Viking Materials Automates Credit Approval Process

Viking Materials, Inc. is a diversified metals processor and distributor. They are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Franklin Park, Illinois. Viking is a subsidiary of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE:RS), the largest metal service center company in North America. Reliance is a Fortune 500 company and was founded in 1939.

Since 1973, Viking Materials, Inc. has been a supplier of flat-rolled carbon steel. Viking delivers more than steel. Also, they have the capabilities to shear, edge, and re-slit rolled material. They also provide a wide variety of flat and rolled carbon sheet products.

Viking Materials has been a long-time Laserfiche client. They have used Laserfiche to archive inventory, quality, and accounting documents.

Tracy Boggs, IT Manager, said: “Laserfiche has made our paper disappear and our productivity improve.”  But, Laserfiche had much more capability than they were using.  So, they decided to use Laserfiche to automate some of their business processes, hoping to gain additional productivity. After looking at all their business processes, they decided to automate their credit approval process. To do this, they would be using Laserfiche Forms and Workflow.

Kim Guzman, Credit Manager, and Andrea Armstrong, Assistant Credit Manager, sat down with Tracy and mapped out their process. Tracy created a Visio diagram, so it was easy for Mark, President of Hemingway Solutions, to create a workflow that matched their process.

For Andrea, adopting the new credit process with Laserfiche was an easy, smooth transition. Kim admitted that change was a little more challenging for her, but she pushed herself to adopt the paper-less solution.

Laserfiche pulls the data for all customers that need a credit review, populates a Laserfiche form for each client, and sends it to the credit team. In the past, Kim said, “Credit files would be piled on my desk, and it was difficult to know what was there and what needed to be worked on first. It was easy for a file to get buried and forgotten unless someone came looking for it.”

Andrea said they are now much more organized, and no matter where in the process they are, they can find a file. Kim was especially fond of the fact that she completes a file by simply clicking a button.  This indicates that the credit check is complete and the file is sent to the CFO for approval. No more gathering up papers, moving them around the office, and filing them.

By breaking away from a paper process that was familiar and comfortable, they are now much more efficient and organized. Kim said she would never want to go back to their old way of doing things.

This solution will help them eliminate an isle of filing cabinets, which will free up some much-needed office space for two or three employees.

The next project for Viking is to automate their accounts payable approval process. Tracy has enlisted help from Kim and Andrea. They will use their experience to map out the accounts payable business process.

Author: Larry Phelps
Helping organizations like yours become more efficient and effective using Laserfiche enterprise content management system, your paperless solution.