Grupo EULEN, a family company and completely Spanish-owned business, was founded in 1962 in Bilbao and is a leading provider of general services for businesses. Grupo EULEN specializes in providing cleaning, private security and ancillary services (including logistics, general and telemarketing services), as well as social healthcare services and services related to maintenance, temporary work and the environment, all of which combined made the company in excess of EUR 1343.10 million in 2010.
In recent years, its workforce has grown substantially, with today’s total headcount amounting to over 82,200 employees. In fact, Grupo EULEN is one of the largest employers in Spain; more than two in every 1000 workers in Spain are employed at this company.
Having begun its foray into international markets in 1997, Grupo EULEN is currently active in Spain, Portugal, the US and seven Latin American countries (Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic).
Grupo EULEN handles a huge volume of documents. The company’s main activity is personnel management, which requires a large amount of employment-related documentation. Therefore, implementing a document management platform has been crucial for EULEN and for the smooth operation of its business.
On an annual basis, the company generates about 150,000 contracts, each entailing between 7 and 12 documents that have a definite life cycle and that require specific and customized management.
However, the company’s biggest challenge is actually managing all the employment files for every worker; Grupo EULEN has a specific file for every single one of its 82,000 employees, each containing between 30 and 50 different documents (contracts, résumés, education and training, personal documents, salaries etc.) and these are all renewed every year, both in hardcopy and digital format. The above figures show that almost unmanageable documentation volumes would arise if an effective management platform were not in place.
In addition, the company handles a large volume of corporate documentation (internal memos, income statements, regulations, standards etc.) which, despite not being as substantial as the employment-related documentation, is of utmost importance for the business.
“Until now, we did not have a document management platform, and Alfresco was a clear choice for us, primarily because of its functionality and price,” states Diana Ruiz Hidalgo of the IT Department at EULEN. “Therefore, in mid-2011, we went ahead with the project.”
Implementation of Alfresco as Corporate Document Management Platform
As described earlier, the huge number of documents, and the fact that some of them were almost 50 years old, led Grupo EULEN to search for a solution that would ensure effective, flexible and secure document management.
The company’s objectives were clear: having a corporate platform, going paperless, making it easier to search for, exchange and check information, allowing access to all company branches both in Spain and abroad and, finally, saving time, and therefore money.
Given the size of the project, it was decided that it should be carried out in two phases, the first of which has already been completed. Phase 1 covered corporate data management. The first step was to apply Alfresco’s functionality in order to create a documentary model that would allow for document management standardization, so that all information would be arranged and organized in line with a standardized documentary model. The Alfresco solution then made it possible to identify business rules, and lastly, Grupo EULEN took advantage of the possibility of using Alfresco technology to incorporate advanced modules to manage document life cycles.
Although the technology was indeed available, the company chose a more conservative approach and decided to start off with simpler workflows, given the project’s complexity.
“The first objective of the implementation has been to define the entire reporting structure of EULEN’s international subsidiaries to company headquarters. This has helped us avoid the need to send documents by mail, which is something that is requested quite frequently by various departments. This project has not been very extensive in terms of functionality, but it has been in terms of scope,” explains Ruiz Hidalgo.
Grupo EULEN is currently immersed in the second phase of the project, which includes the management of all employee-related documentation. Based on the experience gained in corporate information management, in this new cycle, Grupo EULEN is building on work completed during the previous phase, with the aim of including all employee documentation in the virtual files and incorporating more complex workflows. The digital signature process is also being addressed during this second phase.
As a documentary platform, Alfresco is the choice that undoubtedly adds the most value to Grupo EULEN. Grupo EULEN believes that Alfresco has a huge wealth of document management functionalities that need to be explored and applied in depth after careful requirement planning and effective decision-making processes.
“Three issues that we were able to address have also been key to the group: incorporating International users, fast and secure access to information, and improved document retrieval times,” affirms Diana Ruiz Hidalgo. “At present, around 100 people in the company are using the new Alfresco solution.”
Another thing that is very clear to Grupo EULEN is that one of Alfresco’s advantages is its capacity for innovation when incorporating features.
Therefore, the company claims that it does not make sense to take advantage of the fact that Alfresco is open source to modify the source code and cover a specific company need, because what might appear to be successful now will not be a success in the medium term. EULEN is committed to incorporating Alfresco’s upgrades and being up to date with its new version architecture. This is the only way to ensure steady and sustained success.
“All business processes generate a large quantity of documents, and this is even more the case with us because we are a service provider. We intend for Alfresco to become the platform that houses all of this documentation,” EULEN concludes.