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Digital Mailroom at Federale Verzekering

"Working digital is more secure: digital files are on various servers, while paper files were at risk from fire, water damage... However, the most important advantage of all was the time-saving."
Olivier Halflants, Director Non-Life Federale Verzekering

Digital Mailroom at Federale Verzekering

Smarter processes, better services

Federale Verzekering saves time with digital transformation

There are few sectors which use as much paper as the insurance sector, mostly due to legal requirements. "That was the case at Federale Verekering too, until recently", Olivier Halflants agrees. As the managing director of ‘Non-Life’, he is responsible for the non-life insurances. "Our business clients in particular, demanded a completely digital, and preferably mobile, communication, so we decided to digitise as many internal work processes as possible." The Ghent ICT company Docbyte, specialist in digital transformation, was contracted to do the work. "Change management played a really important part in the project", Olivier Halflants explains. "Digitisation of the work processes required major adjustments by our staff too. Docbyte suggested bringing in a specialist to develop the strategy with us. During an individual interview with each employee, resistance, willingness to retrain etc. were charted. That enabled us to outline the new work organisation. At the same time, we stayed as closely as possible to existing procedures, in order to make the switch as easy as possible."

Ready for bigger challenges

Federale Verzekering and Docbyte foresaw a central role for the mailroom, a new service where staff digitise the paper documents and open new claims files. "That solution offered both social and efficiency benefits", Halflants declares. "It offered us the opportunity of retraining all our paper document archivists. In the same move, we save valuable time for our file managers: they can get to work with the file immediately." The argument which ultimately convinced the staff about the digital workflow was the chance of working from home. The digital transformation provides huge benefits for Federale Verzekering too, such as an end to expensive transport and archiving costs. "The digital workflow also allows us to distribute the workload better among our various locations", adds Halflants, "and it's more secure too: digital files are on various servers, while paper files were at risk from fire, water damage ... However, the most important advantage of all was the time-saving. We recently landed a big contract. Without digital transformation, we would not have been able to handle the extra workload."

Would you like to experience these benefits too? Start your digital transformation project now, and get in touch with us at info@docbyte.com

Documentum Upgrade at Crelan

"Even without comparison to other parties, we resolutely chose Docbyte because we trusted their expertise to fulfil this project quickly and accurately, based on their experience and references."
Anita Rubbrecht, Capacity Manager, Crelan

Documentum Upgrade at Crelan

Collaboration so that critical ECM systems do not become ‘critical’

Crelan and Docbyte quickly upgraded Documentum.

Crelan is a cooperative bank with more than 288,000 customers that are part-owners. As a cooperative bank, Crelan wants to approach things differently by being in close contact with its customers. This means the institution continually strives to have the best systems. Their electronic content management system, Documentum, which is active since 2009, has worked quite well, but in order to keep everything running smoothly, changes were needed.

The challenge

The challenge was that the versions of Documentum, which were still running mid-2015, were all in extended support. The running versions were no longer optimally supported and were reaching the end of their lifecycle. Crelan did not want to start from scratch all over again, since there was no budget or staff for that.  Moreover, the knowledge about the system was lost because over the years, different externals had worked on the system and they now no longer worked at Crelan. In order to keep costs to a minimum, action was undertaken immediately. Crelan resolutely chose to upgrade to Documentum 7.2.

The solution

The entire project, which had to coordinate different departments, was managed by Anita Rubbrecht. She recalls: “Due to the impact of the system on the organisation, it was very clear that a lot had to happen in a short time and that we had no time to lose. Internally, we could not technically carry this out, because we no longer had the expertise in house, therefore, we sought another solution. Even without comparison to other parties, we resolutely chose Docbyte because we trusted their expertise to fulfil this project quickly and accurately, based on their experience and references.”

