Astley Hire are a family run independent hire specialist based in the North West. They provide expertise and cost-effective equipment to clients in multiple sectors including food factories, production, distribution, warehousing and engineering.
Astley Hire has grown successfully through investing in a vast range of products and adding new hire divisions such as powered access hire, scaffold towers, cleaning equipment, lifting equipment and maintenance tools.
Established in 1966, they also offer training courses to support their clients further and are both IPAF and PASMA approved.
As a highly regulated organisation providing potentially dangerous equipment, Astley Hire must adhere to several processes before they engage with a new client.
To be able to hire equipment their customers must first open an account. The account needs to be created and a member of the finance team must perform a credit check, since the equipment they are hiring can be of high value.
Astley Hire currently have 800 spending accounts, with 124 new accounts opened in the first six month of 2023 alone. The volume of these accounts means the application process must be as efficient as possible.
Management realised that the customer account application process was slowing them down and causing problems they had to spend too much time rectifying. Astley Hire's General Manager told us.
"There was a lack of control and a lack of a structured process."
The original process in place used to collect applications wasn't strong enough as new customers would need to download a PDF from their website, print, complete, sign and then return.
It was time consuming and it was often hard to read a customer's writing. Important documents were regularly missed off applications including drivers licenses and insurance documents.
With that in mind, management asked their network to recommend a suitable supplier to work on a solution. Astley Hire were introduced to DocTech and after a software demo and a Statement of Works being agreed, the document management software DocuWare was implemented in March 2021.
Their original process would mean multiple emails going back and forth or phone calls between staff and customers to clarify information, which delayed applications further.
Customers would often send applications to the sales person they'd been dealing with which had to be forwarded through the business, causing more work for everyone involved, as well as a lack of consistency and transparency.
The 'Open An Account' button on Astley Hire's website is directly linked to a digital form and replaces the PDF document customers previously had to download and complete.
When clicked it opens a dynamic digital form, where the questions change according to the applicant's previous answer.
This means only relevant questions are asked and Astley Hire only receive the information they require.
For example when a customer selects they are a sole trader, they are not asked to enter a registered company name.
The form cannot be submitted without all the required compliance information such as valid insurance.
DocuWare sends the form to the appropriate employees within the business where it is processed into their accounts system.
The data capture solution has saved Astley Hire 20 minutes of time per application. The biggest time saving has come from no longer having to sort out issues caused by paper or emailed forms.
On average this means a day of time every month has been saved, allowing staff to focus on chasing money owed rather than unnecessary admin.
Astley Hire's General Manager told us:
'The digital form has been brilliant for data collection. It provides correct and better data than a paper form could ever give. DocuWare seamlessly integrates around our pinch points and the workflows in place behind the scenes are invaluable."
Insurance compliance forms were also an area that Astley Hire wanted to make slicker. When a company's insurance had lapsed, they required a separate form on the website to get the information they needed.
Thanks to the training Astley Hire received from DocTech, they were able to create a new form themselves, costing them nothing more to implement. Their general manager also told us that:
"The branding on the digital form can easily be changed to be in line with company guidelines compared to the difficulty when changing a paper or PDF form."
Access to DocuWare requires a user licence, but with the cloud solution Astley Hire opted for, public access allows anyone to complete and submit the form, securely sending the information to be stored in DocuWare.
The digital form has not only helped to improve the new application processes, but it has contributed to their carbon neutral goals.
Astley Hire are very proud to be the first carbon neutral company in the UK.
With a big digitalisation project on the horizon, more digital forms will be required and Astley Hire are looking forward to making further process improvements.
Improved data capture via a digital form ensuring only accurate information enters the business
Reduced administration tasks by 25%
Implemented automated workflows to streamline processes
The new process ensures all related documents are submitted with the application, avoiding wasted time chasing these up
Supported their carbon neutral business goals
A slicker and more professional system, as commented on by their customers
Working together since 2021, DocTech have delivered a solution to Astley Hire that improves processes and adds great value.
"Even though we don't yet use DocuWare to its full potential, it's implementation has been brilliant for data collection. It means there is no longer a back and forth with customers regarding their hire application, which can now be completed without any issues."
Astley Hire, General Manager
spent processing each new application form, enabling staff to spend more time chasing outstanding payments.
are captured when the initial application is submitted, avoiding missing information and costly delays.
The digital form we use is brilliant for data capture. If you're using DocuWare, why wouldn't you use DocTech? They've supported us from the beginning and have always been helpful.