Making paper paines passe
Dillard’s has a philosophy that focuses on the customer: Find out what customers want and give it to them. But the retailer was aware that inefficiencies in its day-to-day operations could obstruct those goals.
Kent Wiley, VP of training and support, explains, " People at headquarters and in stores just kept copying documents, thousands and thousands of pages a day, and a lot of that was wasted."
Inefficient, paper-based hiring procedures accounted for much of the waste. When an associate is hired at Dillard's, more than 20 forms must be filled out and stored. In a company that hires more than 10,000 associates a year, that is a substantial amount of paper.
Another paper-based problem involved signs for merchandise displays. Managers knew that the legacy sign storage and production systems could not handle the high demand. Other issues included providing up-to-date training materials for store personnel--a costly and cumbersome practice-and processing and tracking accounts payable invoices from their stores. Dillard's operates 337 retail stores in 29 states.
Xerox approached Dillard's about providing an office document assessment, and the retailer agreed. Consequently, Xerox embarked on a study that took it to 14 of Dillard's business units, including division offices, distribution centers, print shops, retail stores, banks and corporate headquarters. That study eventually led to a comprehensive plan to transform business processes at Dillard's.
The solution, adopted by the retailer, included installation of 473 Document Centre multifunction networked systems to replace old analog copiers, standalone printers and fax machines. Dillard's also implemented Xerox's DocuShare document repository and FlowPort image routing software to digitize key business processes.
The results have been good, according to Xerox. For example, store teams had experienced problems getting the right signs for merchandise displays. Now store managers go online to Dillard's Web-based document repository for immediate access to thousands of signs. And the hiring process has also improved, Xerox reports. Managers can go online to a "New Hiring Packet" folder and click to print up-to-date original forms as they are needed. Meanwhile, accounting teams are using the solution to scan paper invoices directly into accounts payables systems, eliminating time-consuming microfiche processes.
"We've improved functionality, saved time and cut our costs," Wiley says