Sinner Bros. & Bresnahan (SB&B) is a family-owned, large-scale agribusiness that produces, processes and supplies food grade products worldwide. From preservation of food integrity to high-tech processing of diversified food lines, SB&B's focus on uncompromising quality enables the company to meet the extensive demands of the global food market.
SB&B's diverse operations are managed from its 4,700 acre North Dakota farm, which has been in existence for more than 100 years.
Sinner Bros. & Bresnahan (SB&B) administers multiple business units from its North Dakota headquarters, and each entity manages a large volume of information that ranges from food product quality and accounts payable documentation to customer records and vendor agreements. The company realized it needed a formal enterprise content management (ECM) system to more effectively manage this information, which had been stored and organized in physical folders and file cabinets for more than a century.
"The ability to administer our files and records electronically from within a central location was the driving factor in our decision to transition to a formal ECM solution. Our goal was to implement a system that enabled our staff to access the information they need from their desks – rather than having to get up and walk to file cabinets"
said Chad Bresnahan, CPA at SB&B. "Unfortunately the first system we selected and deployed was difficult to use and didn't live up to our expectations, so we soon realized we needed to go in another direction."
Through a personal relationship with a contact Bresnahan knew who worked at Marco, SB&B learned about the M-Files ECM system.
As an M-Files solution provider, Marco demonstrated how the M-Files ECM solution could help SB&B efficiently move from its outdated paper-based approach to a true electronic document management system that could also automate workflows as well as enhance its CRM capabilities.
Marco worked closely with SB&B to define specific workflows as well as document types and associated metadata properties in M-Files for each of SB&B's seven companies, which automated the process of uploading new documents into the system.
"Marco has been a fantastic resource for structuring our deployment plan and in their overall support. They've been instrumental in helping us get the most out of M-Files," said Bresnahan.
Automated Workflow Capabilities Streamline Invoice Processing
Prior to M-Files, workflows at SB&B consisted of a person in one office completing a task and then walking the document associated with that task to another person for their review and approval. Marco worked with SB&B to transition from this highly-inefficient manual process to an automated approach executed within M-Files that enables users to establish simple assignments for ad hoc collaboration and receive automatic email notifications for new and modified documents.
The metadata-based architecture of M-Files enables SB&B to easily establish and enforce workflows in order to handle accounts payable processes more efficiently. By having all invoices reside in a centralized location, SB&B has automated the process of routing them to managers for approval and then sending them off for final processing and payment.
"We used to have separate filing cabinets for each business unit and we were spending a lot of time and effort managing documentation for accounts payable," said Bresnahan.
"The ability for us to manage the approval process for all business units via M-Files' workflow capabilities has resulted in a significant time savings."
SB&B Only Scratches the Surface with Capabilities
While the primary objective for tapping M-Files ECM was to transition from a paper to digital approach for managing important information, SB&B realizes that it can utilize the system to help bring efficiencies to many other aspects of its business.
A few years ago SB&B deployed a CRM system that did not meet their expectations. Since then, the company has been using M-Files to address their CRM needs, which has resulted in better utilization as M-Files becomes the central program for many functions, not just one.
"From enabling the smooth transition from paper to electronic document and information management, to establishing and enforcing workflows in order to handle accounts payable processes more efficiently, M-Files has been instrumental in helping SB&B become more efficient and productive," said Bresnahan.