OXSEED: Output on Demand
E-Billing, Mass Printing, and Archival
Beginning this year, the OXSEED Aktiengesellschaft and Maas High Tech Software GmbH have merged into one company. Responding to BIT, the management board of OXSEED AG, Marcus Hartmann and Wolfgang Maas, explained their jointly developed on-demand solution and output strategy.
The employees in the companies have been creating nearly 100 percent of all documents on computer. Applications make it possible to deliver final-formatted, digital documents such as invoices, quotes, accounting statements, or bill of materials documents. However, the high number of digital documents badly correlates with the amount of digitizing used in daily work.
The slowdown begins when employees start printing to paper instead of forwarding documents. They staple, file, sort, send writings or contract drafts using folders or mailing boxes. They paste stickers to the text to add hand-written instructions or change requests. In the other departments, the experts waste time printing out quotes or invoices, stuffing them into envelopes, and even pasting stamps on the envelopes by themselves – a nightmare for any process or quality manager.
„For us, the logical conclusion is to keep the handling of digital documents on the digital track”, Marcus Hartmann, member of the Management Board of OXSEED AG, clearly makes the point. „The key to this approach is to use software, which accepts the output of text-producing programs or applications, converting it to the required electronic document formats. As an example for such an application, we take “E-Billing”, which handles the post-processing of mass print data, the delivery by mail, and the digital archival.”
For Hartmann, the benefit of using electronic processes has been apparent for many years. „The most important arguments include work efficiency, employee productivity, and security when forwarding to colleagues or mailing to customers. The move towards digital processes brings a clear cost advantage, our on-demand concept guarantees a quick return on investments.“
“Furthermore, a digital document carries information, which a paper document will never contain”, adds Wolfgang Maas, Development and Technology Lead of OXSEED AG, “The document adds a journal of events, which informs about who created the document and when, and in which sequence it has been moved throughout the enterprise. It also shows who made which change and who finally mailed or archived the document.“
Fundamental to this undertaking is to use the right set of software tools – and, very important, at reasonable cost. Wolfgang Maas is certain that process managers will obtain the capability to accelerate processes in various departments. “Just consider the paper folders, paper clips, office printers, ring binders, staplers, envelopes, or sticky notes – all of this can be rid of just by using central, digital intelligence”, Wolfgang Maas elaborates.
By shifting to the implementation of the OXSEED software, responsibility holders can bring in a new level of quality to the organization. Wolfgang Maas „At the heart of the OXSEED on-demand platform, our AFP2web engine is the driver. It collects all documents produced as the output of applications or text programs. Depending on document type and document content, as required by the process managers for their work flows, the engine takes over the document formatting.
It accepts quotes and invoices from the applications of the sales team and reformats the data to produce a digital document. „In the next step, it passes the documents to the E-Billing module, which affixes a legally secure signature and guarantees the delivery via data network”, Wolfgang Maas continues.
„Many of our customers are obliged by law and organizational or quality policies to send paper documents to their business partners”, reports Hartmann. „Here again, the AFP2web engine collects these documents from all departments, bundles them to a digital print data stream, and sends them to the printing services or print service providers.” Work place printers, stamping machines, or envelopes can thus be removed from the departments.
In the last years, more and more process managers have formulated ‘Compliance’ guidelines for their enterprises with the help of their legal departments. One of the requirements is to store all output produced by applications in a digital archive. „This is, for sure, not a simple task. But at this point, our AFP2web engine guarantees the digital archival of the complete output of all processes and applications, and the journals and documents of the enterprise”, as Hartmann says. „The software automatically accepts each newly created, changed, delivered, or processed document, converts it, and finally passes it to the archive. “ The OXSEED Archival module sorts each document by the correct archival location and ensures that documents remain searchable – “no matter from which application a process manager, legal department, clerk, or member of the sales team starts the search”, promises Wolfgang Maas.