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CW Plant Hire

Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd | HarpendenWith numerous plant and tool hire shops spread across the country, Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd, (known as CW Plant Hire), is able to supply hire equipment to their customers no matter where they’re located.  They offer an extensive range of hire equipment including excavators, access platforms, traffic management equipment, portable air conditioning and more.

CW Plant Hire have specialist divisions to support any project, from DIY projects at home through to major construction builds.  In addition to plant hire, they provide certified IPAF, PASMA and forklift training courses.

It was at the height of the Covid Pandemic when DocTech first spoke with CW Plant Hire.  It was a challenging time for the majority of businesses, but for those relying on public events, things were especially difficult.

It was during this quieter period however, that CW Plant Hire decided to invest time in speaking with us.  They wanted to understand how our document management software could help their business be more efficient and also reduce their overheads.

Paper Heavy

The company was heavily paper based, printing invoices and manually entering the information into their rental software solution.

Postage costs were excessive as all invoices were posted out across their 20 depots, checked, approved, then posted back to the central finance team for further processing. 

During peaks, they were regularly dealing with up to 5,000 invoices a month.  It meant errors were inevitable no matter how through staff were, and that document loss a constant risk.

CW Plant Hire’s IT Manager told us:

“Each invoice was easily taking staff 30 minutes to process after printing, checks, postage, approval and being received back.  Postal delays on top of this, meant the process was much more time-consuming than it should be.”

As the pandemic started to ease slightly,  CW Plant Hire set out their requirements.

"We needed to save time, remove errors and reduce printing costs" said their IT Manager. "The time it was taking us to process invoices was getting so out of hand that we thought about hiring an extra person.  After speaking with DocTech, we looked more carefully at our processes to see where we could automate and streamline operations."

CW Plant Hire also required better transparency of the approval process, as well as integration of the document management software with their rental software and finance package. 

Growth and Expansion

In August 2022, CW Plant Hire went live with an on-premise installation of DocuWare.  It enabled them to reach their goals while having a future proof system to develop as the business grew.

With DocuWare's connect to outlook add-on, invoices received via email are now automatically scanned and the data captured using Intelligent Indexing.  Intelligent Indexing uses OCR and AI to accurately read and pull key information from these invoices and then store them in a structured way.

Automated Processes

DocuWare checks to see if there is a corresponding order, based on a purchase order number, by looking in the rental software.  When an order is found, DocuWare checks the type of order to decide whether a Depot Manager needs to approve it or if it's allocated to finance. 

DocuWare also checks if the invoice date is in the future and if so, holds it until that date for processing.  This provides extra time for the goods to be received. 

DocuWare is able to confirm that nominal codes match the assigned supplier code.  DocuWare assists CW Plant Hire with the whole process from checking invoices against orders and good received notes, and then exporting the verified data to the rental software system.  Exceptions via tasks are raised and assigned to designated users where input is required. 

These rules were all agreed during the scoping phase between DocTech and CW Plant Hire.  They formed part of the Statement of Works and were set up as part of the DocuWare implementation.

"The entire invoice process is now much quicker and slicker.  We’re no longer posting invoices between depots and since implementing DocuWare we have saved more than £60,000 on postage costs." 

All invoices and credits are now securely stored in DocuWare and easy to find.  Any payment or customer queries can be answered immediately as the information is readily available.

CW Plant Hire opted for an on-premise DocuWare installation as their in-house IT team are well equipped to manage the system, and it aligned with the rest of their software systems.

"The biggest benefits of DocuWare have been the reduction in costs and the increased transparency of our processes.  The money we would have spent on hiring a new person has been invested in other areas of the business.  There are no longer complaints from the depots about tedious paperwork.  A click of a button and invoices are approved."  

After only a year of use, CW Plant Hire have expanded the system, adding more users, further functionality and now use it elsewhere in the business.

Read More DocuWare Case Studies


What Were The Benefits?

  • A huge reduction in invoice postage costs

  • Unnecessary admin has been removed through automated systems

  • More invoices processed with the same number of employees 

  • Streamlined processes have reduced errors

  • Better transparency of the entire invoice journey

  • Increased efficiency as manual admin has been removed

What Are The Results?

The results since implementing DocuWare speak for themselves - thousands of hours and thousands of pounds have been saved. 

Paper-based, manual and costly invoice processes have been replaced with a digital document management system that automates low value tasks and leaves the high value ones to staff. 



on postage costs since implementing DocuWare.


hours saved

every month by the finance team who no longer manually process invoices.

How Can We Help?

DocuWare integration


DocTech solutions integrate with a wide range of 3rd party packages across Property Management, Finance, CRM, ERP, HR & Student Management.

Data Capture

Data Capture

Automate data capture and remove manual data entry reducing errors and costs.  Speed up processing times and improve decision making.

Business process Automation

Automating Processes

Business process automation reduces the manual effort needed to complete everyday tasks, using data capture software to process information.

Contact us - info@doctech.co.uk or 0161 647 7040