After considering a number of options, K2 blackpearl, a leading process automation tool, was selected to accelerate workflow as it was the best option to support the port’s business systems and would provide a better long term solution at integrating with their new ERP business system, IFS.
Waterstons planned and carried out the installation and provided on-site consulting and development expertise to assist with the creation of workflows.
The first area to be tackled was Proof of Delivery scanning (POD Scanning). PD Ports manage a fleet of drivers who obtain signed receipts for each delivery which are stored and retrieved for enquiries and invoicing. Using K2, SharePoint, and InfoPath for user input, Waterstons’ development team created a solution whereby receipts that are scanned in by the PD Ports team are automatically matched up to the relevant job. If the job number is not found, the blackpearl tool automatically emails the relevant contact to prompt them to correct the information. If a customer requests a copy of the scanned proof of delivery, blackpearl automatically picks up the request and processes it. This particular workflow was developed using K2 Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio. This combination requires minimal code-writing, and provides a high level of flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the port.
The speed and ease of development of workflow applications using K2 blackpearl has enabled PD Ports to implement a number of other processes, with technical assistance from Waterstons where required. blackpearl can be linked to third-party systems such as Active Directory and bespoke SQL databases using “SmartObjects” which can be further integrated into InfoPath forms, making it easy for “non-technical” users to tweak and extend interfaces and workflow logic.