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“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