Company & Challenge
Headquartered in Johannesburg, Nashua is a world-leading provider of office automation, document management, managed print, access control, smart and connectivity solutions to SMEs, enterprise and government customers.
Founded in 1973 and part of the Reunert group, Nashua operates a franchise model consisting of more than 60 businesses in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.
When South African businesses seek to modernise their operations, they turn to Nashua. With an extended franchise network stretching across this vast region, how could Nashua manage its own business processes more effectively?
Objectives & Solution
Every day, hundreds of customer enquiries, franchisee requests, supplier invoices, and employee expense forms land in the inboxes of Nashua’s sales, operations, back-office, and finance teams.
The company previously relied on paper-based and manual workflows to process and store documents, and to route requests to relevant approvers.
These methods, though, suffered major drawbacks. Document retrieval was slow and complex, making auditing a painful exercise that soaked up many working hours.
Distributing paper through the company increased the risk of loss or misplacement, which inevitably delayed decision making.
Furthermore, gaining approvals for franchisees’ requests could take several back-and-forth email exchanges between different business functions.
To provide a speedier response for customers, franchisees, and suppliers, Nashua aimed to develop more efficient working practices.
Rather than the slow paper-based processes, the company wanted to digitise operations and automate as many business processes as possible.
With plans to implement the new strategy internally and across the franchise network, Nashua looked for a sophisticated and scalable automation platform.
First, Nashua engaged internal stakeholders to document current business processes and designed faster, more effective processes.
At the same time, the company selected five franchise businesses for a pilot scheme and invited feedback on processes most in need of automation.
After this consultation phase, Nashua formed a CIO-led steering committee and selected DocuWare to drive its workplace transformation.
Starting with approvals for travel booking and expenses claims, Nashua used DocuWare to develop digital document archives and automated workflows.
Electronic forms have replaced paper, with DocuWare sending approval requests directly to assigned approvers for verification and sign-off.
If employees fail to meet specified deadlines, the solution sends reminders and escalations — keeping the process constantly moving forwards.
Following the automation of the travel and expense workflows, Nashua introduced DocuWare to multiple business operations.
For example, the company used the solution to digitise and simplify supplier onboarding, eliminating paperwork and ensuring every step is correctly completed.
Nashua also used DocuWare to automate business processes including franchisee pricing support requests, travel requests, proof of delivery, training requests, demonstration center requests, franchisee advertising claims, initiation of sales orders, vetting and approval of scope of work documents, and project handovers between different business departments.
With DocuWare in place, stores of paperwork have been replaced by a centralised digital archive, offering greater control and visibility of documents, and reducing the risk of loss.
Locating information is now much easier, accelerating the preparation of audits and reports, and Nashua no longer has to pay for additional storage space for mountains of paper files.
The DocuWare solution also helps Nashua deliver a faster, more responsive service to its franchise businesses.
Requests from individual franchisees to check and verify items such as advertising expenses would often require multiple manual interventions to route documents to relevant stakeholders.
Now, the automated workflow eliminates the complexity and ensures items reach the right people in good time.
In addition, the central digital data repository enables Nashua to make smarter strategic decisions.
For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic prevented face-to-face meetings with customers, previous forecast of sales teams’ transport and hospitality costs needed urgent revision.
Using DocuWare, Nashua was able to extract and analyze relevant expenses claims to re-calculate appropriate budgets for the new no-travel world.
Salome Barker concludes: “DocuWare enables us to unlock greater efficiency and helps us to maintain our hard-earned status as a market leader.”
“As our sales team and franchisees grow more familiar with the solution, their experience will lead to engaging conversations about DocuWare with potential customers to help with their own business process efficiencies.”
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