Category Archives: C2S Solutions

Big data

The robots are coming, resistance is futile!

I’m not not talking about the Terminator trilogy, and this is not a hostile takeover, but I am talking about every day activities in your own office. Robotic Process Automation (or RPA) is here and it’s going to take over. Yesterday you hadn’t heard of RPA and in 18 months you won’t remember the pre-RPA era. Many are referring to the fourth industrial revolution and this is where it’s at.

The first industrial revolution took place in the 18th and 19th centuries with the advent of the steam engine. Suddenly a machine could replace the labour of many men. Textiles could be mass produced and while a few got rich the rest gained better clothes.

The second industrial revolution in the pre-WW1 years saw the rise of the steel and oil industries, and with them, easier access to energy and its delivery through electricity. The internal combustion engine meant that machines could move – and that moved power into the fields – from the fields the increased agricultural productivity could be transported easier into the towns and cities and, again, benefited the masses.

In the early 80’s the rise of computers became the Digital Revolution and the workplace was to change forever. Complex calculations could be made in seconds rather than weeks and computerisation meant data could be stored more easily; the proliferation of the internet suddenly gave everyone better access to information – and to each other. The internet has helped facilitate the migration of labour into the international market and our friends in India, China and elsewhere have been diligently working on our behalf at a fraction of the cost.

We are on the cusp now of the next phase – arguably we’re already in it. You’ve heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D printing, driverless cars, the internet of things, bioengineering and robotics. They’re coming soon – they are in development… actually they are already here. Some of them have been around for a while but you’ve known about them by a different name.

The big secret is not so big at all. As with each previous revolution it started somewhere; the early adopters end up the biggest winners, the money-makers, the 1%. For years I have been using macros to automate mail-merged emails and repetitive tasks in a spreadsheet; in the FIN-TECH sector traders have been using high-frequency-trading to buy and sell stock quicker than their competitors and many of those off-shore outsourcing organisations have been using robots to do the work you thought you were getting done by our friends in the East.

RPA is maturing and it’s been given a name. At a recent event I sat with a group of my peers in the bar afterwards and we all suggested “It’s only a macro… it’s nothing new" but the big difference is that it’s mature and it’s accessible and it puts the control back into your own hands. A ‘robot’ can do the work of many humans but if can only (for now) automate according to the rules you give it. Computers can’t exercise judgement (yet) but they never get bored – give the robots all the jobs you don’t want, and shouldn’t be doing, and do something more fulfilling like making decisions and making a difference.

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You have to be responsive

You have to be responsvive …

By Martin Peirce, 04/01/2017

So we went live with our new look website yesterday. With plenty of help from Pat at Artsanac, we have managed to get our content clearer and our message sharper.

One of the great things about our new layout is how responsive it is. In layman’s terms that means it look great on a mobile as well as a desktop browser or tablet. Im not sure what witchcraft Pat and his team use but we are amazed and really pleased with the result.

Talking of responsive, we were inundated with enquiries yesterday. Was the pent up demand from Christmas? Was our website trending world-wide (unlikely) or is 2017 looking good? Who knows but we responded to all of them in our targeted 90 minutes and made sure our Australian and US partners were getting pricing out and demos arranged for us as quickly as they could.

 

responsive home page

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Hands-free email processing – it’s a no brainer

With hundreds, possibly thousands of email attachments arriving into your business every day, addressed to a myriad of mailboxes, is there a clever way to download and route any attachments to a pre-defined mailbox?

Now there is: Santiago – the automated email attachment downloading and routing system that identifies email attachments and diverts them to a dedicated mailbox.

Invoices go to the accounts department, C.V.s go to HR, orders go to the sales department and so on. There’s no delay and no need for human intervention.

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Keep critical records safe, secure and accessible

International corporations must house official documents, product certificates, patent licences, safety documents and more in a safe place, yet keep them accessible to all authorised users, wherever they may be.

The challenge lies in implementing global wide protocols that preserve data integrity and comply with information security and compliance legislation.
We’ve been working with a large global manufacturer to implement a digital capture facility for their parts certification. The two key processes involved were FileDirector to centralise critical information, and FlexiCapture to scan and shred important documents complete with an audit trail for full compliance.

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Making light work of business expansion

When your business grows, it can add pressure points and delays to business processes, particularly if you are relying on manual systems.

