Metalmaker Goes Paperless: IBM Document Solution Saves Wise Alloys Time, Money

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Atlanta, GA - 26 Sep 2006: Aluminum can stock manufacturer Wise Alloys has selected an electronic document solution based on an IBM server to improve productivity and reduce order information access from days to minutes.

Previously, the company had been tracking their production manually, using a paper-based lot ticket system containing information on the customer specifications.  After making a physical entry of each stage of production, employees had to gather the tickets each night and ship them to an offsite processing center. Wise Alloys generates more than 40,000 lot tickets annually, so this method proved to be error-prone and time-consuming.

IBM Advanced Business Partner RJS Software built the solution on a duplex scanner and their custom WebDocs™ imaging solution running on an IBM System i 520. The scanner rapidly copies both sides of each ticket and stores the images in a database that is accessible via the Web. Since the tickets are digitized, hardcopy storage is no longer needed. The entire external process of dispatching, keypunching and microfilming, along with its associated costs and time, has been eliminated.

“We found a solution and literally two hours later, we were scanning lot tickets,” said Gene Bendall, senior business systems analyst of Wise Alloys. “With the new paperless solution, we know exactly where a processing order is stored and can quickly access the information with the touch of a button. All customer order information can be accessed in minutes instead of days."

Other benefits:

The solution has been so successful that Wise Alloys has used it to give employees electronic access to payroll checks and also plan to use it to handle sales invoices, billing and other administrative paperwork.

Wise Alloys, located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is the world’s third-leading producer of aluminum can stock for the beverage and food industries and is an environmentally friendly company using recycled aluminum in the production of its can stock. The company operates two production facilities – an alloys plant and a reclamation facility.

At the reclamation facility, the company melts and purifies shredded recycled cans for use at the alloys plant, which casts aluminum ingots; roll the ingot into sheets, which are then used to make beverage cans, tabs and other products.