New document management solutions for the world's oldest wine club

The Wine Society, established 1874, is the world's oldest co-operative wine club, supplying its member-shareholders (corporate organisations and individuals) with over half a million cases per year. The Wine Society maintains a call centre, employing 45 member services operators and support specialists, a showroom for visitors to browse and select wines, and a range of tasting events across the UK. Orders are placed by phone, fax, post, or via an integrated website, and many deliveries are made by The Wine Society's own van fleet.

Overloaded with paper

Before Document Manager, the filing of orders and other paper communications and enquiries at The Wine Society was entirely manual. Orders and documents processed ready for filing, such as pre-printed order forms mixed with letters in various formats and sizes, and printed emails, would be delivered for sorting and filing. Backlogs could occur at peak times, just when the business is under the greatest pressure – for example, Christmas, when order volumes are typically four times greater than normal levels, and often more complex.

Choosing Document Manager

"We were keen to improve the business process and the quality of service to members, while containing costs," says Richard Shorrocks, Finance Executive.

"A number of systems were looked at, varying widely in scope, cost and maintenance overhead. We took advice from a leading independent specialist who recommended that we concentrate on finding the most user-friendly and scalable solution to meet both our initial requirements and future needs in terms of volume and functionality. Document Manager met all our expectations".

Benefits of Document Manager

  1. Reduction in use of paper
  2. Seasonal backlogs have been reduced.
  3. Better response times for customer enquiries
  4. Improved staff efficiency
  5. Greater security for information storage, which means the business continues to comply with the Data Protection Act
  6. Better access to information
  7. Improvement in the quality of records and service

The Document Manager Solution

Document Manager has made a significant improvement in the quality of the Wine Society's records and service. The reduction in backlogs and file searching helps them to meet and maintain high service targets. The time taken to manually sort and file paper documents has been cut dramatically, and the 30 hours per month previously spent on manually thinning down over-sized files is no longer necessary.

Around the business, printing of outgoing correspondence for filing has been superseded by the ability to drag and drop documents, such as letters and emails, electronically into members' folders, eliminating the need for printing and double handling. The Wine Society also estimates a saving of around 13 hours a month on callback times.

Document Manager has improved the availability of information, given greater confidence in the quality of data, and therefore improved reaction and service time.

Ultimately, elimination of hard copy files will free nearly 80 square yards of office space – enough to accommodate six staff. Document Manager also supports compliance with the Data Protection Act.

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