ECM Software for Manufacturing Industry
Seal Dynamics, a HEICO Aerospace company, is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of superior-quality products to the airline, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) markets; its inventory is the largest and most diverse in the Aerospace and Industrial markets it serves.
The company’s state-of-the-art world headquarters is strategically located near New York City in Hauppauge on Long Island. The rapidly growing company has an engineering facility in Tampa, Florida and its expanding global footprint includes stocking locations and field sales offices in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Dubai.
“Since our founding in 1976, we have become one of the largest providers of engineering and logistics solutions in our markets,” said Marc F. Alter, Seal Dynamics’ Vice President of Technology. “Our success is due largely to our customer-centric approach. We listen carefully and then present our customers with parts and solutions that help them achieve their goals, reduce costs and operate more efficiently.”
“One of our fastest growing segments today is the design and manufacturing of custom and Federal Aviation Administration PMA (Parts Manufacturing Authorization) approvals,” Alter said. “We proudly serve all of the world’s major airlines and most major aviation maintenance companies.”
Because it serves highly regulated markets, Seal Dynamics’ engineered products require extensive documentation. “Whether an FAA certification, test report or another type of record, every manufactured part that we deliver in the aviation industry has to have corresponding documentation,” Alter explained. “These records must be created, maintained and securely stored for extended periods of time.”
With rapid growth, Seal Dynamics became increasingly paper-dependent. Management undertook an analysis which revealed that the company could achieve a significant annual return on its technology investment by implementing an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution to manage documents electronically. After an extensive vetting process, Seal Dynamics chose a solution and began the process of integrating the system with its business and manufacturing processes.
With strong commitment from Seal Dynamics’ IT staff, the solution was successfully integrated. In less than 12 months, ECM had become so critical to company operations that real-time replication and fail-over capability were added. Seven years later, Seal Dynamics took the opportunity to upgrade this legacy system with GlobalSearch Document Management software from Square 9 Softworks.
“Square 9 did a truly commendable job of performing most of the ‘heavy lifting’ associated with installing and configuring our new GlobalSearch solution, performing other conversion tasks and providing the initial training for our staff,” Alter recalled. “As a result, the process of going live with GlobalSearch was relatively painless, as we continued to pick, pack and ship product using documents residing in GlobalSearch. Alter reports that GlobalSearch had been especially helpful in streamlining the handling of certifications.
“Today, GlobalSearch is our enterprise-wide ECM solution,” Alter said. “GlobalSearch streamlined and automated critical processes across our organization, including Sales and Marketing, Warehousing, Quality Control, Purchasing, Accounting, Information Technology and other business functions. We use GlobalSearch for all functions supported by the original system and continue to add many more document types and users. GlobalSearch now contains approximately two million scanned and indexed documents, with a SQL database of about 45 GB and 450 GB of scanned documents.”
GlobalSearch integrated well with Seal Dynamics’ existing proprietary ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, called ASAC (Airline Sales Analysis Center), with Square 9 contributing SQL expertise to develop a customized workflow for the company’s purchase order approval process. “Square 9 effectively and seamlessly complimented our technical abilities with their own,” Alter said.
“We measure our return on investment with GlobalSearch over the previous system primarily in labor savings generated from the automated importing and indexing of documents into GlobalSearch and in the near-instantaneous retrieval of documents,” Alter explained. “GlobalSearch has eliminated a lot of time that had been lost searching for misplaced documents, making copies and reprinting lost reports.”
In addition, rather than being archived at contracted off-site facilities, valuable paper documents are stored only temporarily and then shredded. During audits, any documents required by regulators under legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley can be retrieved quickly and reliably. Electronically backed up documents are now secure against natural or man-made disasters.
“We achieved more than $300,000 in annual savings with the original legacy solution when our Document Management program was in its infancy,” Alter said. “Since then our business has grown ten-fold. While we do not have hard numbers, I estimate our savings with GlobalSearch is at least half-a-million dollars annually at this point and getting higher.”
Seal Dynamics’ use of GlobalSearch continues to grow. Its future plans could include automating the processing of inbound customer purchase orders, adding concurrent user licenses and expanding its use of GlobalSearch’s online and remote access capabilities. “We are continually identifying areas where GlobalSearch could help us become even more efficient,” Alter reported.
“I would strongly recommend GlobalSearch,” Alter said. “I suggest that companies interested in ECM should get in touch with Square 9 and look carefully at how GlobalSearch could help them streamline a few of their paper or workflow-intensive processes. For those organizations committed to making process improvements to become more efficient and streamlined, GlobalSearch can pay substantial dividends.