|ADAM SOUDURE, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, IMDEX|
Workflow solution success
With the world in the midst of a minerals and resources boom, Imdex operates in a highly competitive global market.
The Australian ASX-listed company provides innovative drilling fluids and advanced downhole survey instrumentation to the mining, oil and gas, water well, horizontal directional drilling and civil engineering industries worldwide. Its tools are rented to mining clients across the globe.
In 2012, strong demand for its products enabled Imdex to establish new benchmarks for financial performance in the four mining regions of Asia/Pacific, the Americas, Africa and Europe. By mid-year the company was reporting record revenue and earnings results.
The problem of paperwork
Eighteen months ago, recognising that Imdex was set for a sustained period of growth, the company’s IT department decided to deploy an Enterprise Content Management solution.
The idea had been under discussion for some time and it was well acknowledged that such a system could bring additional order to Imdex’s growing collection of documentation and electronic files.
What we wanted was a document management system that could deliver an additional element of workflow and business process management. There were two parts to the plan.
Firstly, on the document management side, it was largely about intellectual property [IP] protection. Secondly, we wanted to use workflow to improve our processes.
I had already seen the benefits of tying workflow and process automation to document management at a partner company.
It was using the same ERP as us – Pronto – and had just embarked on a document management journey with OnBase.
We approached CAYLX, the reseller of the OnBase advanced document management solution developed by Hyland Software.By mid-2011, Imdex committed to CAYLX and an OnBase document management deployment.
Improving client rental processes
I decided to start with a project that would address processes in one of the busiest parts of Imdex’s business – rental tools.
With the help of CAYLX, a team of staff from Imdex analysed existing rentals processes. Next, they mapped an alternative, more efficient approach. Finally, they began to model that process in OnBase so that as documents and forms were added to the system, automatic flows and prompts would kick in.
The feedback we are getting from staff and management is that the system is a big improvement over what we had before. There's more accuracy because it's become easier to find stuff.
Because we have workflow bins, we can identify the status of hire forms at any given time. We can see which workflow something is in, what’s happening to a job as it comes through, whose hands have been on it and what’s been done. The process is completely auditable.
The visibility and speed with which the system can be updated is superior to the way we did it before. And although we haven’t benchmarked it yet, we believe the cycle time on the process is shorter than it used to be.
Finding new opportunities
The IT team is now preparing to roll OnBase out to Imdex's overseas operations, beginning with contract management. There are also plans to develop additional workflows for back office functions both locally and internationally.
Further down the track, they’ll look at automating flows for accounts receivable, accounts payable, tool design within R&D operations, tender tracking, project management and more.
An example of the possibilities is Imdex’s manufacturing operations. The guys have procedures that they need to follow when assembling tools. We’re going to wrap workflow around that so when tool procedures change, everyone gets notified.
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