A Document Management Solution Boosts Efficiency at Wise Alloys


Wise Alloys—a Muscle Shoals, Alabama-based subsidiary of Wise Metals Group LLC—manufactures 950 million pounds of aluminum sheets each year.

They were environmentally friendly in aluminum production (by using recycled aluminum). But they weren’t environmentally friendly in their processes. Paper was everywhere—and it was holding them back.

Until they found a digital document management solution from Fortra.


Manual Processes Slowed Them Down

Just like any successful manufacturer, Wise Alloys needed to carefully track and monitor information. This is important to maintain quality control, manage production, and make sure information is available to customers.

That’s why the use lot tickets—8.5 x 14 inch information sheets printed double-sided on thick paper. Employees use lot tickets to note critical production details. And the company processes about 40,000 of these each year. If a customer has a problem with a coil, Wise Alloys retrieves the lot ticket to analyze and address the issue.

But getting information from lot tickets was an intensely manual process. At the end of each day, tickets were batched and sent to an offsite supplier where information was entered manually into another system. To mitigate the risk of human error, they backed up to microfiche. But if someone needed information from microfiche, it could take days to retrieve.

To top it off, lot tickets were unavailable to the company for three to four weeks. That left Wise Alloys unable to satisfy customer calls.

They need a document management solution for manufacturing


Digital Document Management Changed Everything

Wise Alloys wanted document management software—but they were wary of the costs. Many systems that Senior Business Systems Analyst Gene Bendall checked out were too expensive.

Then Bendall found Webdocs from Fortra Document Management (RJS). It had everything they needed—and it even fit their budget, costing less than half what the other solutions cost.

When I looked at the list of what we needed, I found that there was nothing Webdocs ‘couldn’t do.’ Everything the rep said turned out to be true.

Gene Bendall, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Wise Alloys


Bendall got a 30-day trial on the spot. In less than two hours, he had Webdocs installed and running at Wise Alloys. Other vendors told him it would take three days.

Today, employees at Wise Alloys scan their documents into Webdocs. Each document gets indexed with up to ten keys (to make it easier to find on a relevant keyword search). Then anyone can access the document in a browser—at any time. That means no more manual data entry for lot tickets.


Wise Alloys Cut Costs and Maximized Productivity

By using Webdocs, Wise Alloys was able to cut costs and process lot tickets faster—without increasing headcount.

And they no longer need to go searching for lost documents either. Everything is available and findable in Webdocs. So when customers call up for information on a lot, a representative can get answers for them in seconds (instead of the three to four weeks it used to take).

Plus, since data is entered automatically, there’s no more risk of human error.

Our sales and service people go to customers’ plants frequently. Now, they can be at a customer location, get on the internet, and pop up the information they need. It’s just awesome.

Gene Bendall, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Wise Alloys

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