Vision and purpose
When Paul Ringer, Head of IT at Jackson Lifts Group, saw a bottom line return of £1M in just three months after digitising internal documents, he began to look at streamlining other areas of the paper-hungry business. He tasked the company’s long-standing IT service provider Network Interlinks with creating a company-wide document management solution which would give the business a unique market position: new-found economies would give the service-led, family-run business an edge over other independent providers while also allowing it to compete for a greater share amongst global competition.
The business challenge
With over 22,000 lifts, escalators and cradles under maintenance, family-run Jackson Lifts is the UK’s largest independent lift maintenance company. Unsurprisingly, the industry is heavily regulated and the company requires an unusually high level of governance to meet Health & Safety standards and the various industry accreditations. As the company has grown, so has the quantity of inbound paper including clients’ safety inspection reports as well as purchase orders and other documents relating to the supply chain. With each lift requiring at least one inspection per annum followed by servicing and repair activity, Jackson Lifts was in danger of grinding to a paper-swamped halt.
Paul said, “The business is built on a reputation for excellent customer service and prides itself in being able to provide a speedy response to every customer, supplier or engineer. The ability for all operatives to instantly locate the relevant documentation pertaining to their client, device or role is paramount. With the business at its current size, we simply couldn’t maintain our paper-based process.”
Each client inspection report contains a list of either “critical” or “recommended” actions which Jackson Lifts has a responsibility to act upon. Some maintenance contracts include servicing; others require a sales process to be actioned. With a mountainous, paper-based system, documents were slow to be filed and less immediate actions were taking up two months to quote. The new document management and workflow system allows documents to be electronically filed and actioned on the same day, rapidly improving cash flow and optimising both sales and customer service opportunities.
The service team at Jackson Lifts now has easy and instant access to a complete set of documents relating to every device which speeds up the process of resolving customer queries.
Jackson Lifts can now boast an improved and detailed audit trail which reduces the risk of human error by misfiling and improves confidence not only from the ISO auditors but also from the client base, increasing the company’s chance of winning new business.
The document management and workflow solution developed by Network Interlinks integrates with Microsoft’s Navision, Jackson Lifts’ existing ERP system. This means that the solution is available remotely and on premises throughout the business for the benefit of other paper-heavy departments such as finance, sales and HR.
Paul said, “The system is blindingly simple to use which means we’ve had minimal disruption to the business. Implementing Network Interlinks’ bespoke solution has been vital to the continued growth and success of our business.”
A digital pen system is used by field engineers UK-wide to create digitised forms and worksheets which are centrally tagged and stored.
A high specification scanner running an application which sits on Microsoft Windows is used to process each external paper document relating to a client account or device. Documents are then stored against the relevant ERP system record and actions are triggered to sales, service or finance.
Documents are stored in PDF format within the database for ease of viewing and circulation.