Sirona is the world's largest manufacturer of dental technology with over $1 billion in annual revenue. The company develops, manufactures and markets a complete line of dental products, including, CAD/CAM restoration systems (CEREC), digital intra-oral, panoramic and 3D imaging systems, dental treatment centers, hand pieces and hygiene systems. This global company employs a workforce of more than 3,300 at 29 locations worldwide, and markets its products in over 135 countries on all continents.
Challenge: Replace Manual, Paper-intensive Business Processes with Streamlined, Transparent, ECM-driven Workflows
Sirona Dental needed to digitally transform its manual processes for review and approval of engineering drawings and other product documentation. The company had been relying on printing an engineering drawing and routing it iteratively to multiple managers for cross-department review and approval.
The company had no easy way to know the approval status of a given document, or for managers to raise questions or otherwise collaborate on the document. "Our internal quality review must be completed before we can put a sensor into production and sell it to awaiting customers," explains Craig Bellot, web applications developer for Sirona Dental. "Our old paper-based review process was needlessly slowing everything down."
Solution: Nuxeo Platform for Customized, Rapidly Developed ECM Applications
Serving as the company's lead Nuxeo developer, Bellot designed, tested and deployed the first Nuxeo Platform application, incorporating ECM and customized workflows for the company's new, digitally transformed engineering review process.
"Now managers can preview engineering schematics on demand, receive automatic email alerts, add annotations, revise documents with version control and approve documents online," says Bellot. "Nuxeo's built-in collaborative functionality is very helpful and enables our managers to better serve our customers."
"Today the Nuxeo Platform provides secure access and collaboration for a wide variety of content beyond engineering drawings, including product documentation, training materials, HR policy and procedures and much more."
"It's also much faster to plug Nuxeo components together than to code an application from scratch," adds Bellot. "The Nuxeo Platform was designed to make it easy to build custom workflows, define content metadata, create user input screens, apply existing authentications, configure the backend database, define collections of related content and much more."
Because the Nuxeo Platform enables developers to rapidly build and deploy content-focused applications, Bellot has been able to devote more time on specing out new applications that solve key operational needs and add immediate business value.
Optimizing Revenue and Expediting Regulatory Compliance with Nuxeo
A company with global reach, Sirona Dental has offices in over twenty countries and distribution partners in many others. Before selling any given product in a country, the company must first gain regulatory approval - a process that varies significantly by cost, complexity and time required.
Previously, regulatory managers tracked approval status by country using spreadsheets. Now, says Bellot, "we have a new Nuxeo application that makes managing our regulatory processes easy, while also optimizing revenue and profitability".
Country managers now submit a form to initiate regulatory approval for a certain product and country, including a sales forecast. The process is managed by Nuxeo with custom workflows and collections of related documents. Even more importantly, says Bellot, "our regulatory managers can now compare expected product sales with the direct costs of the compliance process, as well as the time required prior to product launch. This analysis may reveal a given country will not sell enough product to justify the cost and time required to achieve approval.
"Our Nuxeo application goes beyond just digitizing our old process, by enabling our country and regulatory managers to identify and focus on the most profitable new business opportunities."
ERP Integration Using a Future-proof API
There's much more on the horizon for the Nuxeo Platform at Sirona Dental. In addition to future applications in mind for other document-intensive business processes, Bellot has already helped expedite engineering operations by integrating the Nuxeo Platform with the company's ERP system.
"When engineers work within SAP, they can now click on a link that presents the related document to them from the Nuxeo repository," explains Bellot. "This integration was built using Nuxeo's well-designed RESTful API, which lets developers very efficiently extend the Nuxeo Platform functionality, including custom integrations with other enterprise applications."
Bellot added, "Our review of enterprise content management (ECM) solutions led us to conclude the Nuxeo Platform was best suited to replace our manual business processes with streamlined, value-creating digital workflows, customized to match our present and future needs."