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3 years, 2 months ago
We continue series of articles on "EDMS: way from simple to difficult".
Whether it is possible to automate by means of EDMS control of treasurer activity in the company at which divisions and the child organizations are at a great distance from each other? Watching it what EDMS at you. At once we will make a reservation: this is not about that to reduce all business processes to rearrangement of "pieces of paper" and to simulate work of all divisions on the principle of office. By no means!
The matter is that narrow and subject development approach of business applications, including EDMS, long ago in the past. Today any decent system possesses fair stock of flexibility and functionality therefore it can be used for solution by time of atypical tasks. And it has turned out in the vertically integrated Alyans Oil Company oil company where, in view of intensive document flow and need to organize effective inter-user communication from different regions of Russia and Kazakhstan, EDMS choice the THESIS as platform was more than successful.

The treasury is processing of requests

For reference use: Treasury — this one of key divisions of usually holding organization coordinating work of all financial services of subsidiaries and divisions. The main objective of this financial structure is ensuring uninterrupted cash flow both with external partners, and in the organization.

Each payment is event, transaction which needs to be shortchanged, coordinated and executed. That is, it is certain document (or document package) which has to pass along certain route of approval and its execution has to be checked. Sounds very probably on problem definition on implementation of EDMS, isn't it? Only the document specific – not some there service record, and difficult object, with the fields calculated by certain business rules and exchanging data with other systems. That is, here we get on ERP glade a little.

In Alyans Oil Company the isolated system of budgeting which is not arranging the customer was used. We at that time worked with the organization and have already successfully implemented system of document flow the THESIS. In its structure there are very decent tools for business process management and the designer of entities inherited from CUBA (platform on which EDMS the THESIS is written). Thus, it is possible to create own object types and to set regulations of their processing. And in principle invariantna of rather data domain therefore our experience from EDMS has appeared quite we will apply functions of distribution of instructions and control.

Why it was necessary to change old system

The golden rule "works – only touch nothing" it is applicable to certain limit while people are ready to suffer inconveniences of old system and do not see other real alternatives. In our case there were two irritating factors:
  • Isolation because of what curators had to work in two systems, and to financiers – in three. The mismatch of data, repeated input and errors was consequence of it.
  • Inability to work in geographically distributed environment to provide interaction between the enterprises of holding and consolidation of data.

And still (it was found already on implementation): During trial operation reports in two systems, old and new prepared. Have found discrepancy in one of reports. Naturally, declared it bug of new system. However, when all have carefully checked manually, it was necessary to recognize that it is error of old system.

OK, all programmers are mistaken, happens. But one business of error logical which can be caught at stage of testing and another matter of error because of unreliable architecture: that well works for one user not always is successfully scaled in the distributed multiuser environment.

In old system of budgeting there were problems owing to use of co-edit mode of tables – such mechanism of input of primary data has been provided, but thus it is difficult to control integrity of data. All transactions go at once to the THESIS via the server, and the similar collision cannot simply occur.

Integration is good for the integrator, but not always for the customer

The large organization cannot be automated by means of the unique system, having hung on it all tasks – such is facts of life. Surely there will be tasks for which the functional customer will demand to implement any special solution, and then desire to provide through business processes! Integrators it, certainly, pleases, and IT service of the customer – not always.

But that this availability of "automation islands" – the isolated systems which cannot be included in the general circuit of information exchange is absolutely inadmissible to modern measures, so. The Alyans Oil Company has come up just against such situation: the system used at that time by treasury has been completely isolated – did not interact neither with accounts department, nor with EDMS.

Therefore having soberly thought, the customer has decided to reduce number of systems and to refuse former solution, having shifted its functional "duties" to the THESIS. From the architectural point of view, such simplification of landscape is the undoubted benefit. If the problem can be solved smaller number of systems, it is necessary to do so.

