Since 1912, Richards-Wilcox has been the proven leader in the industrial/commercial overhead door and residential garage door industry. Today, they sell in six continents around the world. Their commitment is to be the highest quality, most competitive door systems manufacturer in the world.
Richards-Wilcox customers receive the safest, state-of-the-art doors available. Safety first is one of the most important principles of their product philosophy.
Richards-Wilcox was effective at handling orders but felt they could process them more efficiently and cost effectively. The company printed orders using dot-matrix printers and four-part forms. Once printed, orders were manually delivered to manufacturing, shipping, accounting and other departments. The company’s goal was to cut the time it took to deliver orders to various departments. Additional goals included improved customer service and a reduction in its 25-cents-per-form printing costs.
“The process was leading edge when implemented; however, the system was now slower than an order-processing system should be,” said Jeremy Kennedy, Senior Network Administrator for Richards-Wilcox Canada. “It was time to look into options.”
Richards-Wilcox had worked with Ricoh Canada for about 10 years, utilizing printers, scanners and copiers. Richards-Wilcox knew Ricoh specialized in document management and the two companies met to discuss how to automate the internal flow of orders.
Richards-Wilcox installed Ricoh Reform PDC, a print, distribution and capture application that was developed by FabSoft for the Ricoh platform. Reform PDC captures print stream data, places the data into designated business processing forms and automatically distributes those forms to the selected print, email or fax systems.
The forms are then directed to the appropriate departments with manual distribution no longer being required. Reform PDC also assisted in designating the status of jobs when an order is processed. Orders can be automatically printed on paper that is colour-coded to the status of a job because the new printing devices have multiple paper trays. For instance, regular shipping orders are printed on blue paper; however, rush shipping orders are automatically printed on magenta paper to assign them a higher priority level. Richards-Wilcox also leased a combination of ten Ricoh laser printers, facsimiles and multi-function units to work with the Reform PDC solution.
With this Ricoh solution in place, Richards-Wilcox is able to process, distribute and print multiple forms on demand using Reform PDC.
Prior to the solution being installed, the company printed about 6,000 pages a month at a cost of 8 cents a page for carbon forms. With the Ricoh solution, the company now pays about 2.5 cents per page to print orders on plain paper. They also save on manual distribution time and produce a better quality form at a much faster speed as they now print 30 pages per minute on the new Ricoh laser printers. Previously, they printed 2 pages per minute on the old dot-matrix printers.
Greater speed, efficiency and quality aside, Richards-Wilcox also achieved a return on its investment in hard costs alone in about 13 months. “In just over a year, the system paid for itself. We are now genuinely saving money while we continue to process orders in a timely manner,” said Kennedy. “We can serve our customers more efficiently even as we reduce expenses.”
Richards-Wilcox initially focused on improving its internal order distribution, but Reform PDC has email and fax capabilities that the company now uses to send order acknowledgements to customers. In the past, acknowledgements were printed and then mailed, faxed or scanned. Acknowledgements are now sent electronically (by email or fax) without printing or scanning, and the entire system is automated. For instance, if an invoice has a fax number and the customer prefers to receive faxes, Reform PDC processes the fax number and automatically faxes the acknowledgement.
Looking ahead, Richards-Wilcox is working with Ricoh to implement a full content management system that would store, retain and retrieve all company documents. The secure system would ensure that only staff with the appropriate clearances would have access to certain documents. The content management system would also eliminate manual filing, sorting and retrieval. “This would further improve productivity and, of course save storage costs. We’re looking forward to taking document management to the next level with Ricoh as our technical partners,” said Kennedy.