We started this project in September 2015, and we mainly ensured that everything remained effective and functional, because Crelan cannot afford for their system to stop operating, even for a millisecond. The delivery followed in December 2015, for the DEV, test, acceptation, and production environment. Everything that was not used was removed so that the environment could run in a similar and stable way. A feat that was accomplished in just three months.

A stable environment thanks to a stable collaboration

After successfully completing the project, Anita Rubbrecht looks back positively at the collaboration. Everything runs as it should and Crelan is very satisfied with the collaboration with Docbyte’s people: “One is always nervous about starting something like that, but thanks to the pro-active, flexible, knowledgeable, and professional staff at Docbyte, we were quickly at ease.”

Moreover, for Docbyte it is not ‘fire and forget’ because implicit in the collaboration is training for the employees that work with it on a daily basis. Not to mention the support desk that, when there were problems, brought solutions within half an hour.

Do you have a project for us in mind and do you need expertise? Do not hesitate to contact us via info@docbyte.com or via our contact form.

Mailroom automation at P&V Group

"We were looking for a system that should really be intuitive. A non-trained co-worker should be able to sit at a desk and use it straightaway, because then we know that we have a user-friendly system that will really help to improve our services towards our stakeholders"
Bart Van Bouwel, Program Manager Digitalisation, P&V Group

Mailroom automation at P&V Group

Belgian insurer P&V Group commits to banning physical distribution of mail as early as 2018

The P&V Group (P&V, Vivium and Actel) offers a wide range of insurance solutions to private persons, self-employed individuals, companies and organizations. The many products and services are distributed through an extensive network of exclusive advisors and independent brokers who act as the privileged contacts for the customers. Inherent to the business of insurance companies is the compulsory, extensive and diverse correspondence (electronic or on paper) that needs to be handled on a daily basis. While scanning for archiving purposes at the end of the document lifecycle was already mainstream, rethinking the processes was deemed necessary. Full digitalization of the process was the logical way to go forward and the mailroom was the first hurdle to take.

Pre-process scanning: the start upstream

Each year >1.000.000 documents are processed by the Claims department. 60 to 70% of these documents are non-structured emails. These +/- 600.000 emails are on average 4 pages long. A lot of these e-mails were very often simply printed. They posed an additional challenge for digitalizing this process.

“Therefore we were looking for a system that should really be intuitive. A non-trained co-worker should be able to sit at a desk and use it straightaway. Because if that is possible, then we know that we have a user-friendly system that will really help to improve our services towards our stakeholders.” says Bart Van Bouwel, responsible for the project at P&V Group.

In this case Docbyte advised P&V Group to use the Captiva software solution to scan the incoming paper flow and insert the documents, together with incoming mails, into the process in order to be digitally handled. That’s 2,5 million pages less to print for P&V Group, with the added advantage that digitized print and electronic mail are now ‘one’.                                                                                                       

Change for the better

P&V Group is not claiming that they are the first in the industry to organize pre-process scanning but what is rather unique is that they took advantage of that solution to change their processes. Next to a specific structure and typology they introduced a matrix that makes it much easier to recognize, let’s say, the type of invoice, the invoice number, the sender, etc. This results in the indexation team being able to distill all useful data and information from the source documents without having to know the ins and outs of the business. Among other things, this makes the handling of dossiers:

  • Easier
  • Faster
  • More efficient
  • Less prone to errors

Ultimately the result is extremely satisfactory to both P&V Group and the customers, whose dossiers will be handled better and faster.

The extra perks of change

Besides the obvious advantages of going digital in order to improve the process flow, it also provides a wealth of usable data that was previously harder and more time-consuming to find, analyze and use. As an example: each day documents are put “on hold”, this is a sort of “holding area” for documents that require additional information, before they can be processed. This can happen for several reasons e.g.

  • Unclear what damage is referred to.
  • Is it actually one of P&V Group's contracts?
  • Is it a damage claim?
  • Is it an unreadable document?

