Thu, Dec
0 New Articles

Case Study: Quadrant Software's Paperless Process Management (PPM)

Case Studies
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
Metal Technology Solutions leads the marketplace in the design and manufacture of precision-oriented metal components and assemblies for diverse markets, including agriculture, automotive, medical, and nuclear. The company runs a high-demand, high-output manufacturing and engineering operation where improving workflow and shortening business and technology processes translates directly into a competitive advantage.

Like many manufacturing companies using Infor XA ERP (formerly MAPICS), Metal Technology Solutions also runs a document-heavy operation with five plants that send out 150 to 200 mission-critical documents per day, including sales orders, shop orders, and purchase orders.

In 2003, group of frustrated users who were overwhelmed by the hours of manual processes they had to perform each day approached IT Director Gary Baker. "The users basically asked, 'How can we reduce the number of manual faxes we send?' " recalls Baker, noting that some wasted more than four hours a day sending manual faxes.

Baker's team started researching automatic fax and electronic forms solutions. While primarily interested in recovering lost work hours, he also wanted a solution that offered cost-cutting benefits, including the elimination of preprinted forms and the ability to print AP MICR checks. Additionally, the solution needed to be easy for users and hassle-free for administrators—a tall order to say the least.

In regards to choosing a solution provider, Baker notes, "We also wanted to know how many installations were out there, how many industry awards the company had received, how long had the company been in business, and then, of course, how was technical support."

After much research, many demos, and lots of negotiations, Metal Technology Solutions decided to purchase Quadrant Software's Paperless Process Management (PPM) solutions, including the FastFax/Enterprise fax server and the Formtastic Fusion5 document design solution.

"Quadrant Software's sales staff bent over backwards to make sure we had all of our I's dotted and T's crossed," says Baker. "They answered all the questions we had and delivered on everything they promised. It wasn't a painful sales process. Believe me, I've been through those before."

Metal Technology Solutions chose to install and implement both solutions on its own. "We just looked through the documentation to see what was required of us, made one phone call to tech support, and it was up and running," recalls Baker.

He notes how happy he was with Quadrant Software's tech support team. "If I didn't get a tech support rep right away, then I usually got a call back within 1-4 hours.... Most of the time, we had a solution to the issue within 15 minutes."

It took two days to get FastFax and Formtastic installed, tested, and prepared for introduction to the users. At this point, Metal Technology Solutions took advantage of PPM's scaleable, modular architecture and gradually implemented PPM on a document-by-document and plant-by-plant basis.

"Well, basically, we rolled it out one plant at a time," explains Baker. "And it took all of about five minutes of training for the user. All they do is print the document. Then the spool file gets merged with the Formtastic form, and it goes to the FastFax queue and faxes. That's it. They don't touch it, and I receive very few calls from the users."

Finding the perfect solution and convincing users to take advantage of it are two separate battles IT professionals face. Not so with PPM. "It wasn't very hard to get users involved," states Baker. "They've told me numerous times, 'This is awesome!' They've said it just saves them so much time." In addition, the company's users can check the status of their faxes right from their desktop.

The benefits of PPM were realized quickly. "Using Formtastic, we are our own forms designer," states Baker, noting that the company's old way of designing documents was cumbersome and time-consuming, so cumbersome that Metal Technology Solutions relied on an outside consulting firm that charged $80 an hour to perform minor tasks such as changing the company contact information on a form. On average, they spent $320-$640 a month.

In comparison, Baker now uses Formtastic to make major and minor modifications to his forms as often as required without paying or waiting for consultants. "Formtastic is a lot simpler and quicker because we have the control here," says Baker. "I'm actually doing less maintenance on the forms compared to doing it the old way."

Overall, Baker was extremely satisfied with the results. "We not only saved on pre-printed forms, but we cut 15-20 hours of manual faxing a week," Baker says. "So, in some instances, we saved thousands of dollars a week in time, pre-printed forms, printers, ribbons...I mean everything."

When Baker approached executive management with the prospect of implementing a full PPM solution, they almost instantly supported it. "[They] just knew that it made good business sense," says Baker. "If you can automate, streamline, save money, be more productive, and efficient, then it's a no-brainer."

Metal Technology Solutions has been so happy with Quadrant Software's PPM solutions that it has decided to implement yet another component. "We've eliminated all of the pre-printed forms coming out of Infor XA ERP," says Baker. "The only thing that we have left to do is AP checks. We are in the process now of buying Formtastic Checks."

While Metal Technology Solutions initially wanted a solution to relieve its manual faxing woes, in Quadrant Software it found a suite of PPM solutions that solved and simplified many document management issues. "It hit on all the cylinders," states Baker. "And it exceeded my expectations on the Formtastic side because of the flexibility of the software."

He looks forward to further developing and streamlining his PPM installation. The fact that Quadrant Software's solutions have integrated with Infor XA ERP so seamlessly has made this a powerful combination that has secured Metal Technology Solutions' ERP investment by default.

Gary Langton is the CEO and Co-Founder of Quadrant Software, a leading technology company specializing in Paperless Process Management (PPM) solutions for the iSeries 400 enterprise. Quadrant Software, an IBM Business Partner, has won every major iSeries industry award for product and service excellence. Companies of all sizes rely on its document lifecycle management solutions to electronically create, capture, manage, and archive mission-critical documents and deliver them via print, fax, and email.


Quadrant Software
P.O. Box 200
Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel: 800.258.3399 or 508.828.6222
Web: www.quadrantsoftware.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: