Enterprise Fax over IP Featured Article
Enterprise Fax Over IP Helps Cito Benelux Drive Efficiency and Order Accuracy
Fax technology is still an essential communication tool for a number of companies offering back office solutions. When paper faxes are an essential order distribution tool, mistakes can be made and time from order receipt to order fulfillment can significantly impact the bottom line. Open Text recently provided one distribution company with the digital solution necessary to streamline operations and eliminate paper errors.
Cito Benelux, a subsidiary of Phoenix Contact and Rittal (News - Alert), distributes industrial electrical and electronic components as well as enclosure and housing technologies from parent companies to the Benelux region. Back office functions are a key focus for the company, including logistics, warehousing, delivery, accounting and IT.
The proper management of orders is an important priority for Cito Benelux. The company strives to input orders as fast as possible into its system. Of the 600 daily orders received for electric components and packaging every day, roughly 70 percent are sent to the company via fax.
Traditionally, Cito Benelux monitored fax machines for orders. Andre Pruijn, IT manager, noted that faxes arrived on the machines and were printed on paper. Roughly every five minutes, an employee picked up the faxes and delivered them to those responsible for entering orders into the ERP system by hand. This process generally took an hour from fax arrival to entry into the system.
While the collection of paper faxes generally allowed for proper order completion, the room for error was very great. Papers could get back up on a busy fax machine or misplaced en route to order entry personnel. If a fax was lost, an order was lost. If a customer needed to re-send a fax, it could result in double entry and double delivery of goods.
After an order was received and processed, Cito Benelux employees created paper order acknowledgement are faxed back to customers. All orders, acknowledgments and related documents were filed and stored in filing cabinets for a minimum of seven years to meet company need and regulatory requirements. Customer queries required employees to leave their desks to collect information before returning a call or e-mail.
Cito Benelux sought to streamline this process and turned to Open Text enterprise content management solutions integrated with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities and the company's ERP system. The Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition fulfilled the company's must-haves and should-haves for an enterprise fax over IP solution.
In a cooperative relationship between Open Text and SecureComm, Cito Benelux was able to make fax documents digital and transfer data through an OCR process. Open Text Professional Services developed a customized solution, E-Connect, a directory for received orders.
Within the system, documents are searchable and the ERP system is able to execute a customized workflow. Order acknowledgments are automatically created and delivered to customers as a result of the communication link of the Open Text Fax Server Connect for Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange. Those faxes sent and received are stored automatically for easy access.
Pruijn highlighted the benefits the company received from this solution, "With Open Text playing a part in the overall solution, we achieved faster turnaround time for orders. For our customers, faster processing and less mistakes mean we are a more reliable supplier of goods. For Cito Benelux, the efficiency gains result in less returned orders and better service to our customers."
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison