Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcome Back Twinkie

By Angela Childs


From coast to coast people are keeping an eye on grocery store shelves awaiting the return of Twinkies.  From the news of the Hostess bankruptcy first breaking and every time I’ve heard Hostess or Twinkie since, I’ve thought:

If you can’t make money selling junk food in America…

There’s a lot to unpack with the Hostess story and there is a lot of blame to go around but there are also a lot of lessons to be learned.  I, for one, have been fascinated from the beginning.

Was a big part of why they failed because they didn’t have a document management system?  Would you believe me if I said yes?

I can say this – IOS is most successful when we are solving a business problem for one of our customers.  Step back from the “what” – document scanning, workflow, system conversion, etc. and focus on the “why”.  When there’s a really compelling why then the what can have a tremendous impact.

What do I mean?  Let’s take Crate & Barrel as an example.   They were paying an outside company to audit their freight bills.  If that company found discrepancies then they would refund Crate & Barrel.

This is a standard practice but they looked at it and decided it didn't make sense.  They were paying a company to see if they had overpaid another company.

What if they could audit their own bills?  If they found the discrepancies before they paid, they’d eliminate the initial overpayment and eliminate the need to hire an outside company.

That’s where we started with them.  They came to us with a problem they wanted to solve.  Perfect.  We love that.  It was our job to dive in, uncover all the variables, learn what resources were available, the culture, dependencies, etc. and we came up with the right what.  Many pieces and parts were selected from our toolbox but for Crate & Barrel the nut was that they got a freight payment system that accomplished their goals and bolted on seamlessly to their existing content management system.

How’d it turn out?  By bringing their freight billing in-house, there were able to effectively manage freight payments, with a system that prevents duplicate invoice payment, checks and flags calculation errors, and assigns GL codes to each transaction all while not requiring any additional staff with an ROI of less than a year.

Could we have also saved a lot of people from Twinkie withdrawal?  Sadly, we’ll never know.

Go ahead, give us your biggest problem.

With offices in five states, more than 500 installations and document scanning facilities that convert over five million pages a month IOS knows what it takes to solve your document challenges.

Talk with our experts

Share this post