Once Friday trained each employee on the new process, the results were dramatic. Previously, customer orders were picked up by couriers at one of California Distributions three distribution centers and faxed to the client.With the electronic linking of three distribution centers, client services and headquarters, California Distribution employees now can instantly distribute scanned documents throughout the organization, speeding up the process from a day to seconds. Bills are immediately e-mailed to clients, who receive faster service and superior document quality compared with faxes. "The solution allows you, for example, to scan six pages and reorient a bad page or insert a missing page," Farrell said. In addition, all scanned documents are archived at a central network so nothing is lost. Another major problem that the new Ricoh/eCopy system solved was answering customer questions about old orders. "We can provide better service to our customers because everyone, including our service representatives, is working from the same scanned shipment documents," said Lori Wheeler, vice president at California Distribution. There have not been any glitches with the new system, Friday said. His advice to companies that are contemplating the switch from paper to digital: Go for it. "Its a lot of work to write the new procedures, and thats the key," Friday said. "But, in the end, its all worth it. Were much more efficient than we were a year ago." Ira Apfel is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Md. Contact him at email@example.com. Case file
Customer California Distribution
Location Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Organizational snapshot California Distribution has established itself as a premier West Coast-based provider of customized logistics solutions for more than 25 years
Business need California Distribution needed to improve the accuracy of its internal and external communications; its goal was to move away from traditional paper bills, faxes and orders and embrace scanned, digital copies that everyone could access
Technology partners Ricoh and eCopy
Recommended solution California Distribution selected Ricoh digital copiers and eCopy ShareScan OP document scanning and distribution software to create a paperless office and boost efficiency
Lesson learned Going paperless pays off in improved efficiencyas long as you train everyone at your company on the new system
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With three distribution centers and a main office, California Distribution needed a courier traveling three times a day to and from the centers just to keep up with the paperwork.