In 1C you will not tire out all users

Until the accountant creates the payment order in the 1C and will send this payment order to bank, money will not leave anywhere, be your request though it is three times coordinated and approved. If you bring it in accounts department on paper or even will send as the document by e-mail, you should wait until the accountant hammers your data into the system. And these requests countless multitudes.
As always, it is necessary for you urgently, huh? So help the accountant, fill in the payment order. Are not able to work in 1C? Clearly … Also and to the accountant there is no wish to study excess systems. Therefore that to strain nobody, have decided all processes of approval of requests to take out in the THESIS, and thanks to the checked integration mechanisms with 1C, to implement interaction of the companies in holding.

"So in 1C there is also document flow!" – the attentive reader will tell. And it will be right, but the customer has got negative experience with this product on other project, and did not want to risk again. And the history about the THESIS developed quite positively – the system of document flow already was in commercial operation.
As a result all initiators of payments do in the THESIS of the request for payment (in the majority on templates) on the basis of which payment orders in 1C form, and it is simple to accountant to check them enough, but not to type from scratch.

Not everything went smoothly

Let's say technical capabilities of system allow you to do anything – though document flow, though treasury though to trade in sunflower seeds – on market or at the exchange. Flexibility – 100%. Entity and processes – any. But why we see, what the companies, even equipped with universal tools, very slowly get into new data domains? Because in any business it is necessary to acquire examination before everything becomes easy to turn out.

The request for payment is not the normal service record which has only number and date. In any new business there are nuances therefore it was necessary and to remake product in process of specification of requirements and accumulation of knowledge.
Here, for example: at first have made simply – one request – one item in the budget. It has appeared that it is not absolutely convenient because one request can pass under different articles, for example, when within one contract together with some goods there are services on its installations / implementations.

Taking into account monthly financial planning on the basis of which finally requests for carrying out payments also form, opportunity flexibly to work with this payments is extremely important. The implemented monitoring system of treasurer activity on the basis of EDMS the Thesis has allowed to reduce time on work with financial requests at the expense of possibility of forming of the uniform request which at first joins in the financial plan, and then right after signing of primary documents goes on approval for payment that is quite typical in 90% of cases.

Staff of financial services has in turn had opportunity to break the request for some payments, to transfer them between months and to carry out more low-level planning by means of payment calendar.

Reason for pride

In general the THESIS team has successfully coped with the project. On the basis of EDMS the system of automation of work of treasury in large holding which ensures functioning with the budget of cash flow, check of limits, approval and planning of payments, tracking of the facts of payment has been constructed.
The customer had completely accepted new solution. As it often happens, some time in the course of implementation users should work in parallel in two systems and as people are conservative, new occasionally gets accustomed hardly, under administrative pressure. In Alyans Oil Company of it has not occurred. (Besides for the reason that automation of treasury in fact was expansion of functionality of EDMS.)

The geographical factor often pulls down the most correctly written plans, and remote communication not always compensates the live. And here too everything was successful. Judge: the functional customer in Moscow, the developer in Samara, and implementations across all Russia. Thus only two business trips – on start of the project and on delivery were required. The rest of the time communicated far off, however very intensively, even have broken all records in the company of the customer on duration of conference calls on Skype. Of course, have saved on business trips, but there is one more moment: users had to become the high-ranking staff of financial service who are always very occupied – it would be possible to catch near offices them for days on end, in vain spending time of the analysts whereas conversation on Skype could be planned for time, convenient for all.

Not to be afraid of new calls, but not to ask for trouble

Realizing problem of management of treasury, we have actually intruded on the territory of ERP from the EDMS system. It has become possible thanks to the universal CUBA platform, and in principle there are no architectural and technical obstacles to develop full-function ERP on this platform.
Putting end, it is possible to draw conclusion:
Having in EDMS hands which cornerstone the universal flexible platform is, it is possible to be got involved in the most various projects which are far beyond traditional document flow. The risk is connected not with technical aspect, and is exclusive with competence of data domain.
Of course, EDMS will not replace ERP or CRM to bring custom solution to product level, it is necessary to work much – and it will be already other history. If someone undertakes – welcome! The lack of the corresponding competences of data domain can only be the stopper here.

The history of this project and responses of the customer can be read here.

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