Ideal Chemical & Supply Company

New Records Management System enables an industry leader to manage complex customer and product requirements in a paperless environment.

Ideal Chemical is one of the most technologically savvy and operationally efficient businesses in the chemical distribution industry. That’s just the way Sam Block, its president, likes it. Says IT Director Glyn Moore, ““Sam is big on sophisticated, streamlined processes. When he sees something that can be done better through technology, he’s the first ask if it’s a good fit for us.””

That attitude steered Ideal Chemical to the TAB FusionRMS when it came time to tackle its unique records management challenges. Ideal ships hundreds of specialty chemicals and blended mixes a day. Each has to be accompanied by a detailed Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Meanwhile, Ideal has to maintain voluminous customer file documents that outline each customer’s unique safety and quality requirements. And these aren’’t just any customers. Many rank among the nation’s biggest companies and are very particular about the suppliers they work with.

“”We need to be just as technically sophisticated and quality-focused as they are,”” says Moore. ““That puts tremendous pressure on a company our size to be technologically innovative and efficient. Above all, we have to be as paperless as possible, with all product and customer information stored in and accessible from one central location.””

The difference: “They want to do the technology.”

Ideal turned to the new RMS system when its old document imaging vendor went out of business. Ideal also knew it soon would be replacing its old ERP system with a new Windows-based package. Leaders recognized that a seamless interface between those two new systems would produce operational efficiencies it could only begin to imagine.

““We looked at the TAB FusionRMS records management software for a long time,”” says Moore. ““Everything kept leading us to the conclusion that it was the best fit. Other electronic document systems were just way too expensive for a company our size. And most didn’t have the strong records management features we wanted to use in the future or were as modular. With the TAB FusionRMS paperless records management system, we can just switch on new capabilities when we’’re ready for them.”

“What really made the difference is the company’s attitude. They worked directly with our ERP vendor to ensure the two systems would integrate seamlessly. They even added features that we needed, such as the ability to convert .tiff images to PDFs on the fly for our customers. That’s the difference between them and other companies. They want to do the technology. And their ability to actually do it is outstanding.””

“We’re just scratching the surface.”

After a smooth install, Ideal quickly began imaging and indexing all vital product and customer documents and records in the TAB FusionRMS. The TAB FusionRMS system’s Web Access and Snapshot modules have proven particularly important. With Web Access, Ideal’’s shipping department accesses and prints the right customer documents when shipments are ready. And both Web Access and Snapshot allow employees and customers to view, print or fax anything in the TAB FusionRMS database. In addition, customer service and operations personnel can now access any and all customer and product documents easily through the new ERP system.

““We’’re just scratching the surface,”” Moore admits. “”We know we’re going to use the TAB FusionRMS more and more down the road.” Possibilities include making the MSDS database available over the Internet so customers can access records on their own. Ideal also wants to use TAB FusionRMS screen scraper capabilities to capture and index web documents. The system also provides a variety of automated imaging and indexing capabilities that hold great promise for improving efficiencies even more. Ideal is even thinking about bar code tracking its containers, which customers essentially rent when products are shipped.

““That’’s what makes the TAB FusionRMS solution so right for us,”” Moore says. “”It gives us what we need right now and doesn’t limit what we can do tomorrow.””

Download a PDF of the case study here.