Hyland helps out Australian multinational

Hyland has deployed the OnBase ECM platform to an Australian heavyweight in the agriculture and resources sectors, a firm that manufactures and supplying industrial goods that contribute to the production of key infrastructure, food, clothing, energy and more, on a global scale.

With more than 3500 staff in 170 offices spanning seven countries and several different languages, free flow of information is essential for business productivity and ongoing growth.

The organisation has evolved over time, strategically acquiring companies to extend the group’s core offering. While this has diversified the range and level of service the organisation delivers, it has caused issues in terms of compatibility, as inherited technology systems and policies have been adopted into the larger organisation.

When a new company is acquired, in many cases they bring legacy technology systems and processes which are siloed to that specific company  and are difficult to assimilate. Organisations using hard copies of documents was a major issue. Health and safety, a high-risk area of the core business, was accessing and managing policies across older ‘inherited’ documents and on legacy document management systems (DMS).

The company performed a thorough risk assessment and found that inherited systems raised the risk of OH&S incidents being caused by out-of-date policies and procedures. With the core business sometimes involving hazardous materials, risk reduction is a fundamental element of corporate governance.

“We evaluated our business processes as they relate to risk, and this revealed very clearly that we require a single source of truth, and therefore needed to maintain strict controls over the quality of our documentation,” said a spokesperson from the organisation.

The company also found that employees stored documents on their PCs and other devices, which further effected information flow and may result in users working from inaccurate and out-of-date documents.

Compounding this issue, the risk assessment also revealed that employees were at times leaving with information and knowledge that was not recorded efficiently on the company’s DMS, so the organisation was losing intellectual property as a result.

“We needed to change the company culture and have people trust the system to manage and hold the information they need access to. Change management and culture around transparency is going to be very important moving forward. The system is only the tool to help us manage this, the other part is cultural change.”

The solution:

A project manager began the two-year process of updating the company’s corporate documentation policy and management, bringing all existing document systems under the one content services solution. The plan is for an enterprise-wide implementation, will be completed in eight stages. The first stage will bring all health and safety documentation under the one banner, then find and amalgamate the multiple business processes where OH&S and risk policy documentation is siloed.

In some cases, as new companies were brought on board, the project team were finding documents that had been due for review as far back as 2005. A core structure for document management was clearly critical.

The organisation undertook a competitive evaluation of leading content services solutions, before selecting and deploying OnBase, which was deemed the best platform to address the company’s specific needs. A core requirement was the ability scale the software throughout the organisation.

Stringent testing proved the configuration in OnBase would meet organisation-wide requirements, as well as meeting the needs of individual sites.

Building an enterprise information strategy around OnBase will make access to all data possible from a single interface that is both secure and up-to-date. Additionally, the company will implement the solution with little disruption to the organisation because OnBase will work alongside existing IT systems rather than replacing them. At the same time, strict access management ensures that only individuals with suitable need, clearance and seniority within the company can access or change data.

Not only does the platform establish a single, reliable version of the facts, which are securely available to high-level users, it will automate many of the functions that are required to establish risk transparency and build clear communications with senior management, investors and regulators.

By cutting out the data silos and shadow systems, managers can increase operational efficiency and governance right across the organisation’s many departments and amalgamated companies, while supporting existing processes.

“We needed to change the company culture as a first step,” said the spokesperson. “Fifty percent of this process is about change management, and change comes before technology. The technology is the tool used to enable the changes needed across the entire enterprise.”

Although the project is still in its infancy, the organisation has begun the amalgamation of OH&S documentation, and obtained the single source of truth that the critical Health and Safety department was looking for. Mandated automated workflow processes enable staff to see documents that are up for review before they are due, improving transparency across the board.

“For the corporate documentation we have brought across, we are finding there to be more capabilities and keywords that enable our users to see more without having to open documents, and this extends the visibility of the document and improves our ability to make quick, accurate decisions.” 

The will continue to extend OnBase across other departments, including Human Resources, Finance, Legal and Manufacturing as well as to specific project teams.

“OnBase has the capability to grow with us as an organisation – it can integrate with different systems, and grow as we do.  The intention was always that OnBase would address other areas of the business as projects were developed.”

“The search capabilities from OnBase are very impressive, and the amount of metadata on each document has increased. We now have structured accountability for each document as well.”

OnBase will integrate with core systems such as SAP and Cintellate, as well as enabling communications between other systems in the technology stack. The company expects nearly 1500 users to utilise OnBase by the end of the two-year project.

Finally, the organisation reduced risk by ensuring that policies and critical documents are up-to-date, reviewed by stakeholders and made accessible to staff. Workflow processes have been improved and automated in the Corporate Health and Safety department, with stricter mandates on sensitive files and increased visibility across the department.