Automotive industry software which improves design, development, production, testing and sale of motor vehicles and related parts and equipment.

K3 Syspro and Anota work seamlessly to provide efficiencies for Auto-Sleepers

Auto-Sleepers chose to use Anota’s DocuWare system to manage its document workflow

K3 Syspro and Anota work seamlessly to provide efficiencies for Auto-Sleepers
Auto-Sleepers, the award-winning manufacturer of Motorhomes chose to use Anota’s DocuWare system to manage its document workflow from administration through to manufacturing when going through a review of its business processes.

Auto-Sleepers has been building motorhomes for more than half a century. From design to build, their expertise in using every centimetre of interior space has put them ahead of the market. The company recently were given a Gold Award in an owner satisfaction survey, highlighting their expertise.

The company were looking for a system to manage its document workflow. Auto-Sleepers use K3 Syspro for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, SYSPRO, and have done for almost ten years. It wanted a system which would integrate and DocuWare was the obvious choice as its suppliers, Anota, are K3’s best-of-breed partner.

David Eccleston, Management Accountant at Auto-Sleepers said: “The introduction of DocuWare has made us re-examine our entire business process and the way we did things in the past. The support we have had from K3 Syspro and Anota –– is excellent.

“We get to talk to the people we need to talk to and at the level at which we need to talk. They are highly professional. All too often, software people have a tendency to blame the user rather than trying to solve the problem. But not at K3 Syspro and Anota. We really felt that we were all part of the same team.”

The requirement for Auto-Sleepers was to upgrade their current SYSPRO ERP system which worked for the company as manufacturers. The group also trades as Marquis Leisure which is the largest motorhome retailer in the U.K., distributing over 4,000 units a year.

The next move for Auto-Sleepers was to integrate DocuWare into the system and to leverage use of existing K3 products, DataSwitch and Automail. The standard SYSPRO modules remained in place while the work was being done to ensure the continued smooth running of the business. David Eccleston worked closely with Anota and the K3 team while the additional elements were installed.

He said: “We have been able to link DocuWare to SYSPRO in two ways. For example, we can ask SYSPRO a question from selected List Views and that information will appear in a DocuWare screen. This could be anything from an invoice to a scanned image. We don’t need third party interventions; the two systems work together.

“Meanwhile DataSwitch runs behind the scenes like a miniature processing engine. It is a solution in search of a problem. It takes the information in from the DocuWare workflow, looks up data from SYSPRO and then posts it directly into SYSPRO. This saves re-keying information already entered into DocuWare with the advantage that this process avoids duplication of data entry effort”

Antony Dickson, Sales Director of Anota said the partnership with K3 Syspro meant they were able to provide customers with the most forward-thinking integrated service.

He said: “Our partnership with K3 Syspro benefits our customers knowing we work together seamlessly. Companies and their staff get the best of both worlds as the systems bring about economies of scale and efficiencies for business.”

Return on Investment
In terms of the return on investment one of the biggest savings for Auto-Sleepers has been staff time. In conjunction with DataSwitch, it means information no longer has to be keyed in. The DocuWare system only needs the information once. It then sorts it out and remembers it. This means invoices, for example, can be sent round the system for approval and payment without the need for third party intervention.

It knows who has approved paperwork, how it has been coded, when it has been paid and to whom. It embeds the information into SYSPRO and archives it too giving a complete cradle to grave overview of the transaction from Purchase Order Requisition to Remittance Advice.

David Eccleston said: “Our staff love it. They know where to find information when they want to find it. DocuWare links all the relevant documents together. They can dip into it to take out exactly what they need when they need it.

“From a business point of view, we can slice the data to improve our sales analysis. Meanwhile, as a vehicle manufacturer, document traceability is vital. DocuWare does this for us. This is a great solution for existing SYSPRO users.”

The other advantages include:
  • De-duplication – the system recognises when information has been put in twice and makes sure it doesn’t happen. This reduces data storage issues. It saves staff time as they can be confident the chances of repeat paperwork are minimised. Sales orders and invoices are only sent and approved once. 
  • Environmental – no longer do invoices, sales orders etc. have to be printed out. Once scanned they become part of the system. With increasing pressure on businesses to be greener this reduces the need for hard copies. It also means there is no need for storage space for boxes of files! 
  • Security – automatic archiving increases security and gives easy access to information for audit purposes. This is particularly important in terms of traceability for manufacturers in the event of a query. The information archived includes images and emails which makes it more secure in terms of E-discovery where electronic data may be needed as evidence in the event of any legal issues. 

The business was also impressed by the way the system used Optical Character Recognition and intelligent indexing. Once the system was “trained” where to look for information on incoming paperwork, it remembered that and so speeded up the processing of supplier paperwork. Auto-Sleepers chose to integrate DocuWare with its existing Automail system at the same time. This automatic sender of emails has also been a timesaver making the business more responsive and more targeted.

David Eccleston said: “Working with Anota has been a real partnership. They understood our needs, not just for now, but what will work best in the future. They are collaborative and forward thinking organisation who know what businesses want. It is not just about the technology.”

“The new additions to the SYSPRO system will allow us to win more orders as distributors and be more responsive to our customers. It has benefitted us in so many ways. However, it doesn’t end here. We are working with Anota on other developments and looking forward to working with them in the future. Watch this space.”

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