Insulcon is an international supplier of high temperature products, with branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Its head office and several of the production facilities are located in the Netherlands. The products supplied by Insulcon are chemical resistant, wear resistant, thermal shock resistant and have a high insulation value. For these reasons, our products are widely deployed in the petrochemical sector, where strict safety rules apply. However, the petrochemical and energy industries are not the only sectors to utilize the Insulcon products; companies in the domestic appliance sector, such as oven manufacturers and suppliers of wood burning stoves, also use Insulcon materials in their production processes. All Insulcon products are developed, produced and implemented within the company, which allows them to offer each of their clients a customized solution for their thermic processes.
Insulcon is specialized in high temperature products. We provide our clients with customized products and solutions that can withstand extremely high temperatures. We develop the product in close partnership with the client, and subsequently take care of the delivery and installation. While a large proportion of our customers are active in the petrochemical industry, we also have clients in the energy and aluminum sectors, and at the other end of the scale, we even work on the insulation of fireplaces and suchlike. How and where our products are used, and for what purpose, is clearly highly varied.
Insulcon was founded in 1980 and until recently, was still a family business. (ed. Insulcon was taken over by an investment company two years ago). The organization is experiencing a healthy level of growth and now has more than 160 employees worldwide. The company is characterized by its innovative nature, quality products and specialism, and has various certifications including ISO and VCA. For the Insulcon staff, the organization still feels like a family company, partly because the family, including director Mr. Noppen, is still closely involved in the daily operations.
Automation of processing activities
For some time now, Insulcon has been using the Image Capture software for the automated processing of purchase invoices in Exact Globe. Financial Director Maikel van Kaam initiated this project, and it was he, who came across a new application of the ImageCapture software during a trade fair: namely, the automated processing of sales orders. Internally, this information was passed on to the Customer Service department, where Customer Service manager Sven Mulder picked up the project. Each week, the Customer Service department receives between 50 and 100 purchase orders from regular customers. In the past, these orders were printed out and had to be inputted manually in Exact Globe, after which the documents were stored in the paper archive. Not only did the administrative staff spend a great deal of time to input and check all the data, but retrieving documents from the archive was also a time-consuming process. Moreover, the manual inputting process was highly error-prone.
When we heard about the possibility of automating this process using ImageCapture, we looked into how we could further improve our process by both speeding it up and reducing the administrative burden. It was important to us that our customers would not have to make too many changes to their procedures; after all, some of them have been purchasing from us using the same process for many years. Therefore, we set out to find a way of improving the processing activities based on the documents that our customers already issue to us, regardless of the different formats of the purchase orders. The great advantage of the Scan Sys software is that it is extremely straightforward to set up a template for each customer. This means that our customers have not been troubled in the slightest by the changes in our processing activities, while we ourselves observe how much faster and more efficient the whole process has become.
Insulcon is one of the first Scan Sys clients to implement ImageCapture’s sales order processing solution. Together with the Scan Sys consultant they devised the process, rolled it out gradually and further optimized it along the way. They provided input and ideas regarding the most optimal and efficient way of working; this is part of the reason for the high level of support for the changes within the department, and enabled them to arrive at the best result.
Use of ImageCapture
Purchase orders from the customer are automatically read from mailboxes specially set up for this purpose (from the various branches in the country and abroad). ImageCapture reads all the relevant data such as prices, dates and article codes, and matches this information with price lists in Exact Globe. On the basis of the readout data and the data from Exact Globe, the software automatically generates sales order lines which, following approval, are put together in Exact Globe in the form of a sales order.
Every customer uses their own article numbers. We have connected these customer codes to our article numbers in Exact, so that these are always linked. ImageCapture automatically recognizes the correct customer code and therefore knows which internal article code this corresponds to. Our internal article code is then used to create the sales order lines.
Nowadays, all our regular orders are processed with the aid of ImageCapture. This works extremely efficiently for us. We only need to make a template once, and from then on, all the orders from that customer are automatically processed and created in Globe. All we then have to do is check the order. If the customer has any questions, regarding an invoice, for example, we can immediately retrieve the relevant documents from the order. This enables us to assist our customers more quickly, because we have all the information immediately available. The process is also far less error prone, because the data input takes place automatically.
Experience with Scan Sys
I was involved in the project of automating the sale orders right from the beginning, and received extremely good support from consultant Haro (ed. Haro Thierrij, Product Specialist at Scan Sys). Haro carried out the whole implementation of the project at our company. Whenever I had questions or a problem occurred, I could always approach him for help. The way in which the helpdesk offers support is also excellent. If you encounter a problem, the helpdesk staff can view your computer screen remotely, so we can look for a solution together. The entire process has been supported extremely well by Scan Sys, and in my view, this is also one of Scan Sys’ strong points.
We are open to new developments in the use of the ImageCapture software, and are keen to keep considering other processes that we can automate with the aid of this software. I will definitely recommend the software to my customers and other associates.
Sven Mulder, Customer Service Manager Insulcon