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Prominent Canadian Metal Fabricator


A prominent Canadian steel supplier custom fabricates metal tubing used largely in the automotive field. A single hand-written Work Order containing critical production information (e.g. specifications, instructions etc.) is prepared for each job before going into production. The Work Order travels with the job as it progresses through the various stages of production during which a number of production personnel must refer to, handle and make entries on the document. When the job is completed, the hardcopy Work Order is then manually filed as a reference for repeat or similar jobs in the future.

With so many individuals needing access to the single Work Order, both during and after production, it was not uncommon for this vital document to be misplaced or misfiled thereby causing serious production interruptions, delays and errors. Additionally, locating misplaced or misfiled Work Orders was a time-consuming and costly process.


This particular situation posed a number of related challenges:

  • How to eliminate interruptions in production caused by lost or misplaced Work Orders.
  • How to reduce the time and high cost associated with locating lost or misplaced Work Orders.
  • How to allow users in different parts of the organization timely access to needed information from an individual in-progress Work Order.
  • How to instantly access needed information from a past Work Order.


After carefully analyzing the company’s document handling procedures, ACI was able to customize a solution (introducing barcode technology) that addressed all of the above challenges. The solution included the scanning, indexing and subsequent Internet retrieval of their Work Orders.


  • Because all the Work Orders were now digitized, the time-consuming and unreliable filing of hardcopy Work Orders was no longer necessary.
  • The incidence of lost or misplaced Work Orders was eliminated together with all associated costs.
  • Past Work Orders could now be accessed instantly for more timely decisions on jobs.
  • Multiple users throughout the organization who needed information from a particular Work Order all had concurrent access to such information.