Axis Consulting: Streamlining a Complex Document Management Process
The team at Axis Technology solves problems everyday and every so often we like to brag about our successes- especially when those achievements are with partners.
The following is a write-up that was featured in the Mendix blog, detailing how we automated and streamlined a complex document management process for a client using the Mendix App Platform: Mendix Partner Profile: Axis Technology Chooses Mendix for Document Management Process Automation. Every so often we hear a great Mendix success story from our partner network that we think you would enjoy.
In this post, VP, Operations and Delivery and Enterprise GRC Integration Practice Lead of Axis Technology, Justin Riehl, explains how Axis Technology was able to automate and streamline a complex document management process for one of their clients using the Mendix App Platform.
Manual Process Problems
A multinational leader in microprint overlay managed critical compliance and certification activities in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and relied on emails between regional coordinators and stakeholders to supply relevant certification documents and notifications of responsibility. Procedure management and access to compliance documentation was decentralized creating significant inertia in the compliance certification process.
Electronic copies of compliance documents were printed and filed rather than digitally archived making access to historical certifications unpredictable. Additionally, signatories were required to print, sign and rescan documents as attachments in emails, as the method for delivery back to regional coordinators or additional signatories. In certifications where multiple signatories were required, this process resulted in protracted timelines and poor copy quality.
A large scale document management solution was not an option due to initial and ongoing cost, resource capacity and the complexity of managing enterprise process across multiple international facilities. A solution was required that would sustain the needs of this small yet critical finance division in support of ongoing operations, profitability and the mitigation of reputational risk.
A Viable Solution
Axis Technology was asked to rapid prototype a web based application which would streamline process, improve accessibility, manage workflow, reduce inertia, automate notification and delivery, apply digital signatures and archive completed documentation in PDF format. Additionally, a basic reporting dashboard was required to track the status and progress of both individual and group certifications.
The Mendix App Platform was selected by Axis as the most suited solution to its client's needs. Its small, powerful, lightweight footprint combined with an intuitive development interface and collaborative workflow provides the right combination of features required to quickly prototype a solution.
After just a half day of requirements gathering, examination of the current process and access to examples of the certification documentation; Axis started development of the core functionality that would support our clients' needs. Within the week, a small team (including only one "developer") had successfully built out the data model, user access, cross references, document inventories and the workflow required to select a certification and distribute it to the stakeholders.
Automated email notifications, reminders and user homepage prompts promoting user engagement were also integrated into the baseline Release1 with a development time of less than 60 man-hours in total. Within another week, while working only part time, a small reporting interface was created that evaluated all certifications and their status in the system as well as total volumes and views by group, certification type, regions or date/time values.
Data and reporting export routines were also created although not originally requested by the client. After a quick progress touch point and demo with the client, Axis development follow-on work was augmented by the outstanding Mendix technical support group that answered our questions and provided guidance regarding the generation, storage and application of digital signatures.
Working in partnership on the final pieces and with a total development time of less than 4 weeks and 300 man-hours, the client was presented with a fully functional prototype for evaluation that exceeded expectations for both timelines and requirements.
In the end, Axis Technology was able to automate a previously manual workflow, significantly diminishing inertia and human error. Print, scan and sign activities were eliminated, facilitating documentation delivery on time with a massive reduction in stakeholder overhead and with an increased level of quality.
Access to current and archived compliance documentation was now controlled yet accessible. Email and spreadsheets were no longer required to be part of the process and reporting provided real-time views into certification status. The Mendix platform is powerful, intuitive and easy to use.
Small groups of core professionals can scope, build and refine small applications as needed to quickly replace decentralized manual processes with high failure rates, or even replace large applications currently residing on aging infrastructure or unstable platforms.
The Mendix support for application development is responsive and engaged, empowering partner organizations like Axis Technology to deliver customer requirements in excess of expectations.