On 1 April 1928 Hub van Doorne set up a small construction workshop in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. From these very modest beginnings, DAF eventually developed into a leading global truck manufacturer with a firm focus on innovation, quality and transport efficiency.
DAF Trucks N.V. is a technology company and the premier commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe, who were the first company of its type to be certified to the global ISO standard ISO/TS 16949.
In conjunction with ISO:9001, it defines the quality management system requirements for the design and development, production and, when relevant, installation and service of automotive-related products.
With this standard there is an additional focus on continuous improvement and reduction of irregularities and waste. It’s impossible to reach these higher quality standards without implementing the most modern technology available.
In 2006 DAF Trucks began it's Digital Archiving Project for their parts invoices, using DocuWare as their chosen electronic document management system (DMS).
As a starting place for their DMS installation, the management team at DAF chose the accounting department as they were 'swimming in paper'. An average of 50,000 outgoing (account receivable/AR) invoices were being printed out in duplicate every month, then transferred to various employees and mailed out in parallel to their 1,000 dealers and service points across the world.
Incoming accounts payable invoices presented an even bigger challenge as the department processes 450,000 incoming (accounts payable/AP) invoices each year which are received by post and email.
The company’s DMS project leader told us the process for authorising payment for these invoices focuses on three criteria:
"First, the goods need to reach our warehouse; second, the items are checked to make sure they match the type and quantity of our order; and third, we make sure the price is correct. Our experience has shown that in approximately 20% of deliveries – which equates to about 90,000 AP invoices per year – one of these criteria is not fulfilled and requires clarification by the department at DAF which initially placed the order or received the goods or services."
This meant invoice copies were sent back and forth between various sites and countries, which was time consuming and created its own problems.
By digitising business processes DAF Trucks wanted to drastically reduce the amount of paper that had accumulated as well as the time and effort needed to handle it all.
They also wanted to develop the system further to significantly improve the quality of their service program in regards to both dealers and suppliers.
They used DocuWare to not only speed up processes but to make it simple to electronically retrieve invoice documentation and ultimately improve the way they respond to customer and supplier inquiries.
Their solution concept included creating a special dealer internet portal that would be used to distribute outgoing invoices. Outfitted with dedicated access rights, this portal gives every dealer the ability to access any invoice addressed to them, electronically and around the clock.
In creating the portal, the company considered both technological and legal aspects. DAF told us that
“Legal guidelines in the Netherlands require that electronic records are retained for ten years. If a business relationship between DAF Trucks and a dealer ends, we are legally required to provide all stored invoices in an electronic form."
The next step was optimising the AP processes. All paper based invoices were digitally scanned and archived centrally. An electronic workflow was created for checking and approving invoices for payment. Across Europe, up to 700 DAF employees are involved in the invoice process.
DocuWare’s high level of adaptability and functionality was used in the workflow set up for authorising incoming/AP invoices.
The invoices are labeled with a barcode before scanning, which is then used for automatic indexing.
A document workflow then kicks in and guides the authorisation process. Custom software tools give the 25 employees working in DAF’s accounting department a number of reports, including those showing invoices pending authorisation.
Over 1,000 employees now actively access the central document pool, whether they are working at headquarters in Eindhoven or using DocuWare's Web Client at any of the company‘s locations in and outside Europe.
Capital investment of the project amortized within a year
Improved service and response times for dealers and suppliers
Drastic reduction of paper based storage and office space
Rapid access to documents
No longer worried about loosing documents
A quick turnaround on invoice authorisation, with the added benefit of early repayment discounts
The success of the dealer portal has meant DAF are using a similar model to improve communication with suppliers and provide them with enhanced service too.
The scalable nature of DocuWare's infrastructure makes it a secure investment when DAF replace their ERP system as it will seamlessly grow as a part of the software migration.
in DocuWare in 2011 alone.
in locations across Europe actively access DocuWare's document pool.
"Every year we process over 600,000 AR/outgoing invoices and 450,000 AP/incoming invoices with automatic document workflows. We saved a ton of time and significantly improved our service program for both our dealers and suppliers. Because the DMS project was amortized within a year, we are saving a lot of money."