Continental Quality, a leading provider of outsource services to the automotive industry, manually processed 3400 timesheets a month for employees deployed on behalf of a major manufacturer. Slow and error-prone, this cost Continental unacceptable amounts of time and money — until ABBYY FlexiCapture provided an accurate, automatic and speedy solution to timesheet entry and verification.
“FlexiCapture has definitely helped us be faster and more accurate. And we’ve gone from six people entering data to just one,” said Jerome Scott, Vice President of Quality, Continental Quality.
for monthly processing
to do the job instead of 6 persons
is the new data verification time
Continental Quality, a division of Continental Design & Engineering, provides the automotive industry with industry-leading quality inspection and rework services. The company’s employees are deployed as teams within the facilities of major automobile manufacturers worldwide — where their experience and expertise is critical to the inspection, sorting and reworking of parts and components.
When a major automobile manufacturer wanted to change things up in the assembly of their latest vehicles, they turned to Continental — who now has a skilled team of 120 people working in-house at the customer’s West Coast plant. “We handle everything for the customer,” explains Jerome Scott, Vice President of Quality, “and this includes not only the inspection and assembly side of things. We track things like pieces produced, part re-work, how much scrap is generated — along with our employees’ hours and timesheets.”
And for Scott, those timesheets proved to be a major bottleneck when it came to both team and cost efficiency — and customer satisfaction, too: “We were manually entering data from 3400 handwritten timesheets a month into Excel. Since those sheets also tracked a myriad of items associated with those hours, it took six people working full time to hand-key the information in. It was slow, expensive and inherently inaccurate — so we also lost time having to verify the information.
“Plus,” Scott adds, “our customer needs the information from those sheets on a ‘right now’ basis. They continually look at their manufacturing data to identify how to work in a more effective manner. It’s an on-going process aimed at “instant-on” efficiency. And all that manual data entry meant there was a three-to-four day delay in getting them what they required. We needed better and that meant automated form capture.” In describing his search for a solution, Scott relates that one name was prominent: ABBYY FlexiCapture. And in looking for resources to help implement it, Scott identified UFC, Inc. as its partner of choice.
During their initial meeting, Scott shared his requirements with UFC’s General Manager Travis Spangler — who created an example of the output that he could expect in Excel. “It was impressive,” recalls Scott. “Travis listened so well that his first draft reflected exactly what we needed. In fact, the proposed template he came up with is almost identical to what we’re using today.”
According to Scott, implementation was accomplished at his customer’s West Coast facility in just four days. “UFC arrived Monday and on Thursday we had a system that was up and running. It was literally turnkey.” Scott also says that the UFC team simplified the organization of the timesheets, enabling further timesavings. And according to UFC’s Spangler, that side of the job was very straightforward thanks to FormDesigner, a tool included with FlexiCapture: “Literally,” says Spangler, “no outside tools were needed to create Continental’s new form.”
Moreover, the solution was easy to roll out. “The learning curve was short,” asserts Scott. “The new timesheet was quickly adopted by employees. And training people to enter and verify their data took no time. Plus, FlexiCapture’s accuracy was great from the start — even given the huge variance in people’s handwriting.”
And the benefits of Continental’s new FlexiCapture solution were near immediate. Instead of six people working full time on manual data entry, just one person could accomplish everything. Timesheets are scanned into FlexiCapture, checked at the verification station in seconds and automatically exported to Excel — all in a small fraction of previous processing times.
“It now,” says Scott, “takes just seconds to enter and verify a timesheet. Before, it could take three to four minutes. Plus,” Scott adds, “FlexiCapture has definitely helped us be faster and more accurate. And we’ve gone from six people entering data to just one.”
Additionally, the benefits to Continental’s customer are also significant, as Scott describes: “It used to take three or four days to get data from the timesheets to our customer. Now we’re talking 24 hours. That’s a big difference when you’re looking at the kind of efficiencies they’re driving for.”
“We’ve really just scratched the surface of what we can do with FlexiCapture,” says Scott. “Other divisions within Continental are very interested in what’s going on and what they might be doing with such a solution.”