On screen: Boosting Productivity Through Digital Technology Adoption
On screen: PF Collins, a full service customs broker and logistics firm, started working with NRC-IRAP in August 2012, when they realized the need to implement a digitally-based information system to keep up with rapid growth, increasing competition and to meet client needs.
On screen: NRC-IRAP provided the support they needed to successfully integrate an electronic document management system.
On screen: Here is their story.
Bernard Collins: We started off as a custom's broker some many years ago. My grandfather started the business and so we have evolved with a suite of services now that we have captured under International Trade Solutions So we provide the custom's services, freight forwarding, warehousing, immigration services and marine agency and consulting services and related services in that field.
Sharlene: Internally, we actually record and keep documents on record for seven years. This results in a high volume of paper for storage and distribution to our clients. Just for an example, if a client called in and wanted to question an invoice, we would have to hang up the phone, run downstairs, enter the file room, retrieve the document and call them back which could be ten minutes later because of course along the we probably would have had another two phone calls in between all of that. So with the new electronic document system, we can actually respond to the client queries on the phone and everything is a fingertip away. If you just want to look up a document, you just put in your information and it comes available in two seconds.
Bernard Collins: The implementation of digital solutions for our documentation has seen a significant increase in the productivity of our staff, the accuracy and quality of different documentation and also the ability to retrieve and meet client demand and satisfaction with regards to additional questions that may come out of our documentation requirements.
Sharlene: Some of the challenges that were faced during our project, I guess the biggest one would be the resistance to change. I guess how we sort of overcame that resistance to change with the staff is actually to communicate to them throughout the whole project itself. The implementation I think was a success due to assigning a project manager. The project manager actually communicated with the whole team and selected the members of the team which were actually people that were working in the department. I think it is very important to make sure that anyone who is on the team is actually people who work with the system itself so that when we roll it out and go live, they are aware of the system that they are going to be working with every day.
Bernard: As we continue to expand the utilization of the electronic documentation, we see a broader scope for our warehousing operation with regards to receipt and inventory control systems that are in place. We also expanded in being able to support many of our agents and clients that we serve internationally. That documentation is easier to disseminate around the world and we can ensure the accuracy of that documentation.
On screen: DTAPP was created as a pilot program to deliver support from November 2011 to March 31, 2014 and was delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program