Reducing document delivery delays


The central engineering department issued over 300,000 documents related to new investment studies each year. Multiple copies of the documents went sent to numerous departments. Over 500,000 hard copy documents were stored in 5 locations for reference. Of the 300,000 issued documents over 11% had to be re-distributed due to loss or misrouting. Furthermore the distribution of documents took 7 days on average.

Six people were involved in copying, distribution and archiving. In the tool shop several further copies were made.  Hard copy legibility issues led to technical errors, delay and rework. In summary the flow of paperwork was inefficient, leading to significant delays and cost.


The project team were able to determine statistically which routings were least effective, why, and where the lost documents occurred most often. They confirmed the average distribution cycle times and reasons for variation. Their conclusions led to management support for a complete process re-design solution. Documents were modified to electronic versions and an electronic document distribution system was created to provide electronic data flow. An e-mail notification system for document availability was set up. The process was also changed to a subscription-based, rather than distribution-based system.


Business benefits

The number of documents issued was reduced from 300,000 to 80,000 p.a., with no reduction in relevance or completeness of required information. Documents were archived electronically, eliminating storage cost. The proportion of redistributed documents was reduced from 11% to 1%. Document distribution times were reduced from 7 days to less than 2 days. The cost of document processing was reduced by €140,000 p.a. and the substantial but intangible costs of new vehicle programme delay were also reduced.


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