Almost twenty years after the paperless office concept was born, many companies are still mired in printed paperwork. Orders and invoices arrive via mail and fax. Statements, bills of lading, CAD drawings, and other documents are printed and manually assembled to create shop floor paperwork or shipping documents.
Let’s look at a paper scenario that one of our customers is currently facing. Manufacturing Company X would like to automate the assembly and distribution of documents, streamline workflow, and greatly reduce manual labor or mistakes when assembling paperwork on the shop floor. However, they does not feel their environment is conducive to touch-screen terminals, so they currently generate vast amounts of paperwork.
Manual Processes Slowed Them Down
Thus, every time an order arrives:
- Printed documents are sent to the shop floor to be processed.
- Employees manually mark up these documents and scan the completed paperwork.
- Each order requires a generated system report, paired with a copy of an electronic CAD drawing with work instructions.
- Each night, the system documents are printed.
- At 5 a.m. the following morning, someone from engineering picks up the stack of documents and manually prints the CAD drawing to accompany each order.
- A clerical employee prints the appropriate machine instruction documents and staples the entire paperwork package together.
- Each day, there are over 1,000 job packets generated based on the job scheduling system, so repeating this process manually wastes a minimum of 9 hours per day with three people involved in the paperwork assembly process.
- Since the highly paid engineer holds the key to the CAD drawings, that engineer is directly involved in the print and assembly process rather than spending valuable time solely working on CAD drawings.
As a result, every order process is manual, long, and complicated. Manufacturing Company X needed a better way. Even though they don't want to go entirely paperless with their paperwork generation process, they can easily reduce or eliminate the 9 hours per day being spent manually assembling paperwork.
Automated Document Assembly Can Help
Imagine a scenario where the 1,000 job packets are generated automatically. As soon as each system document is created, software identifies the CAD drawings that match the system document. Then the work instruction documents are called in and printed in sequence. Finally, each document is auto-stapled by the printer so an employee need not become involved in assembly unless a printer error occurs. In this scenario, Manufacturing Company X is able to reallocate employees to tasks that better suit their talents while streamlining their assembly process with the automation of several paper processes.
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