As the enterprise services arm of the iconic Australian clothing brand Yakka, Shared Apparel Services (SAS) provides IT, customer service, operations and finance services to companies within the Yakka Group.
In recent years, a key area of IT focus has been the modernisation of their document distribution system for NNT, Dowd Corporation and SAS, which specialises in providing innovative staff wardrobes to over 50,000 businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
Like many manufacturing organisations during 1998, NNT printed purchase orders and invoices from its GABS ERP system onto pre-printed stationery using dot matrix printers. The high cost, lack of flexibility and poor presentation prompted SAS to look for a better alternative. After analysing available systems, Stephen Ryan, IT Manager, SAS, saw the WilComm document output management system offered the most costeffective, automated method of forms processing.
"It was easy to see the value WilComm offered over everything we looked at. Easy setup and high volume capacity meant SAS could make the switch with confidence," says Ryan.
Shared Apparel’s initial implementation of the WilComm Document Output Management solution at NNT combined WilComm Server for AS400 with the WilComm Fax and Email modules, to provide automated faxing and emailing of purchase orders and invoices from GABS. Today, WilComm automatically emails the majority of purchase orders to suppliers in China and elsewhere in Asia, with a smaller volume being automatically routed by fax.
A desire to eliminate pre-printed stationery entirely later led to the implementation of the WilComm Print module, which automates the printing of invoices ready for boxing and shipping together with each clothing order. At the same time, more fax lines were added to cope with the increasing need to re-fax lost or unpaid invoices.
By 2003, the order volume had grown to such an extent that yet more printers and WilComm Print modules were required. Shared Apparel now operates three WilComm Print modules printing around 3000 invoices a day to 16 Lexmark laser printers in the NNT picking area. A further 12 fax lines were added in 2005 to handle the substantial increase in incoming faxes to sales and customer service.
Most recently, the WilComm solution has been extended to NNT’s retail stores. Driven by the desire to produce more professional-looking invoices, NNT retail stores throughout Australia are using WilComm’s simple, low-cost WilComm Direct software to print point-of-sale invoices directly to instore laser printers.
"It’s easy to understand for our users and adds very powerful features we use everyday," says Ryan. "The responsiveness of Wilkinson means we can rely on them to deliver innovative solutions to solve our document delivery problems."
WilComm Direct is also being used in the Qantas Mascot warehouse for immediate processing of Dowd uniform orders. In addition, Invoices are printed over the Internet to Qantas London via their Point of Sale system. Looking ahead, NNT continues to expand with several new overseas centres, as a result of winning corporate clothing contracts from major international hotel operators, and WilComm has again been selected to provide automated forms processing by print, fax and email at these sites.