DAPS Automates Paperwork So Defense Distribution Center Can Move Supplies

MECHANICSBURG, Pa., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Document Automation & Production Service (DAPS), in partnership with Integic Corporation, developed and has now fully implemented its Electronic Document Management Service (EDMS) to assist the Defense Distribution Center (DDC) in electronically capturing, processing, managing and storing millions of documents used in supplying U.S. military units worldwide. DAPS and DDC are field activities of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

While the military moves on what DLA and DDC provide, DDC must administer mountains of paperwork -- approximately 21 million pages annually of documentation such as invoices, packing lists and bills of lading -- that not only identify receipt, transportation, and inventory transactions from its 22 distribution centers throughout the world but include records required for financial audit trails.

The challenge was how to better manage this documentation. Historically, DDC either scanned the paperwork into site-specific programs or simply boxed and stored the hard copy documents in a warehouse. There was no consistent approach and no integrated system to quickly find specific documents, verify a receipt, substantiate an inventory gain or loss, confirm a shipment or reply to a customer's inquiry, across the network of DDC-managed distribution centers.

It was critical to secure a centralized data management system to establish a reliable stream of information documenting the movement of supplies from the various locations. Such a system would allow DDC to track and locate specific documents within seconds as opposed to days, or even weeks, that the previous process required.

The first phase of EDMS installments was begun in March, 2002. By the end of the second phase in September, 2003 all of DDC's distribution centers were using the service. As DDC opens forward distribution sites, plans are being formulated to bring EDMS to the forward sites as well.

With EDMS, documents can be scanned into the system, converted to electronic format and then, using optical character recognition, automatically extract key index information that can be used to retrieve a specific document. The system's folders-based capability has the potential to allow all documents related to a specific transaction to be summarized and stored within a single electronic folder for ease of access and use. As a result, users are now able to quickly retrieve critical documentation to expedite delivery to recipients as well as payments to vendors.

Sam Notarangelo, DDC Supply Management Specialist and EDMS user said, "EDMS is a great logistics tool for researching many facets of the distribution process. When I am researching material I may only have a NSN (National Stock Number), or a GBL (Government Bill of Lading), or very little information. I use DSS (Distribution Standard System), SAMMS (Standard Automated Materiel Management System), or WEBCATS (Web-based Customer Account Tracking System), and a host of other systems to track, verify, and locate items, and associated paperwork. With EDMS I can access one site and usually find what I am looking for. It is also a time saver by allowing me to access a lot of information that can also be easily printed. EDMS has reduced my time spent on research."

DAPS has implemented a single, standard solution for the DDC that applies current technologies to increase automation and expand functionality while reducing operational costs, streamlining processes, and improving upon information management capabilities.

Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, DAPS provides document automation products and services to the Department of Defense and designated federal activities, including imaging and conversion of documents to electronic media, digital warehousing, and distribution of digital and hardcopy information. It is the single manager for all DOD printing and duplicating. DAPS is also the executive agent for the DOD specifications and standards program automation.

The Defense Logistics Agency provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the U.S. military services and several federal civilian agencies. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., the agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations.

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