Hyarchis Document Composition helps Wehkamp get its huge volume of documents under control

Account statements, invoices and letters are generated, managed and personalised easily and efficiently

Growth in an e-commerce company involves a lot more than simply ‘selling more’. More customers means more transactions, more invoices, more account statements and more letters to send. All of this puts pressure on the retailer’s processes and systems, raising the question: are our current IT systems up to handling all this growth? This was the question facing Wehkamp.

Anyone who has ever ordered anything from Wehkamp will be familiar with the personal account environment ‘Mijn Wehkamp’, where the customer can view the order history, account statements and unpaid invoices. Following Wehkamp’s success, the volume of documents exploded. And this was not just the digital documents in the personal account environment online: the number of documents sent by physical mail had also got out of hand. Lacent, Wehkamp’s sister company tasked with the financial settlement of purchases, is responsible for developing and managing Wehkamp’s financial products. This means that they also create a significant portion of the document templates. In addition to having to deal with an increasing volume, the documents were also becoming increasingly complex, which in turn was negatively impacting general user-friendliness. Templates often had to be modified by hand and the complex interface made this a time-consuming task. So when the document composition software supplier was taken over by another company, Wehkamp made its move. It was time for a new document composition system.

Searching for a partner

In April 2016, Wehkamp set out to find a new supplier and, after an exhaustive selection process, only four parties were left in the race. The process focused on several specific requirements: the solution had to be user-friendly, for example, and it had to be able to handle a large volume of documents. In the end, Wehkamp opted for Hyarchis. Hyarchis, a company Wehkamp was already familiar with as the supplier of its document management system, ultimately emerged as the right partner to join the company on its path to innovation. Hyarchis promised fast implementation, like Wehkamp had a pragmatic approach, and there was a good rapport right from the start. Moreover, Hyarchis uses an interface based on Microsoft Word, improving user-friendliness and making the system easier to learn. Wehkamp and Hyarchis started on implementation in the autumn of 2016.

Large volumes

Following several tests using HDC, the system faced the real challenges. “It was reassuring that Hyarchis could immediately handle the large volume,” explains Luuk Mulder, project manager at Wehkamp. “That meant we could focus on other important matters, like setting up all account statements, invoices and letters again. This was a complex task given that every document has various rules, such as on how to handle exceptions. Every day, we print out tens of thousands of documents, and we handle a lot more online.”

All the documents needed to be converted from the format of the previous software supplier to the new Hyarchis format. During this process, Hyarchis was immediately able to clean up the templates file. “During the migration, Benny van den Heuvel, senior consultant at Hyarchis, supported our team on-site,” Luuk continues. “I am very happy with the collaboration with Hyarchis, and with Benny in particular. The service was excellent, and implementation went smoothly.”

Final sprint

Late in December, the Hyarchis software, tested and approved, was ready to go. “The actual migration from the old system to the new was completed within a day,” says Helga Beltman, communication specialist at Lacent. “From the moment agreed, all new invoices came directly into our new system with no problems at all. A user-friendly and intuitive document composition system was high on my wish list. A big advantage of HDC is the Office-based interface, making it feel familiar right from the start. I took part in two training sessions led by Benny, each lasting half a day, and now I know all the ins and outs. If I encounter a problem, 9 times out of 10 I can solve it myself. The system is very intuitive. With the previous system, I would have lost a half a day making changes to a letter; now I can do this in less than half an hour.

Forward together

The new system went live in January, and Wehkamp is now benefiting from this efficient, user-friendly document composition system. The performance is also good, and the version management is simple. Last but not least, all documents are now based on the new Wehkamp corporate style, and the customer can enjoy a modern, uncluttered layout on both the account statements and the invoices. “A project that gives you a good feeling when you look back on it,” Luuk concludes. “Hyarchis software makes you want more of the same. Who knows, maybe our partnership will go even further in the future.”