Brown Metals Company

Materializing Efficiencies with Laserfiche

Paper, paper, and more paper! Where is that document? Is the document in the file cabinet? Maybe it’s in the Quality Assurance office, or is it sitting on the Admin Assistant’s desk? Sound familiar? Before Laserfiche was implemented, locating needed documents was challenging. When a customer called in with an order-related question, staff had to physically look for the document somewhere in the office. Customers either had to wait on hold while the document was located, or staff would have to call them back. The time spent locating these documents affected the quality of customer service. That was before Laserfiche

Using Laserfiche, staff scan order-related paperwork into the Laserfiche repository, the Quick Fields module reads a bar code printed on each document. Quick Fields then uses this information to automatically populate the document’s template fields with the relevant metadata, which is retrieved from the company’s orders database. Thanks to this process, customer service staff can now quickly locate a document using any piece of information they have, including customer name, invoice number, sales order number, purchase order number, part number or ship date—without leaving their desks.

Brown Metals Company has been an ECS customer for 17 years and remains a staunch supporter of the efficiencies that Laserfiche brings to their organization. Justin Lasley, Brown Metals CIO, discovered Laserfiche back in 2005 and quickly put it into action. The main reason Brown Metals chose Laserfiche is that it is a modular system that allows you to buy and use only the modules you need. Over time, Brown Metals has been able to add many of the modules offered to solve various business challenges. The company was awarded the Laserfiche Run Smarter Award in 2007 for their innovative approach to using Laserfiche Quick Fields barcode and real-time lookup to scan sales orders.

A man smiling

Justin Lasley, CIO
Run Smarter Award Winner 2007

Brown Metals has a Laserfiche Avante system with 18 Users, Forms Professional, Forms Portal, Web Client, Quick Fields, QF Document Classification, QF Bar Code, QF Real-Time Lookup, QF Zone OCR, Import Agent, and Laserfiche Connector.

With Brown Metals being a long-time user of Laserfiche, they have completed many Laserfiche related projects. One such recent project was for their Customer Materials Processing. The process includes the following steps:

  • Customer provided documents are scanned into Laserfiche in their Shipping Department
  • Sales is notified
  • Sales uses Forms to add metadata
  • Workflow populates a SQL database and executes a batch script file that exports a CSV file to a network share
  • Their legacy system imports the CSV file automatically and automates the process of entering the customer’s material into the inventory system which then generates a barcode label

According to Justin, Brown Metals has seen substantial efficiency gains with each Laserfiche project that is completed. Thus, they have been able to eliminate paper-based processes and reduce errors significantly. Justin has been able to equate the savings that Laserfiche brings with the amount of time an employee spends performing their tasks. An employee that gets paid $20 per hour saves 10 minutes per day using a Laserfiche process:

  • 10 minutes per day, 5 days a week = 50 minutes/week
  • 50 minutes x 52 weeks/year = 2,600 minutes ~ 43 hours per year
  • 43 hours X $20/hour = $860 savings/year

“This is only one task for one user. If Laserfiche provides this kind of savings for this one task, imagine what it can do for many employees, several of which may be more highly compensated”, said Justin.

Laserfiche increases their efficiency by providing opportunities to save on labor costs. Laserfiche is also a very flexible system that allows it to be applied to many different business challenges. Brown Metals is always looking for opportunities to use Laserfiche for any department to solve those challenges. In addition to the efficiencies provided by Laserfiche, it also allows Brown Metals to provide a high-level of customer service in an increasingly challenging business environment.

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Justin suggests the following; “Laserfiche is only limited by your imagination. There are many different ways to solve business challenges using the Laserfiche product line. Go to as many training workshops as you can. Talk to other Laserfiche users about how they are using Laserfiche. Become the “Laserfiche Champion” in your organization.”

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