Taking content management to the next level
PowerSouth selected a suite of IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions to drive tight control over the end-to-end document lifecycle—from initial capture to storage and case management.
“We have been using IBM technology for decades at PowerSouth, so we know first-hand how reliable and effective the solutions are, and how good the support is—you really can’t go wrong with IBM,” notes Kenneth Jones. “When it came to introducing a new content management platform, it was an easy decision to go with IBM.”
Once PowerSouth had decided on a software solution, its attention turned to finding an expert partner to guide a successful implementation. This search led the cooperative to enChoice—an IBM Premier Business Partner.
Kenneth Jones recalls: “We run a lean IT team and don’t employ anyone with specialist ECM skills in-house, which made it important for us to find a partner with the right expertise to fill the gap. What enChoice brought to the table was a tremendous amount of experience in the ECM world. The team we worked with had years of experience with IBM FileNet Content Manager and IBM Case Manager, which particularly impressed us.”
Today, PowerSouth uses IBM® Datacap to capture all inbound documents and transform them into rich electronic content, which is stored in a central repository, built on IBM FileNet® Content Manager software. The cooperative has harnessed enChoice KwikWork Integrator to seamlessly integrate the new IBM solutions with existing line of business (LOB) applications, including the Oracle E-Business Suite.
Kenneth Jones explains: “The great thing about the KwikWork Integrator is that it allows users working in LOB systems to access ECM data without having to log into the IBM system separately. For instance, if an employee is processing an invoice in Oracle E-Business Suite Financials and wants to view the original invoice, he or she simply has to click a button and it will bring up a new window with the relevant document image. Teams can get to the content they need without having to jump back and forth between multiple applications, which saves them a great deal of time and makes it easier to ensure that they are working with the most up-to-date information.”
In addition, the legal team at PowerSouth takes advantage of IBM Case Manager and KwikWork Legal to efficiently manage cases and all related documents from a single point of control.
Powering better service
PowerSouth has been able to streamline a number of processes, bringing newfound efficiency to different functional areas.
Kenneth Jones states: “IBM and enChoice solutions have made invoice processing much more efficient and accurate. We’ve added barcodes to all our invoices, and when they are processed by Datacap, the system automatically captures key details such as the supplier number, all line items and their quantity, and links it with the relevant supplier record in our Oracle Financials application.
“This has eliminated the need for staff to key in the same information into our invoicing system manually—saving time and reducing the risk of error, which ultimately helps us ensure that invoices are paid accurately and on time, every time. As a result, PowerSouth maintains great working relationships with our partners, and can ensure that we have the supplies and support we need to keep energy flowing to our members and their customers.”
He adds: “We’ve introduced a similar functionality for member billing. We generate member bills and reports breaking down their usage in PDF format. Previously, we would have to scan these files separately in order to import them into our main content repository. Now, thanks to the integrations we have made using IBM and enChoice solutions, users can just drag and drop the files directly into FileNet Content Manager.”
PowerSouth has established a reliable content management foundation that it can count on to deliver timely, consistent access to information—both now and far into the future.
Kenneth Jones concludes: “It is still early days on our new content management journey and we are already seeing positive changes to the way that our people work with information. IBM and enChoice have brought a new level of insight and control to our operations. We have a solid foundation to take us into the future, and I believe that we are going to be in very good shape moving forward with all that we want to achieve.”