Kanhym Estates slashes R480 000 off print costs using Ricoh document workflow

Kanhym Estates has slashed printed document output by 1 million pages, cut R480 000 per annum from its print expenditure, improved cash flow, reduced debtor days and sped up processes based on a document workflow solution from Ricoh SA. Kanhym Estates is an agriculture business that produces crops, manufactures animal feed, farms livestock, and distributes meat across the African continent. The business must comply with demanding regulations and keep meticulous records that relate to food production, distribution and safety. As a result, Kanhym Estates was printing more than four million documents annually. ‘We had to consider all the factors specific to Kanhym’s business when we designed the solution,’ said Dawie Malan, head of software sales at Ricoh SA. ‘They have a distributed business with operations all around the country; they are a paper-intensive business, specifically heavy in their feed sale picking slips and proofs of delivery; and they had numerous input and output devices that weren’t optimally located or optimised for their roles.’ A mix of devices from different vendors produced those documents and disparate technologies meant that employees had to process documents manually. In particular, field employees across Kanhym’s highly distributed environment, often in remote locations, were the source of much of the paperwork as vehicles fetched and delivered large volumes of resources, produce and products. Manual systems meant that it took additional office-bound employees time to retrieve that paperwork and enter it into IT systems then make it available for processing through financial and reporting systems. The document workflow project kicked off with an audit of Kanhym’s existing processes that took regulatory and business requirements into account. The implementation included system design and documentation, hardware configuration, software integration and user training as well as a return on investment exercise. The structured document management system has created a central archive for Kanhym and field employees are equipped with iPads that enable them to upload Web forms directly to the centralised system. Rules-based processing automates the workflow and documents are electronically approved and automatically escalated. Any documents can also be recalled directly from the company’s Microsoft Dynamics AX system. In addition, once the document workflow system was complete, Ricoh SA also consolidated the capture and output devices, right-sizing the fleet to 42 multifunction devices and printers optimally located to meet employee and process requirements. The time taken to process orders dispatch produce and invoice customers has been axed. That has reduced debtor days and improved cash flow, improved security and enhanced compliance. 25% fewer documents are printed and the software provides full transparency of print costs. ‘We liked Ricoh’s approach,’ said Christiaan Groenewald, systems co-ordinator at Kanhym. ‘They didn’t focus on print equipment; they focussed on process improvement, adding value to our business. As a result, documents can be recalled anywhere in the process and queried by anyone with the right authority using any smart device, wherever they may be. That’s an important factor considering that many of our people are not office-bound. We now also have robust document accounting, remote management, lower costs, electronic feed sale picking slips and electronic proofs of delivery, we are more efficient and, most importantly, our customers experience the benefits of these improvements.’ Caption: Dawie Malan, head of software sales at Ricoh SA