Irwin M&E are an ambitious Mechanical, Electrical and FM contractor with a focus on building long-term strategic partnerships. They provide a full range of Mechanical, Electrical and Facilities Management services to clients, across both public and private sectors throughout the UK and Ireland.
In a heavily regulated industry, compliance is essential and being able to easily demonstrate this is crucial. According to the IET, documents must be held for a minimum of five years. Irwin M&E’s paper based system meant categorising and storing huge amounts of paperwork, and significant retrieval times gave little time to analyse their data.
With an average of 2,500 purchase orders flowing through the business each month, Irwin M&E required better control of their data as information was often mislaid and duplicates made. Any digital information they did have, was not dealt with in a standardised way and with no links to historical information, time was wasted by the accounts department looking for backdated information to resolve queries raised.
A clear audit trail of financial documents was a high priority alongside historical tracing. Filing cabinets were quickly filling with paper which led Irwin M&E to consider costly offsite storage.
An easy to use and fully secure system was needed, with the ability to give staff varying levels of permission to access different documents. It was decided a defined workflow process for invoice processing was to be implemented alongside the use of digital stamps.
DocTech and Irwin M&E’s Financial Controller identified the benefits and Return on Investment that a digital document management solution would bring, and worked on a way streamline the accounts processes and apply bespoke workflows.
Upon implementation, all paper documents were scanned into the system with the paper then destroyed. Thousands of documents are now scanned and automatically indexed every month using DocuWare's Intelligent Indexing. It scans then identifies the most important information on the document and turns it into more structured, usable data, saving it directly into the system into pre-specified folders.
Suppliers can now log into DocuWare and store purchase order invoices with a job number. The system then looks up the job number and can fill in any further information automatically. Purchase Orders are digitally sent to an approver, selecting who to send it to based on its value. It is then moved along the workflow to the Finance Department to check if the invoice matches the Proof of Delivery and can therefore be paid.
Targets for the installation were set following a road map and planning session. Staff were shown how to use the software during the training sessions and all new members of staff are now trained as part of their induction.
The purchasing department are now meeting their month end deadlines which has eased the pressure on them and allowed them to focus on other supplier tasks rather than just processing invoices.
Full compliance with audits, and a fast and simple way of finding documents.
Workflow automation - such as the automatic rejection of an invoice if it does not match a PO.
The ability to handle larger volumes of information with a smaller team having reassigned a staff member to another department.
A more structured transparent workflow with greater control over documentation before invoices are paid.
The use of digital stamps to approve of reject invoices.
A seamless and clear business process, saving the company innumerable work hours.
A substantial increase in productivity and cash flow.
The clear objectives set out by Irwin M&E at the start of this project made for a successful implementation. Working together since 2015, DocTech have provided an easy to use and fully secure system that has removed the 'blame culture' and made searching for invoices redundant. Irwin M&E have a more structured and transparent workflow across their Finance Department.
made as recruiting for an additional accounts person was no longer needed.
saved, that was previously used for storing paper files.
”Staff are now able to process information faster and more efficiently, our control over invoices has significantly improved and suppliers are paid on time. Searching for invoices has become a thing of the past and the mood in the office has greatly improved”.