Case Study: State of Iowa’s Alcohol & Tax Operations Division
Ricoh’s DocuWare solution transforms manual workflows through digital document management
About our Customer
The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR), Alcohol & Tax Operations Division manages the sale and distribution of distilled spirits in the state and regulates and licenses all alcohol businesses. Over 2,000 liquor retailers in Iowa rely on the division for their wholesale liquor operations. As a result, their invoicing processes and workflows must be efficient to ensure payments are processed in a timely manner.
Reliant on physical mail and paper-based processes
Time wasted on manually uploading invoices
Inefficient workflows made keeping track of invoices difficult
Prior to our partnership, IDR’s invoicing processes were manual and required employees to scan and upload physical mail containing invoices and other important documents. Invoices would be sent to the department in the mail or as emails to print and organize in folders and would then bounce around from team member to team member to sign and approve processing. This process quickly proved to be inefficient and team members sought to automate the process. They began by scanning paper invoices and creating a PDF to email to managers and supervisors for approval. After reviewing the PDFs, managers and supervisors would print the invoices to sign and scan for digital record keeping. While this was an improvement for team members, it could take several weeks to process invoices and keeping track of these documents in the workflow was difficult as documents were housed on individual computers and email networks.
“We looked at other document workflow systems, but DocuWare offered everything we needed at the right price point. I immediately saw the benefits of implementing DocuWare, and it has been a major success for our organization.”
— Leisa Bertram
Bureau Chief of Operations and Finance, Iowa Alcohol & Tax Operations Division
Implemented Ricoh’s DocuWare solution to automate invoicing
Specific email address created to electronically receive invoices
Invoices automatically uploaded for approval
Customizable interface and intelligent indexing to filing process
After analyzing invoice volume and processing, Ricoh recommended DocuWare to better manage invoice approvals among staff. With DocuWare, invoices are sent to an email address and automatically uploaded to the system to initiate steps for team members, managers and supervisors to get invoices approved. Regardless of format or source, documents are safely stored and routed to get approvals completed in a timely manner. As the organization moved to a hybrid work model, DocuWare supported that remote environment. This means documents can easily be accessed and managed away from the main campus while staying compliant with state regulations and standards.
Streamlined nearly all invoice processing through DocuWare
Saved time by cutting out manual work to get invoices approved
Now processing 300-400 invoices per month through the platform
Reduced paper use office-wide
With the ease and simplicity of a digital document management system, Iowa’s Alcohol & Tax Operations Division is enjoying tremendous efficiencies. Not only is processing invoices much faster but keeping track of each step of an invoice’s journey, from receipt to approval, is much more transparent. Team members no longer waste time shuffling papers and emails to track down the stage of an invoice — with DocuWare, they can easily access the workflow of documents which are automatically routed to the right people.
The division has seen a boost in productivity among team members who easily adopted DocuWare and report that it has been intuitive and processing invoices is much easier. Bureau Chief of Operations and Finance Leisa Bertram describes that they “can get something done in a second [with DocuWare] that used to take 15 to 20 minutes.” Cutting back on paper-based processes has helped them get invoices paid faster and given team members time back in their workdays to focus on other important projects.