DB Magnetbahn Stores Technical Documentation with DocuWare

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Since the beginning of this year, DB Magnetbahn GmbH archives its complete technical documentation electronically. The company is well-acclaimed for its Transrapid project, a commercial maglev system. Lack of storage space and time-consuming retrieval processes were the decisive factors for the installation of an electronic document management system (EDM). Today, the central file cabinet can be accessed from various locations.

DB Magnetbahn GmbH has taken up the cause of implementing a maglev railway line in Germany. A subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, the company is owner and operator of the Transrapid test facility in Emsland in the north of Germany, where the maglev technology for high speed trains is tested. DB Magnetbahn develops requirements for maglev tracks and is instrumental in planning the maglev railway line from Munich airport to the city center.

The companys transportation projects are highly complex and entail large amounts of technical documentation. The documents are circulated as paper copies or on CDs, along with numerous other documents in electronic form such as PDF, Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.

Amortization in less than 1.5 years projected
Even though documents were governed by a data base for over 20 years, the paper flood has overwhelmed and flooded the file cabinets. Lack of space, the error-prone nature of a paper archive and time-consuming retrieval processes finally led to the decision for a document management system. The wish for a central document pool that could be accessed from branches in Berlin, Lathen in Emsland, and Munich added to this choice.

The price-performance ratio tipped the scales for a DocuWare solution. Other decisive factors were the simple operation and administration, stresses Friedel Megerle, responsible for selecting and implementing the EDM solution. The IT Manager anticipates an amortization of the EUR 52,000 investment for the software and services in less than 1.5 years.

Three-way access
DocuWare has been installed at DB Magnetbahn on a Windows 2000 server since the beginning of this year. To capture paper documents, two DIN A3 duplex scanners type Panasonic KV-S6055WU were installed. About 30 employees have the option to access the document pool from either the Windows workstations in the LAN or fromthe CITRIX Meta Frame. The DocuWare INTERNET-SERVER allows access to the central file cabinet via conventional Internet browsers. This same method of access is also used by the employees from the mother company, Deutsche Bahn.

Next to the Documentation file cabinet, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary has introduced a Mail file cabinet. Every day, the incoming mail at the branches in Munich and Lathen/Emsland is scanned, indexed and automatically stored and distributed. Outgoing mail is scanned and filed as well before it is sent out. Employees can view, revise and forward the mail with DocuWare CONTENT-FOLDER.

Central organization of e-mail
Another important aspect is that e-mail have also been filed from the start. To this end, there are two public folders for Mail in and Mail out on the Exchange Server. All employees decide individually which e-mail they wish to file. With ACTIVE IMPORT the corresponding company is added from the global address book. Friedel Megerle: Since e-mail are a very important medium for communication these days, it is advisable to file electronic mail along with related documents. This aspect was crucial to us from the beginning.

Today the DocuWare file cabinet comprises around 25,000 documents. Very often a single document consists of several hundred pages therefore plenty of paper storage space is saved. As a next step, it is planned to introduce the DocuWare CONNECT to SharePoint add-on module. Users will then be able to access the DocuWare file cabinet via the companys portal.

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