AI document management drives success for Fives Landis

Fives Landis Ltd, a UK-based grinding machines manufacturer, needed a dynamic document management system that gave remote sales teams total access to the information they needed to serve their customers.

They turned to the M-Files intelligent information and document management platform, to solve their problem.

Fives Landis Ltd is part of a global industrial engineering group that designs and supplies machines, process equipment and production lines for some of the world’s largest companies in some of the world’s most important industrial sectors, including steel, automotive, aerospace, energy and sugar production.

Document Management - Fives Landis Ltd, a UK-based grinding machines manufacturer

Data collection and analysis form a vital element of its business model, allowing the company to innovate and respond to its customers’ needs, whatever and wherever they may be.

“The data we’re collecting is absolutely vital for our development,” said Kevin Kerry, IT Manager at Fives Landis Ltd, which has 400 employees and offices in the UK, Germany and China. “It can point to new leads or push us in a new direction, or help us find a new market, or a new application.”

“We require that ours sales teams really know what they’re talking about, so they can talk about our machines – which have thousands of highly technical parts – with confidence,” he added.

As such, the company needed a way to store and retrieve documents and information that offered remote sales teams access to the relevant technical information at their fingertips.

M-Files, a global information and document management company that leverages state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) to assist users with their data interaction, had the solution.

Fives Landis Ltd, a UK-based grinding machines manufacturer - v2“We interfaced M-Files with Salesforce to access the leads and opportunities in there, then used an Outlook plugin from Repstor that gave us a familiar ‘Window’ into M-Files,” Kevin said.

Remote opportunities

The importance of the M-Files platform to Fives is that sales teams across the globe, often in remote locations, can now have access to critical information, even offline.

“These sales guys work all over the world, visiting clients and companies in various locations, some of which have limited connectivity, a situation that is particularly apparent in parts of the less developed world,” Kevin said.

“With the M-Files solution, our teams can take information offline, upload documents, move documents, download documents, examine facts and figures, and prepare emails,” he added.

“Then, as soon as they get a connection, the system automatically updates everything. All the files are synced up and our back-end team can see the data and spot any inconsistencies.

“It gives the sales people the chance to refer to previous information or discussions – within emails, for example – and tell the client about upcoming projects or previous developments. Perhaps most importantly, it gives sales people the ability to answer questions that they weren’t expecting,” added Kevin.

Getting out there

As a result of using the M-Files system, Kevin says the company has become more proactive over the last few years, particularly when it comes to seeking out possible new clients.

“We used to wait for the customer to come along, and just give them what they need,” he said. “Now, we really make the effort to go out into the market, trying to enter new markets, really going out there.”

“Using M-Files means we can see that customers might have a particular need, or it can help us target a particular area or recurring problem.

“It’s essentially an IT solution – or, if you prefer, a sales tool – that solves a manufacturing problem, as well as giving our sales guys a little bit of an edge over our competitors.”

“It’s a step towards digitisation,” he added. “We’re giving our sales people the information they need to help them negotiate with that customer, and get the deal done.”

What does M-Files do?

The M-Files platform manages information based on “What” it is rather than “Where” it’s stored, turning the tables on more traditional forms of document and information management.

A user tags a document or piece of information with metadata that describes what the piece of information is, and how it relates to other important business objects, such as customer, project or case. It then shows up dynamically, wherever it’s needed, with automatic permissions and workflow.

Rather than requiring that information be stored in a single repository, the M‑Files open architecture supports connectors to other systems and repositories, including network files shares, email, file sharing services, CRM, ERP, legacy ECM systems and more.

Information can be accessed and managed in place without disturbing other systems and processes.

What manufacturers need to learn from Generation Z to succeed

‘Generation Z’ want careers in digital environments, with efficient processes and information at their fingertips. They’re being drawn away from manufacturing, and its perceived manual processes, to more tech-savvy industries.
A recent webcast, co-hosted by The Manufacturer and M-Files, explored how manufacturers only need to make a couple of small changes in order to have a big impact on their processes, productivity and profitability.

By making the information they already have more accessible and useable, manufacturers can once again become an attractive proposition for digital natives.

Click to view the on-demand webcast

If you would like any further information regarding this topic, please feel free to email Robbie Roberts of M-Files – robbie.roberts@m-files.com