British Waterways is responsible for protecting and maintaining approximately 2,200 miles of canals, rivers and waterways in England, Scotland and Wales. With more than 2,000 employees, British Waterways is the third largest proprietor of listed structures in the U.K. and owns more than 2,750 monuments, bridges, historic parks, heritage sites and battlefields. It also maintains more than 350 miles of conservation areas and 90 reservoirs.
As part of its charter, the company ensures waterways are safe and accessible for more than 13 million people who visit annually as well as more than 33,000 boats that operate in the waterways daily.
British Waterways recently chose to relocate its headquarters to a corporate office located in Watford, England. Due to the physical limitations of the new corporate office, sufficient storage space was scarce. A massive volume of paper records – boat licenses, renewal forms and related documents – was being stored in 100 large file cabinets and growing each day. With its available storage space declining, the company was looking for a solution to cost-effectively archive its large backlog of paper documents and electronically capture, archive and retrieve documents at a moment’s notice.
In addition, many employees were relocated to multiple offices throughout the U.K. and needed quick access to customer documentation. However, with the company’s records department based in the city of Watford and its licensing and administrative departments based in the city of Leeds, employees were unable to locate documents efficiently, which was hampering their ability to deliver prompt customer service.
British Waterways turned to Kofax to implement a business process automation solution that would address each of its challenges. The company contacted Deltascheme Limited, a local Kofax Certified Solution Provider, to integrate the solution. Deltascheme implemented Kofax Capture, the industry’s leading document capture software and VirtualReScan (VRS), the de facto standard for capture productivity and quality throughout a document’s lifecycle. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 was also integrated as the document management repository, which seamlessly integrates with Kofax Capture.
The combined Kofax and Microsoft solution has enabled British Waterways to save more than $15 million annually in document and records management costs and realize vast improvements in its efficiency and productivity. The agency’s documents are now centrally stored, easily retrievable and accurately labelled. The solution has been rolled out to 11 sites across the U.K.
As a result, British Waterways has significantly increased its productivity and efficiency, and enabled its employees to retrieve documents in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours or days, regardless of their physical location. In addition, nearly 350,000 TIFF files have been converted into PDFs, which has greatly reduced the amount of time required for staff to manually locate and review each file.
“The Kofax solution is extremely cost effective and easy to use,” said Keith Lester, Project Manager at British Waterways. “It is important for us to be able to quickly access and retrieve key pieces of vital information from a wide variety of documents, and the combined Kofax and Microsoft solution enables us to do so in a fast, accurate manner. Plus, we can now search for individual words and text within each scanned document, which makes document retrieval quicker and more efficient.”