TIMETOACT GROUP implements electronic archiving system at EDEKA Südwest

After the independent merchants, the food markets operated under their own management were tackled: In the meantime, the TIMETOACT GROUP has digitized business documents of all 1,200 stores it serves for EDEKA Südwest. In the new IBM FileNet archive system, the former paper files are now available for filing and research in graded authorization independent of location - a great relief in the daily work routine of both field and office staff.

EDEKA Südwest serves markets in its delivery area from warehouse locations in Balingen, Ellhofen, Heddesheim, Offenburg and St. Ingbert. The sales representatives in the stores regularly discuss the product range structure and many other topics.

"It's all about bringing wholesale concepts into the markets," explains Jacqueline Ganter from the Sales Division of EDEKA Südwest. To do this, you need access to a wide range of documents. Thanks to the electronic archive, field sales staff no longer have to take them with them on every visit. They also no longer have to constantly call the office to have them search for and send specific documents relating to a process - something that often wasn't possible from one moment to the next, given the fact that they are stored in paper form. This meant that the search could sometimes take a long time, and the provision of information was generally time-consuming.

Mobile viewing of documents from a laptop

By now, every sales representative has access to the documents of his stores via his laptop while on the road. This was preceded by an extensive digitization project in the course of which an external scanning service provider converted the paper content of over 1,200 file folders into full-text searchable PDFs. The TIMETOACT GROUP then transferred them 1:1 into the electronic IBM FileNet archive system for the Offenburg-based company. They set up the desired file structure in the FileNet system, developed a data model and set up the authorization concept. Because just as certain information - contracts or business figures - cannot be viewed by everyone in the paper folder, this must also be ensured in the electronic archive.

The project team of the TIMETOACT GROUP therefore transferred the previous authorization structure of the analog to the digital world - with the decisive advantage that now all documents are really only stored once.

Management of access authorizations possible without IT support

A total of 13 specialist departments at EDEKA use the electronic archive, each of them has access to only certain storage areas and there are also different reading rights within the departments. IBM FileNet offers good possibilities for granting and withdrawing access rights here. Using the function of the so-called IBM Content Navigator Teamspaces, users can set them up very easily without the support of the IT department. New authorizations are granted, for example, when markets are added. For each new customer, the office staff creates a separate archive folder and uses a predefined template for the folder structure. Within this structure, the authorization was controlled in such a way that only the respective specialist consultants have access to the individual segments (e.g. the different assortment areas).

"Sensitive paper documents could not be viewed by every employee. Of course, this restrictive access had to be reflected in the electronic system."

Jacqueline GanterSalesEDEKA Südwest

"The relief this provides for our office staff is tremendous."

Benjamin WeberTeam Lead Portal & Software DevelopmentEDEKA Südwest

A controlled 4-eye extinguishing workflow was particularly important for EDEKA Südwest. This is to ensure that no one deletes a document by mistake - which can be done quickly with a mouse click. Much of the customer correspondence may still be needed years later. For this reason, the archive software has been set up so that anyone who wants to delete a document must have this confirmed by a second person.

Great relief for the internal sales force

With the archive system, there is now a central point for the entire filing system that can be accessed by office and field staff regardless of location. Whereas in the past, the office staff had to leaf through the entire folder when the sales department requested a specific piece of information, today there is a full text search function. It allows you to locate specific documents and saves a lot of time.

Above all, however, the sales representatives can now research in the system independently and store documents in it. During their visits to the stores, there are many documents that need to be archived, including minutes of meetings, checklists, inspection reports...

Store market pictures from the smartphone quickly in the archive

"The mobile device app is incredibly practical," says Jacqueline Ganter, "but so far we have used it less to research the archive on the smartphone than to store images in it. So the sales representative is in the market, quickly creates a few photos and immediately stores them in the archive. In turn, internal sales staff make extensive use of this when they want to create spontaneous presentations.

Parallel access by different user groups, granular assignment of authorizations, full-text search within the individual file or across the entire customer base, offline use and mobile access to the files by the field service - the advantages of the new digital sales file are obvious. For example, other departments at EDEKA Südwest have now also set up electronic archives.

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EDEKA Südwest is the second largest of seven regional companies of the EDEKA group based in Offenburg.

Branch: wholesale and retail trade with food, food production
Employees: ca. 44.000 (including the independent retail trade)
Locations: Offenburg (headquarters), sales area includes Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Southern Hesse and parts of Bavaria