ASF-Keystone, Inc., Division of Amsted Industries, Purchases ACOM’s New EZContentManager; Gains File Retrieval, Distribution Flexibility

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Transportation industry manufacturer found streamlined back office processes in switch to ACOM's enterprise content management solution. Had previously moved up to electronic archiving from manual filing system.

The EZArchive/400 module had replaced a purely manual system of file management and it functioned very well

Seeking greater speed, efficiency and functionality in the retrieval, viewing and distribution of accounts receivable documents, ASF-Keystone, Inc., an operating division of the Amsted Rail Group of Amsted Industries, Inc. last month purchased the EZContentManager solution launched in late 2005 by ACOM Solutions, Inc., Long Beach California., The company not only achieved its initial objective but almost immediately identified additional applications for the solution in other departments, according to Business Systems Analyst Donna Hagreen.

EZContentManager is a web-based content management solution that accepts text and image documents from any source and stores them in a central repository. Documents from applications such as ACOM’s EZeDocs/400 document output management system and EZPayManager corporate payment management solution are indexed and stored automatically as they are generated. Content obtained from external sources, such as photos and diagrams, can be scanned into the repository and are automatically indexed and archived.

Besides its advanced categorization capabilities, the solution also automates version control for more effective collaboration and its integrated fax and email allows documents to be transmitted electronically, directly from the EZContentManager platform.

ASF-Keystone is an industrial manufacturer of between-car equipment such as couplings for locomotives and rail cars. The company is a long-time user of ACOM’s EZeDocs document output management system, including the optional Archive/400 module and the EZDesigner/400 document template design tool. The Camp Hill facility uses an IBM iSeries i/5 computer running SSA Global’s BPCS ERP software.

“The EZArchive/400 module had replaced a purely manual system of file management and it functioned very well,” Hagreen said. “However, there were some limitations, as related documents could not be scanned and added to the Archive Module. The accounts receivable department wanted the visibility of the additional scanned documents as well as the ability to link related documents. We learned recently that EZContentManager would make this possible while also making it easier to store, find, and send copies of invoices electronically.

“Since EZContentManager is browser-based, it is independent of the network and therefore, anyone that can access the company intranet can access, view and distribute any files that he or she is authorized for.”

According to Hagreen, EZContentManager showed obvious potential to affect many other operations within the company, including EDI operations and the sales order process. New procedures are now being developed to take advantage of its capabilities.

“In once instance, correcting EDI invoices involved paperwork,” she said. “Now, we are able to link the related paperwork directly to the respective documents in EZContentManager, and never have to leave the electronic environment. And similarly, we now have the ability to scan shipping documents into the repository and link them directly to the invoices that they pertain to. Everything is electronically filed and if someone needs a document, they can simply retrieve it and do what they need to do. This process dramatically simplifies the procedure for locating pertinent information.”

Another feature with promise, Hagreen said, is the EZContentManager Bulletin Board.

“It can be very valuable in meeting preparation and other types of collaboration,” she said. “For example, if several people have to participate in a meeting, they would be able to post their contribution outlines electronically on the bulletin board, eliminating the need to prepare individual whiteboards.”

With only a few short weeks of experience using EZontentManager, ASF-Keystone personnel have already experienced a payoff in dramatically reduced paperwork, fewer misfiles, much greater search and retrieval convenience and less time wasted in locating documents, since all of the information is organized and cataloged in a single place.

“EZContentManager offers great potential for optimizing back office operations,” Hagreen said. “Our company is dedicated to continually improving customer service, both internally and externally. Using technology to accomplish improvement is one answer and EZContentManager is helping us to continue that goal. Once people are exposed to EZContentManager, they are sure to want to do more with it. When you see what it does, you keep finding more ways to use it.”

About ACOM Solutions, Inc.

Now in its 23rd year of business, ACOM Solutions, Inc. develops and implements advanced modular software systems for document output management, enterprise content management , secure corporate payments, and B2B EDI/XML e-commerce applications, marketing domestically and through overseas partners. Corporate headquarters are in Long Beach, California; [iSeries Software Division headquarters are in Duluth, Georgia; and regional offices are located in several major U.S. cities. For more information about ACOM products and services for the iSeries environment, call 800-603-6768 or visit http://www.acom.com/iseries/ezcm400.html.

CONTACT:

Gregg Church

562-424-7899

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