 Obviously it is very time consuming to handle these documents in a satisfactory way. However, now that the Captiva solution analyses the extracted data, patterns can be discerned and it is possible that several occurrences of so called “bad” documents can be traced back to a single sender. By contacting the party involved and reaching a solution beneficial to all parties involved, future time-consuming problem solving can be avoided.

“And it even has more of an impact, not only for our daily work, but also for the way our stakeholders work. We have examples where we have struck a deal with e.g. leasing companies to eliminate paper invoices and to only send electronic invoices so that both parties can improve their process control and reduce the paper flow.” concludes Bart Van Bouwel.

Obviously P&V Group cannot control the form and format of the entire incoming document flow but thanks to detailed reporting, targeted actions can be organized to make improvements where deemed necessary and the same reporting allows for determining whether those actions were successful. For example, they will introduce a pilot asking their suppliers and contacts not to send paper-based invitations, newsletters and brochures anymore.

Do people want change?

Bart Van Bouwel: “This is normally not an easy matter, but surprisingly, thanks to proper communication, involvement and training, everything was implemented relatively smoothly. Let’s not forget that, together with Docbyte, the pilot started in the summer of 2015 and the first project (car) already went live mid-September 2015, with new branches being added every two weeks. A rollercoaster, for sure, and stressful, but apart from the usual bumps it went really smoothly. There is also a clear desire and enthusiasm to continue the process and to ‘change’ the entire company.”

The final goal

P&V Group is resolved to getting rid of physical documents entering the organization altogether by 2018. The organization however does not advocate a paperless office, but a “Less Paper”-organization.

More information on Mailroom Automation can be found here.

Digital archiving at CMA CGM

“The feedback we received from the pilot project users is overall very positive. The benefits that came across most frequently were: ease of use, gain of time, productivity increase, more focus on the core job and less frustration.”
Monique Somers, VIP/Special Desk Officer – Customer Service Export at CMA CGM

Digital archiving at CMA CGM

Digital archiving and document sharing solution for a better and more efficient work environment.

428 CMA-CGM ships steam on 170 shipping lines to 400 different ports worldwide. With 18.000 employees in 150 countries, distributed across 650 agencies, CMA-CGM is a major player in the commercial shipping business. Antwerp is an important center of activity for the company and has more than 230 people handling important information, on paper and in digital form, every day. Has the time come for change?

Ever-growing archive           

When the Antwerp site had to move to a new location, the future of the physical archive was a point of argument. The international shipping industry is extremely document savvy and official documents and business papers need to be kept at hand. In the Antwerp office alone there was a staggering 770m2 of space devoted to the paper archive. Worldwide these numbers are even more staggering. The solution should of course be capable of being used not only by the Antwerp office.

Paper out, digital in.

However, how should the incoming document flow be handled and how can CMA-CGM consequently improve its processes? In the past it happened way too often that the ‘mailbox full’ message flashed on screen which caused people to archive information on their local computer. Information was also hard to find, especially, when the person involved was not at the office. It was tedious, inefficient and frustrating. 

Docbyte introduced DocuShare as a solution because, next to the ability to share and collaborate on documents with everybody in the department, it has proven to be the perfect archiving tool. All information related to a customer such as emails, important correspondence, documents (often PDF), etc. are now archived per client and are 24/7 available to all colleagues. This results in one central information repository and one central archiving system. At the push of a button you have access to the system (thanks to the security integration options), offering you way more elaborate search functionalities and options.

The pilot project: do old habits die?

Global Accounts, where Monique Somers started the initial pilot project at CMA-CGM, quickly became the trailblazers and are archiving everything digitally since 2015.

The shipping industry is one of the oldest and most traditional industries and there was of course some reluctance to start using a new system. Even some people in the Global Accounts team sometimes still feel an urge to keep a little folder with the information in print. In general, there is still too much useless printing going on. It’s better to stick to the important stuff (legal) and use the printer for when it is really needed. 

