Client: Genzyme Corporation
Digitech Systems Reseller: SOURCECORP Boston, Norwood, MA
Solution: ImageSilo®

Recently recognized as a Dow Jones Sustainability World Index company for their efforts in the economic, environmental, and social arenas, Genzyme Corporation is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. When their paper files began to overflow the physical office space, Genzyme started looking for a document and content management solution.

With the goal of reclaiming lost office space overrun by file cabinets and file folders, Genzyme started using ImageSilo to store and retrieve documents for their Accounts Payable (AP) department. Now, eighteen months following installation, the system has offered all kinds of benefits including streamlining their document filing and retrieval processes and improving customer service. RuthAnn Cohen, the Accounts Payable Supervisor at Genzyme’s Cambridge, MA headquarters comments “It’s the best thing I ever did!”

The Situation

Widely recognized and honored as one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Their products include pharmaceutical drugs and diagnostic testing materials that are improving diagnosis and treatment for major illnesses including transplant and immunity disorders, kidney and heart disease, and a wide variety of inherited diseases and cancers. As they develop and apply advanced technologies to the life sciences, they focus on innovation and demonstrate an extraordinary attention to worldwide citizenship through their environmental efforts and health care and pharmaceutical donations to developing nations.

With annual revenues in excess of $2.2 billion and more than 7000 employees worldwide, Genzyme is a publicly owned company traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol GENZ.

A team of more than a dozen individuals manages the accounts payable needs of this diverse organization’s many subsidiaries and worldwide offices. Strict attention to detail and responsiveness to requests dominate department objectives as the account payable team manages thousands of individual documents and transactions daily and responds to audit requests for both internal and external customers. Prior to the implementation of ImageSilo, the department was plagued with an excess of paper documents requiring a significant portion of the full-time staff’s time as well as the services of a temporary employee. RuthAnn Cohen joked, “With so many people handling documents, it was difficult to find records. Everyone had their own concept of the alphabet, so records were often misfiled to begin with and rarely made it back to their proper position once pulled for an audit.”

In addition to the cumbersome filing and retrieval processes, the physical space needed to maintain over half a million documents each year kept growing. With more than forty file cabinets occupying the filing room, the AP department began negotiating with other departments for space in unused offices and even hallways. Additional boxes of files and records were contracted for storage with a third party storage provider making them even more difficult and expensive to retrieve.

The Solution

In November of 2003, SOURCECORP Boston, a Digitech Systems reseller, began scanning these paper documents and uploading them to ImageSilo, Digitech’s hosted document and content management system. With documents housed on ImageSilo, every AP employee has secure access to any document from their desktop computer via the internet, and benefits from extensive searching capabilities, which take advantage of the indexing information entered for each document by SOURCECORP. In fact, with the proper logon information, documents can now be accessed from any web-accessible computer from any location worldwide.

As a hosted solution, ImageSilo leaves the Accounts Payable department free to focus on their core business rather than managing a complex manual filing system.

Recognized Benefits

Free from the mountains of paper files, Genzyme’s AP department has recognized tremendous benefits from the conversion to electronic document management using ImageSilo. As expected, the conversion has freed expensive physical office space to be put to more effective uses, and has improved department efficiency.

With no software to install and SOURCECORP handling the bulk of the scanning and indexing services, the conversion from their paper files to electronic document management took less than a single day of training. In fact the system is so easy to use that the AP Supervisor comments “I never get a call from someone who can’t use ImageSilo. It’s definitely document management for dummies!”

All fourteen employees in the Accounts Payable department use ImageSilo on a daily basis to manage documents, process invoices, and respond to audit requests. In addition, dozens of other Genzyme employees across the globe access files on an as-needed basis.

So, how much more accessible is this critical business information? In a recent incident, the US Government requested a copy of invoices paid to a certain account over the last two years. Where the research process would have taken several people weeks to sort out and copy in the past, the request was completed in fewer than two weeks by a single department employee. In addition, 100% of the necessary documents were obtained and forwarded to the Government. Results from pre-ImageSilo audits averaged between 5-10% lost or misplaced documents that were unattainable.

Genzyme is also saving money on third-party document storage and retrieval. The AP records are now instantly accessible at the moment a need arises. Records can be viewed, emailed, and printed directly in the system. Best of all, as Genzyme grows through acquisitions, the companies’ accounting systems can be merged into a single system almost seamlessly. The acquired company’s records are simply scanned into the ImageSilo system and are immediately accessible for review and auditing purposes.

RuthAnn Cohen raves, “I can’t say enough about ImageSilo. It is definitely the best thing I ever did. I hope it is my legacy to Genzyme.”


SOURCECORP Boston is one of the largest document imaging, scanning, conversion and document management service organizations in New England. Through a dedication to quality and service, they help businesses operate more efficiently. They can help businesses reduce operating costs, improve efficiencies, gain fast access to critical business information, be competitive in the marketplace, comply with regulatory requirements and save money while increasing profitability. They provide a variety of document management services including document scanning, microfilming, data entry, OCR, vault storage and the installation and support of document management systems. Between scanning and microfilming services, SOURCECORP’s service bureau averages one million documents a week.

One of Digitech’s first partners, SOURCECORP has been an authorized reseller since March of 1998 and was recognized as a Circle of Excellence reseller for the fifth time at Digitech’s annual reseller conference in January 2005. They are a Certified Reseller of the entire Digitech product line including PaperFlow™PaperVision® Enterprise, and ImageSilo®.

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