If collaboration is a priority, find out how Voessing built its efforts with PhantomPDF Business

by Wim Temmerman, Vice President Sales EMEA

If collaboration is a priority

Engineering firms rely heavily on the ability to collaborate, especially when it comes to sharing between internal and external team members. If that’s true for your organization, consider what Voessing achieved when turning to Foxit PhantomPDF as their PDF solution.

As a national and international engineering company, Voessing attaches great importance to cross-functional cooperation. Voessing engineers work cross-site on projects for customers in Germany and around the world.

As is generally the case in the engineering industry, PDF has also become established as the file format of choice for the communication of information at Voessing and plays an important role in collaboration between internal and external project team members. Almost all documents, including for example plans, meeting protocols, construction reports, measurement reports, contracts, measurements, correspondence, and photographic documentation, which are originally scanned files (e.g. letters), Office files, and CAD drawings, are converted to PDF before being merged to the final digital project document.

Collaboration within the project groups, with customers, and with project partners is mostly made electronically. Results are frequently shared as PDFs attached to emails. “We noticed that we frequently receive emails that require edits or annotations. Instead of doing another meeting, the recipient can just quickly inform the document author about the modification in the PDF, and then directly send or save the updated document afterwards. This is a significant time saver,” says Bernd Gewehr, Head of IT at Voessing.

Due to the repeated need to directly edit PDF documents, the engineering team required an easy-to-use application for their users. “Nobody is an expert on using PDF editors and we needed to stay within our budget. That’s why our main requirements for a PDF editor are that it’s easy to use and affordable.” Hence, Voessing started looking for a software alternative. During their research, they evaluated Foxit PhantomPDF Business and were quickly convinced by the solution.

A ribbon-style user interface was one of the requirements for the new PDF editor since team members were familiar with Office 2010. “We immediately liked PhantomPDF due to its ribbon style UI, making it much easier to learn. Expertise learned through using the Microsoft Office’s user interface was directly applicable to PhantomPDF,” says Bernd Gewehr. Some employees at Voessing already had experience with Foxit PhantomPDF from customer projects. “These users endorsed PhantomPDF Business and provided positive feedback on the product. A test phase with a selected user group helped confirm this assessment.”

The consistent positive feedback by the employees and the smooth test phase made it easy for Voessing to decide to purchase 100 licenses of PhantomPDF Business in 2012. In 2016, they bought another 100 licenses.

At the end of 2018, there was a need for more licenses with the idea of making PhantomPDF the standard PDF application for all users in the company. “Since employee satisfaction is very important to us, we conducted an internal survey asking our users which PDF editor they want to use in the future – Adobe Acrobat or Foxit PhantomPDF. The majority decided for PhantomPDF.”

As a result, Voessing purchased another 150 licenses of PhantomPDF Business in 2019. The second implementation also went smoothly, without any problems and complaints. “The users were happy. Having a uniform working environment was another important criterion for the employees, so that they are able to work directly with their favorite products on any Voessing computer,” tells Bernd Gewehr.

At Voessing Foxit PhantomPDF is used across all departments such as HR, planning, project management, and construction supervision. Users use Foxit’s PDF editor to view, edit, and modify PDF documents. Scans, Office, and CAD are usually converted to PDF. Afterwards the PDF documents from scans are OCRed so they are searchable and editable. This way, documents and information are easy to find and results can be easily shared within the project groups. This streamlines future research or the use of an existing document substantially, saving a lot of time.

Within a construction project, the project group’s team members create the so-called construction file. In the construction file, all communications and project activities are recorded. In order to create construction files, all the relevant documents of the internal and external project participants are collected. Often this means collecting several thousand documents that are then merged in PDF format into complex folder structures. “Especially with project and construction files, archiving with long term preservation is important. Voessing converts the respective files to PDF/A, the long term archiving standard, so readability can be ensured for a greater period of time and legal and contractual requirements can be met.”

Voessing has been using Foxit PhantomPDF Business for more than seven years now: “We are very happy with PhantomPDF because the product helps our employees to perform their tasks efficiently and professionally. After all, hardly anyone is trained as an expert in PDF editing, so ease of use is very important to us. Foxit delivered this very well. Furthermore, despite the many features in PhantomPDF, you quickly find what you are looking for,” said Bernd Gewehr. “And all that for a reasonable price. Our requirements are thus very well fulfilled.”


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