Monique Somers commented: “The feedback we received from the pilot project users is overall very positive. The benefits that came across most frequently were:

·       Ease of use

·       Gain of time

·       Productivity increase

·       More focus on the core job

·       Less frustration

Obvious, one would think, but years of working in system X doesn’t mean one switches easily to system Y. Unless the benefits are proven, which was the case.

Communicate and sell.

That is why this pilot at CMA-CGM was so valuable. The results will be evident but the company wide implementation will have to be sold to the rest of the organization, on the basis of clear proof-points. Which brings us to an important part of the basics of the implementation of new solutions: communicate, communicate, communicate. All too often brilliant projects that can help a company tremendously in how to improve their service and business, fail through lack of understanding or lack of informing each other about the advantages for the daily workload.

It is therefore the task of the management team to convince all employees of the benefits that a new solution can bring. Not by using figures but by giving hands-on proof that it works better.

Also thinking about updating your paper archive to a digital one? Or just looking to optimise your archive? Then get more information here

Application Retirement at AZ Alma

“Choosing Docbyte’s Electronic Patient Archive in combination with their Application Retirement solution was, for AZ Alma, a deliberate and future-oriented strategic decision.”
Fritz Defloor, Director of ICT and Administration, AZ Alma.

Application Retirement at AZ Alma

Application Retirement assures system-independent conservation of vital patient information and saves time and budget. 

AZ Alma is a private consolidated hospital with more than 500 beds on campuses in Sijsele and Eeklo. As in every modern hospital, the necessary patient information (in digital form and otherwise) is expanding – information that is of vital importance for doctors and nurses and that they always must be able to consult. IT systems, however, have a limited lifespan but the data contained within them will always have to be available. Indeed, a patient is granted a longer life span than an IT system. A solution was pressing. But it had to be a future-oriented solution.

Application retirement

Application Retirement separates obsolete applications and the information stored within them to keep that information available longer than the application itself. In this way, vital data can remain usably archived. And this concerns both the core and auxiliary systems and the shadow IT or, in other words, the many individually constructed Excel, Word, Access, and other files. Ideally, all of this information is consolidated in one central location, clearly structured and conveniently ordered. More information, insights and advantages about application retirement can be found in this Whitepaper

AZ Alma is a consolidated hospital

Collecting all of the information in one location is a major challenge for a consolidated hospital.  Information was situated in several sites, and it has to come together in one place. And that is what is being done at AZ Alma. A new central solution for patient records (EPR) is being implemented whereby two existing applications (electronic medical records, EMR’s) are being phased out. So a deliberate choice was made to transfer information from these existing applications to an Electronic Patient Archive (EPA). Of course, a transition phase is provided between the two applications, and new patient records are immediately included with existing data. Application Retirement can then begin.

What was also important was the deliberate choice not to take over data from the two existing applications in a structured manner. Moving information from the old EMR’s into the new EPR while maintaining data structures and information integrity (i.e. quality), turned out to be impractical and would come at a substantial financial cost. This challenge was immediately anticipated in the integration of the new EPR and the EPA. Between the EPR and the EPA, the data will be systematically exchanged in a structured layout. In addition to securing the information and keeping all of it available in EPA, by choosing this approach, AZ Alma assures that all of the data remain available when the current EPR system is retired at some point I the future.  

Strategic decision

Fritz Defloor, Director of ICT and Administration, AZ Alma: “If we consider the life cycle of a patient of about 90 years, and we see that IT applications and systems have to migrate every four to eight years, then, from a business standpoint, this constant migration would obviously cost an enormous amount of time and money. Not just to do it but also to remove inevitable errors and to cover the knowledge that disappears or, still worse, the price of data that become untraceable. A modern hospital must prepare itself as well as possible for the future both for the patients and for its own organization.  Choosing Docbyte’s Electronic Patient Archive in combination with their Application Retirement solution is, for AZ Alma, a deliberate and future-oriented strategic decision. It made us focus on the need first to secure our data in an archive. If AZ Alma would later opt to implement another EPR system and to retire the present system, then all of the information in EPA is available, and the question of data migration no longer arises.”

