Abey Australia manufacture and market a diverse range of over 1,200 products that includes plumbers clipping systems, flexible connectors, gas fluing systems, and skylight systems.

Established in 1953, Abey has become increasingly reliant on technology and the benefits to be gained. Every state office is connected using Telstra’s Private IP service to access the company’s iSeries-400 using VPN. Extensive use of Thin Clients throughout the company allows distributed computing with central control.

Business Challenges

Servicing over 2,000 customers with same-day dispatch facilities meant documents such as Picking Tickets had to be available within minutes. Existing matrix printers were not keeping up with the increasing demands placed on them. For example, statement runs were taking 36 hours to print and tying up valuable computer resources. The combination of a slow IBM AS/400, outdated communication facilities for interstate offices and high costs forced Abey to seek more efficient methods of interaction, both internally and externally.

Additionally, reports stored for taxation requirements were growing out of control.

"We could have made a house out of the piles of paper we had to store," claims Rod McMaster of QSOLVE, a systems consultant to Abey Australia. "There was a pressing requirement not only to deliver documents but to store documents electronically as well," he says.

Business Needs

In implementing an EDDM solution, Abey saw an opportunity to:

  • Greatly increase efficiency of printing,
  • Improve customer service by making document retrieval easy for staff,
  • Replace pre-printed stationery entirely,
  • Reduce printing, mailing and communication costs by sending documents via email and fax where possible
  • Replace cheque printing with Direct Deposit combined with faxed or emailed remittance advice.

The WilComm Solution

At a glance:

  • Easy to update form design
  • Replace pre-printed forms
  • Sales reports emailed
  • automatically
  • Comms costs halved
  • Fast ROI: saving $60,000pa
  • Printing is 95% faster

Abey were the ideal candidates for a Document Output Management solution. They had a great business case; high communications costs, slow printing on matrix printers and inflexible output of existing applications were all impeding growth and innovation.

"After researching several EDD solutions WilComm offered the best mix of IBM AS/400 and PC features," states McMaster. "The technical support was excellent and we knew Wilkinson had been around for many years. WilComm fit our requirements perfectly."

Users who had become resigned to manual retrieval of stored documents have heaved a sigh of relief. The introduction of WilComm has meant reprints of invoices and statements can be done easily and immediately.

So, while the customer is still on the telephone, a copy invoice can be faxed to their office. This has meant drastically improved customer service and increased staff morale because they are proud to work in an environment so technically advanced.

Extra Benefits Gained

There are two further outstanding illustrations of the success of WilComm at Abey Australia. Firstly, a statement run that once took 36 hours is now taking less than two hours. With high quality laser printing and flexible electronic forms, the result is a significant improvement in Abey’s corporate image. Secondly, the Return on Investment (ROI) including the purchase of a new IBM iSeries (AS/400) machine will be less than two years.

Estimated savings as a result of implementing WilComm are expected to be around $60,000 per year.

"WilComm has brought this company into the new millennium with a sustainable competitive advantage," says Rod McMaster. "We expected big results and WilComm delivered."

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