We recently helped a claims handling company which had experienced incredible growth over the last three years, and was suffering from the problems caused by delays in key processes.
They were struggling to cope with the huge volumes of mail arriving each day, and some post was taking too long to reach the right members of staff, causing delays and customer dissatisfaction.

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Taking care of care home budgets

Senior leaders of a care home contacted us recently to discuss the issues they were having with managing ever increasing volumes of purchase invoices.

Spread over a number of sites, and going through a period of growth, the business was losing control over expenditure and budgets.

It was clear that what was needed was a process for managing financial transactions, incorporating checks and purchasing protocols, to take back control. And that process had to integrate with their existing business systems, including Microsoft Dynamics GP and Caresys.

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When invoices arrive in multiple currencies

Processing huge volumes of invoices is a considerable task. Add to that the complexities of dealing with different currencies, exchange rates and vat rates and you’ll understand why a system designed to simplify invoice processing for international transactions would be a great idea.

We were recently approached by an aviation parts company that resells parts and conducts repairs for aeroplanes to international organisations.

The company operates in euros, dollars and UK sterling, and wanted a system that linked to their Oracle based ERP system Quantum, as well as linking to Sage 50.

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2000 incoming invoices per month from multiple sites? No problem!

One of our clients approached us recently with a seemingly insurmountable problem: “How do we control costs and process literally thousands of incoming invoices a month – from multiple sites that constantly change?”

The company works in construction, is established, and growing, with over 80 employees working on numerous new building sites. Their peripatetic workforce needed systems and processes to allow them to work efficiently. That meant turning administrative tasks into a process driven machine.

C2S provided an invoice processing system that allowed the 2000 plus invoices received each month to be scanned and imported from emails with any corresponding delivery notes. The facility enabled invoices to be matched against purchase orders and an approvals process was put in place so that payments could be sanctioned by those in authority.

All invoices were then imported into Sage 50 with ease, no manual keying of data was necessary, and accuracy of information was much improved.

The new system allowed for efficient collation of information, much faster processing and easier approvals, so releasing more time for the construction workers to spend on more productive work.

Food for thought:

The biggest key to improving performance is to do away with manual administrative processes. If you’re not there yet, it’s worth looking into, and by all means talk to us to find out more.

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Overwhelmed by post? Fast track mail to your staff

When one company approached us recently with a problem of paper overload due to the sheer volume of daily post they received, we were only too pleased to help.

The issue was causing delays in processing paperwork, slowing down turnaround of work, and leaving customers none too pleased about the poor service they received.

And that in turn was affecting staff morale, company reputation and profitability.

The company was in fact a legal firm going through a period of growth. They were about to invest in a case management system to help manage the workload, but recognised that handling the mail would still prove to be a bottleneck.

What was needed was a digital mailroom system that processed all mail with a scanning facility that categorized and indexed documents so they were ready to instantly integrate with the new case management system.

We worked with them to build a mailroom process that integrated seamlessly with their new case management system, customizing our software to work in line with their specific processes.

Case managers were then able to access case documents for review and action within a short time of mail arriving in the business. And remote workers had the same level of instant access too.

We also set in place a quarantine process, where documents containing given key words that may indicate the possibility of a complaint, are highlighted for priority action.

Results

  • Mail room staff now take less time handling the volumes of mail and can be redeployed onto other more productive tasks during the day
  • Case managers receive mail as soon as it has been scanned and categorized for action, and can search for documents in just a few clicks
  • Staff are able to work more efficiently and provide a better service for their clients. This in turn has boosted morale.
  • Customers are receiving a more responsive service, and no longer have cause for complaint.
  • The client is satisfied that they have the right system in place to deal with the daily workload, and a system that will work well for them into the future as they continue to grow.

Laura Liddell, Managing Director says: The decision to move to a paperless system was not taken lightly. We knew we needed to change but there was an underlying anxiety about doing so. The results are fantastic however, and we wonder how we managed before!”

For help managing volumes of mail arriving in your business, talk to us, we can work with your existing systems to drive efficiencies and save your staff a great deal of time.

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Aspose.Total.Net – great tool, deserves our praise.

Here at C2S, we have always struggled to find a consistent solution for document handling that can carefully and accurately convert documents like Word or Excel tp Tiff or PDF. We then came across the Aspose.Total for .NET.

Having previously used PDF# and other open source libraries, we were more often than not left disappointed by the performance. Our clients require bullet proof processing and accuracy.

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