Why Application Retirement?

Application Retirement comes into its own when hospitals merge, of course, but not exclusively.  It is also necessary to assure migration to standard software, to resolve compliance issues, to provide business continuity, to identify risks and to quantify risk management.

But the fundamental answer is: because information has to remain and applications change and die. Because endless conversions are obsolete and become counterproductive because of the data and quality loss, which, of course, involves increasing costs.

Each hospital and even each organization has to give serious thought to the importance and the availability of vital information, not just to “parking” it in an archive but also to how this information – which is not always being intensively used – will still remain a vital component of business operations in the future. And there are solutions to these problems. AZ Alma realizes that.

More advantages can be found here

Invoice Management at Jan Yperman

"The solution for our invoice management system not only generates substantial savings, it also allows our staff to concentrate on their core duties. A clear win-win."
Olivier Rys, head of administration at Jan Yperman Hospital

Invoice Management at Jan Yperman

Jan Yperman Hospital streamlines supplier invoicing using invoice management solution and achieves annual savings of 20%


The Jan Yperman Hospital in Ieper is a modern facility focussed on improving the efficiency of their services at all levels.  The analysis of their supplier invoicing system brought several problems to the fore; those were turned into opportunities by applying a modern and personalized invoice management solution. 


A jumbled mountain of papers

Working exclusively with paper invoices does not make life easy. Besides the difficulty of trying to locate a particular invoice once it is somewhere in the approval process, some also get lost and with 35.000 documents per year that need to be kept for 10 years, storage is also problematic. 
Not to mention the fact that there is no metadata and no possibility to manage document status.  Automatizing the work processes was not an option.  Due to the hospital’s success this means that besides the 1,5 man-equivalent an extra 1 is required solely to manage the process.

What needed to change?

Project targets were set in 2010: legal electronic archiving, streamlining the purchase and approval processes and consistently claiming the related suppliers’ discount. Easier said than done and how to get started?

Analysis, solution, implementation

Olivier Rys, head of administration: “We turned to the specialist in such matters.  Docbyte can refer to years of experience not only in cross-channel ECM solutions but also specifically in the world of healthcare. They helped us to analyse the complex situation and with the help of Captiva software devised a tailor-made solution that fits like a glove. It was most definitely a rewarding process in which all concerned could join in the thought process, provide input and also see it being implemented.”

Using professionals as professionals

Whereas the old system required at least 2 hours work by an accountant in order to validate 130 invoices per day by sorting, copying and circulating internally, this new automated system can easily be taught to someone else. This means that the time gained can be used for the job for which the highly trained professionals were employed.  Although it may seem a paradox but the direct effect of the acute digitizing at Yperman has led to an increase in employee satisfaction as their jobs have been upgraded. 

Budget economy

Targets were also set at the organization’s level and we all know that efficient budget management is one of the core elements in order to run a business successfully. 
Besides the positive impact through time saving in locating documents, the digitizing of the work processes, the improved access to information and the heightened security, the decrease in risk of loss, printing and of remote work, the invoice management system has brought Yperman an added bonus. In one year of using the new system only for the incoming invoices, the hospital has made a savings of 20% of the budget.  Not bad.

Next steps

Without a doubt, if we look at the impact of this exercise on our hospital it becomes apparent that there are many more ways in which we can improve our work methods. The accounting and invoicing in general need to be revised, we can for sure become more efficient and economic in those areas.  Looking at the amount of paper generated by a hospital admission we urgently need to analyse how we can best digitize in that area.  If we continue to implement this type of solution then we will not only save time and money but ultimately the access to information and care will in general become easier.  Something which will most definitely benefit our patients. And that remains the most important task of a hospital.”: thus concludes Olivier Rys