Started as a family business over 185 years ago, Globus is one Germany’s largest retailers. Throughout this long history, the company reinvented itself several times and for over two decades digitization has played an important role in Globus’ evolution.
Globus is headquartered in St. Wendel where Franz Bruch opened a grocery store in 1828 that would ultimately become the Globus retail chain of hypermarkets, Globus Drive stations (order online and choose one of the pick-up locations), electronic stores and DIY stores.
With presences in three countries (Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic), innovative ideas and efficient processes are key in the company’s strategy to thrive in the highly competitive retail segment.
Globus started creating an electronic archive in 1996, digitizing business-critical paper documents and thus being a pioneer in digital document management. Initially, the company started with a centralized approach.
The retailer has three production scanners (Kodak i4000 series) and a scanner for daily operations in its headquarters. In this centralized mailroom environment, all incoming documents such as invoices, contracts and other correspondence got scanned and processed.
Now, Globus switched to a decentralized document scanning model in its 46 hypermarkets and in the logistics centre to save time and money.
Delivery notes get scanned on the spot. To achieve this, each location is equipped with space-saving Kodak i2900 scanners. Everything is supported by custom-made scanning software in the Microsoft .NET environment.
The essential reasons why Globus decided to opt for a decentralized model include cost-saving (documents are scanned and turned into digital information at the point of entry), time-saving, less “pressure” on the central office, process optimisation and increased productivity as data is available much faster.
More organisations chose a decentralized/distributed scanning approach but of course there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question whether to go for centralized or decentralized. There are many parameters and as always, the individual context and goals matter.
In the case of Globus the motivations are clear. Getting documents faster in the business processes, no need to ship documents (and in that process maybe even lose documents), faster processes, etc.
With scanners that enable to digitize high volumes while having a small footprint, it turns out to be a perfect fit for the retail company. An important element to consider is ease of use, thus reducing the time needed to train the staff in multiple locations, one of many reasons why Globus picked Kodak Alaris.
Markus Bölinger, who is responsible for document management at the company’s St. Wendel headquarters explains his choice for scanners from Kodak Alaris: “We have been an early mover in digitisation and have acquired a lot of know-how, also regarding scanning. After tests, the scanners from Kodak Alaris stood out as being most robust and reliable”.
To ensure business continuity, Globus also signed up for a services contract.