The customer, AEP Industries Inc., manufactures, markets, and distributes an extensive range of plastic packaging products for the consumer, industrial and agricultural markets. The company has eleven manufacturing facilities in the United States and one in Canada. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in South Hackensack, New Jersey.
AEP has more than 30,000 SKU’s in their portfolio. They were using a standard four part Bill of Lading and were looking for an alternative to the burdensome and expensive daily process of shipping boxes of signed Bill of Lading forms from all 11 locations back to headquarters. They were also looking for a solution that would reduce the risk of losing or misplacing Bills of Lading.
When a truck arrives at one of AEP’s locations to pick up a load, the Logistics department prints a four part Bill of Lading for the driver to sign. Once signed, two copies go with the driver, the third copy stays at the location for their records and the fourth copy goes in a box that will be shipped to headquarters at the end of the day. All locations mail the Bills of Lading to headquarters every day resulting in expensive shipping charges.
Once the box is received at headquarters, the forms are unpacked and manually matched to the correct invoice. Once the match is complete the documents are then scanned into their document management system.
Using the PlanetPress Suite technology, the Logistics department now only needs to print one copy of the Bill of Lading. The form is printed with a unique pattern in the background of the signature area.The driver signs the Bill of Lading as usual, only now with a digital pen. A camera in the pen captures the marks on the paper. When the pen is docked, the information is merged with the document background and the signed document is instantly transmitted to headquarters in PDF format. Immediately, a second signed copy prints locally for the driver. An automated workflow then matches the Bill of Lading in the system with the corresponding invoice and the documents are archived in their document management system.
The signed form is immediately available online and searchable by BOL number and customer number.Now Customer Care can service their customers better by having this information available immediately. Prior to the pens being implemented, if a Bill of Lading was required immediately after shipment, the Customer Care Rep would need to contact the remote Logistics department and request that it be faxed over. The process was slow and inefficient.
AEP estimates the saving to be $72,000 per year. While streamlining their processes for greater efficiency, the Anoto pens and the PlanetPress solution has a ROI of less than 6 months.
“The Anoto pens and the PlanetPress Suite streamline the process of handling the Bills of Lading paper. It reduces errors and saves money. The overall solution was a perfect fit to our business.”
– Ken Ribe, Director of I.T.