Case-Study: Transforming All Aspects Of Business With Automation

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Meat importer and supplier Huber’s Butchery took the leap from manual paperwork to automating their document management process to improve the efficiency and productivity of the business. Ryan Huber, managing director, explains their move.

Ryan Huber loves his meat. His immense love for meat delicacies has driven Huber’s Butchery to be a well-loved brand in the food industry these days. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the brand imports and supplies prime meat and sausages to restaurants, cafes and hotels.

We sat down with Ryan Huber, the managing director at Huber’s Butchery—a family business started a decade ago—for a short chat. The man at the helm took the leap from manual paperwork to automating his document management process in a bid to keep his team efficient and customers happy.

Initially it would cost a lot of time to print the invoices they needed with the dot matrix printers, which in turn caused delivery delays to customers and did not reflect well on the business’ productivity as well. Quality in the supply of meat and efficiency in customer service are equally important to customers. Mr Huber tells us why he made the great shift for automation.

Why Canon?

Canon addressed our pain points competently and provided immediate solutions in both cost-savings and operational issues. The solutions also allow us to be in control of our documents, whereas with other solutions, we’d have to get a third party involved. That would in turn give us more issues with operations, service, and security.

We’d receive phone calls and queries from customers requesting for copies of their invoices or document, and that will mean having to contact our third party support multiple times a day. We’d have to wait a full month to send all the documents to the third party too. That wouldn’t help us in terms of efficiency.

What was the implementation process like?

We were surprised—the process actually turned out smoother than expected. We thought it would be difficult for the staff to unlearn the past procedure and learn the new.

The service support team took time to teach us about the know-hows and to address queries on the new solutions, giving my staff the confidence to adopt these. I’m sure my staff now see the benefits of the switch as the days go by.

What are some of the benefits you or your staff see now?

The most apparent benefit would be the improvement in speed and efficiency of our printers. Initially, we had five individuals sharing one dot matrix printer. The dot matrix printer’s speed was so slow and a huge amount of time was wasted, especially when you consider that we have more than 100 delivery orders every day.

The Canon imagerunner advance multifunctional printer prints much faster, saving time. There is now no risk of metal staples contaminating the products during the delivery process as the ECO Stapling function works without the use of metal staples, which previously posed a food safety risk to our industry.

The staple-free staples two to three sheets of paper together when printed, making sure the two copies are always together when we deliver the invoice to the customer. Afterwards, we can easily shred documents without having to remove any staples, improving workflow efficiency.

The biggest change is perhaps in the documentation process. Now when signed invoices are returned, we don’t have to collate them by order numbers manually. All we have to do now is to scan these invoices, and the software will take care of the rest by automatically sorting and storing digital copies in the server.

How important is it to have the right technology for the right job?

The right tools matter. You can’t use a spanner to unfasten a screw and having the right technology will make your tasks easier and faster. It was an arduous task, both sides needed to understand the exact requirements and expectations of this great move.

The Canon team explained patiently and meticulously how the solutions could improve our operations and how they would ease us into this new system migration. The end result was amazing—the system performed above and beyond expectations.

What were some of the cost and/or time savings that you experience with the new solution?

Traditionally, a customer would call us asking for the certified true copy, and our accounts clerk would have to make her way to the store, find the relevant box, and spend another 10 to 15 minutes just searching for the copy of the invoice, before scanning it and emailing it back to the customers. The same person would spend about half a day every day just to search through the boxes for certified true copy of the invoices.

Now, all the invoices are digitised and stored on our server. The same job that took 10 to 15 minutes now only takes 10 to 15 seconds. This trickles down and improves our manpower hours per day with just one backend solution. This simple process change allows us to redeploy the staff who was doing manual searching to assist in customer service, which in turn improves both our staff and customers’ satisfaction level. In addition, we also saw a saving of about SGD$400 (US$290.38) per month on paper and ink.

If you have a piece of advice for other companies, what would it be?

Take the constant change in your stride. In today’s times, consumers are getting more and more demanding with competition growing stiffer. We change to innovate and to adapt—if we do not change, we will be left behind.