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Document workflow: from hard copy to digital

When Hilson Moran implemented a print management solution, the improvements weren’t limited to printed documents.

In an attempt to reduce paper consumption, Hilson Moran recently introduced a print management solution from Nuance.
In an attempt to reduce paper consumption, Hilson Moran recently introduced a print management solution from Nuance.

London’s landmarks are recognised globally. An eclectic mix of old and new, mild and wild, they combine to create a visual variety that eclipses many other cities in their quest to impress.

The engineering brains behind some of London’s most talked about buildings, such as The Gherkin, 20 Fenchurch Street and parts of Canary Wharf, is Hilson Moran. For over 35 years, it has been designing engineering systems for a range of projects from its offices in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

In an attempt to reduce paper consumption, Hilson Moran recently introduced a print management solution from Nuance. This has helped save paper, as intended, and has also led the firm to explore how other Nuance solutions, notably eCopy PDF Office Pro, can be used to streamline document workflow.

Hilson Moran initially wanted a print management solution to bring greater control to office printing and to make staff more accountable for what they printed, not just for cost reasons but also to eliminate waste – a key consideration for a company that has two ISO accreditations as testament to the quality of its working practices and respect for environmental considerations.

Finance director Roger Waters-Duke said: “We worked out that our annual paper recycling stacked up to the height of The Gherkin. This is because people would print, forget they had done so and then print again.”

Controlled printing

To gain control of its printing, Hilson Moran is using the Equitrac print management and cost recovery solution to impose print rules, such as default mono printing, and to implement PIN-based secure printing.

“With Equitrac, users can only release documents after they have typed in a PIN number. This has dramatically reduced paper waste,”

Waters-Duke explained. “Equitrac also reduces the chance of printing a confidential document to the wrong printer, in the wrong office.” To promote the new print arrangements, Hilson Moran uses data from Equitrac reports in posters displayed next to each MFP, showing the cost savings and environmental benefits that have accrued since deploying the solution.

Process digitisation

As well as helping reduce waste, Nuance’s solutions have enabled Hilson Moran to reduce the need to print in the first place by digitising everyday work processes.

For example, it now scans purchase ledger invoices so that they can be approved electronically and uses Nuance’s eCopy PDF Office Pro desktop PDF software to create and edit documents electronically – using interactive whiteboards for group collaboration.

“We can zoom in on a drawing and mark up any changes together in one document, which is much easier for us,” Waters-Duke explained.

The software also speeds up the scanning and distribution of documents through scan-to-email and scan-to-me functions.

Electronic forms

Nuance PDF Office Pro has really come into its own on tasks like completing fields on forms, which saves a great deal of time compared to filling in forms manually, and in the preparation of documents for use in the Middle East.

Before, if one mistake was made, the entire document had to be rewritten. With long and complex documents, this often led to further errors; in one case a hand-written document had to be resubmitted eight times.

Now, with PDF Office Pro, only the amendment needs to be made, which has resulted in a reduction in error rates and far quicker document turnaround times.

Waters-Duke says the software has many other useful features: “We find the PDF comparison function really useful, and the fact that PDFs are searchable saves a lot of time. It’s also very easy to quickly convert Word and Excel documents to PDFs,” he said.

Because PDF Office Pro’s flexible licence fee is rolled into Hilson Moran’s managed print service charge, Waters-Duke regards it as cost-free. “It’s so affordable that we can deploy the solution to more people than before, answering the call from many of the staff who asked to have a PDF solution on their desktop. With Adobe being so expensive, what we are looking at now is a win-win solution,” he said.

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