Document Management for Manufacturing
As a small business contract manufacturer since 1947, General Tool has fabricated, machined and assembled products for some of the United States’ largest companies in industries ranging from aerospace and defense to energy and industrial. As a value-driven organization, General Tool prides itself on building trusted relationships with its customers, which include GE, SpaceX, Lockheed-Martin, General Atomics, Boeing, General Dynamics and others.
For an organization focused on innovation, inefficiencies in document management often required the commitment of several full-time employees to assemble and organize paper-based files. As new contracts are consistently introduced, documentation must be gathered into data packages and supplied to clients in a timely manner. With data packages often requiring hundreds of documents and dedicated staff time, General Tool desperately needed a solution for their paper-based problems.
To cut down on the time-consuming, manual work, General Tool required a document capture solution that would automate and streamline the file gathering process. Square 9’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, GlobalCapture®, offers a comprehensive solution for General Tool’s manual data capture inefficiencies.
For the Electromagnetic Launch System (EMALS) program group, where GlobalCapture is implemented, the process for assembling documentation has transformed! GlobalCapture allows General Tool to classify scanned documents by automatically identifying the type of document and the job number associated with each. GlobalCapture intuitively names the file according to the document type and class, and General Tool’s internal system takes it from there, improving downstream processing. GlobalCapture’s flexibility enabled the manufacturer to develop their own interface that allows users to see all the documents that were scanned, thanks to the software’s intuitive output. Users can also review PDFs and easily make corrections as needed. With a broad range of customizable features, it’s easy to see why General Tool relies on GlobalCapture to help them work more intelligently with their document data.
General Tool also found value in GlobalCapture’s additional data extraction features, especially the advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool, Zonal OCR. Zonal OCR allow the organization to effortlessly extract data from documents of the same format, aiding in document classification for faster and more accurate processing. In fact, General Tool has estimated an 80% increased in time savings since it’s inception. Visual workflows have also provided the organization with the ability to design and support capture workflows in real-time, making the process much easier and accessible.
When paired with their internal system, GlobalCapture provides General Tool with the confidence that business-critical documents are being captured and classified with 100% accuracy. The software’s functionality allows General Tool to extract important information at a rapid pace, with increased efficiency and productivity. The manufacturer is now able to provide clients with comprehensive data packages upon completion of a project in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
After implementing GlobalCapture, General Tool has seen an increase in capacity and cost savings. On the EMALS contract alone, the organization has estimated savings of about $250,000 over a three year period. With such impactful results, the manufacturer is looking to expand their GlobalCapture installation to the Human Resources department, aiding in new hire paperwork and providing efficient digital filing. Square 9’s GlobalCapture solution has truly transformed General Tool’s information for greater insight into business intelligence.
For more information on General Tool, please visit www.gentool.com.
Interview: Rob Nixon, Systems Engineer, General Tool
Q. What challenges influenced you to look for a document capture solution?
Rob Nixon: One of the major contracts we have is to manufacture parts for the Electromagnetic Launch System (EMALS), which is a new component of the Ford class aircraft carriers. This contract requires a lot of process and quality documentation to be gathered into a data package and sent to the customer with the finished parts. This was time consuming manual work and we needed to figure out a way to streamline and automate the process of gathering all this documentation.
Q: How have your processes changed since implementing GlobalCapture?
Nixon: The EMALS contract we currently have is for the second carrier to have this launch system installed. We did not have GlobalCapture for the first EMALS contract, and we had to have several people working full time to assemble the documentation needed. Now, with GlobalCapture and our internal systems, one person can handle all of the document capture responsibilities.
GlobalCapture handles the first step in our new process, which is to classify the scanned documents. Classification identifies the type of document and the job number associated with that document. GlobalCapture names the file according to the document type and class, and our internal system is used to manually validate the files and attach the files to our document management system. Once the files are attached to our document management system, we can run a Quality Data Package (QDP) utility that assembles all the documentation for the data package. QDPs also needed to be set up to the customer specifications – so we have another screen that allows our quality engineer to specify which documents and in what order the documents are assembled into the QDP.
Q: Why did you choose Square 9 over the competitors? Are there any specific features you favor?
Nixon: We liked the way workflows could be created visually. We also needed Zonal OCR for document classification. Since I am a software developer, we also looked into developer toolkits for OCR and document classification, but decided that was going to require too much time to develop. Other capture solutions were missing pieces we needed or claimed to do everything we needed but fell short during the demo. GlobalCapture provided the flexibility we needed to efficiently automate our data capture processes.