"K" Line Logistics enhances compliance and business efficiency with Adobe Acrobat DC
Keep up with growing digital documentation and workflows in international trade
Maintain document security and compliance
Increase productivity and efficiency for all employees
Streamlined license management with centralized license dashboard
Encouraged data reuse by extracting data from PDF files
Enhanced compliance by placing limits on functionality depending on role
Improved readability with functions to organize pages in PDF documents
“Most of the documents we receive from our customers, such as invoices and packing lists, are now sent as PDF files. Documents created in-house are converted to PDF when possible for improved management and operations.”
General Manager of the Information System Department, “K” Line Logistics
“K” Line Logistics, Ltd. is an integrated logistics company that plays a central role in the Kawasaki Kisen Group, one of the world's leading shipping companies. With 76 locations in Japan and overseas, the company provides a full range of logistics services for international air and sea freight. Any business related to freight and customs generates a great deal of documentation, including invoices, packing lists, bills of landing, air waybills, and container load plans. “K” Line Logistics introduced Adobe Acrobat DC to digitize and streamline the delivery and management of these documents in order to improve productivity while maintaining corporate compliance.
Expanding digitization in trade
In recent years, digitization has rapidly reached many areas of trade operations, including the Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System (NACCS) electronic data interchange, customs and other public institutions, and private businesses involved in transport, logistics, customs clearance, finance, insurance, import, export and other areas of trade. Companies work fast to keep up with these changes. Hiroshi Muramatsu, General Manager of the Information System Department at “K” Line Logistics, spoke about this trend in digitization.
“Most of the documents we receive from our customers, such as invoices and packing lists, are now sent as PDF files,” says Mr. Muramatsu. “Documents created in-house are converted to PDF when possible for improved management and operations. Customs documents such as export declarations are still printed and submitted on paper, but even those are in the processes of becoming digitized through the NACCS system.”
“K” Line Logistics used Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader to create and view PDF files, with about 30 perpetual licenses of Acrobat for the company. However, the company became concerned about security issues as the software version grew older, and it started thinking about migrating to the latest version. The company also considered taking this opportunity to make Acrobat available to all, rather that only a few, departments.
“Acrobat Reader was sufficient for viewing PDFs,” says Tomomi Mochiyama, Manager, Information System Department. “But if we wanted to combine multiple PDFs into one, apply OCR, or convert to another file format, we needed to take the file to a department that had Acrobat and ask a user in that department to do the work for us. When we surveyed departments, we discovered that there were many users who wanted to use Acrobat.”
“Managing licenses has become much easier than before. The centralized management of users IDs and other systems through a single sign-on is also a big advantage.”
Manager, Information System Department, “K” Line Logistics
Rules for the in-house use of Adobe Acrobat DC
The path for introducing Adobe Acrobat DC on a company-wide scale was not straightforward. The biggest consideration was that documents could be edited in Adobe Acrobat DC. “K” Line Logistics is committed to strengthening compliance, and therefore it wanted to avoid even the slightest risk of falsified documents.
“There is a slight risk of documents being falsified, but on the other hand, there are also many useful functions for streamlining operations,” says Ms. Mochiyama. “To make implementation a possible, the Legal Department and the Information System Department held meetings to determine the rules for using Acrobat. For users to gain a better understanding of these rules, we required them to take training in compliance and how to use Acrobat. We also required them to sign a pledge that they would not tamper with documents.”
With Adobe Acrobat DC, administrators can use the Adobe Customization Wizard to place restrictions on functions that can be used by each department. This allows the software to be deployed with editing functions already disabled in departments that don’t have a need to edit PDF files. This feature convinced “K” Line Logistics to approve deployment of the software.
“The biggest advantage with Acrobat is that we can now convert all data to PDF and then combine it into a single file on a computer. This also makes searching easy and saves a lot of time.”
HR Section, Administration & HR Department, “K” Line Logistics
Unifying licenses and reducing management
Ms. Mochiyama says that there was no difficulty in changing from the conventional perpetual license to a subscription license with the introduction of Adobe Acrobat DC.
“Managing licenses has become much easier than before,” says Ms. Mochiyama. “Previously, we were dealing with different versions and purchase dates for each Acrobat license. We had to check each piece of installed software to see whether the license was about to expire or not being used, and we frequently had to add or replace licenses. Now we can see all usage information on a single console screen, allowing us to easily add, remove, and restrict licenses at any time without worrying about the differences between versions or when to renew. Being able to visualize the usage status is also very effective for ensuring compliance. The centralized management of users IDs and other systems through a single sign-on is also a big advantage.”
“I was shocked when I learned that we could export these figures and other data from PDF and into Excel in one step.”
Air Freight CS Section, "K" Line Logistics
Improving efficiency in each department
Takateru Fukami of the Administration & HR Department was one user who was able to use Acrobat for the first time after migrating to Adobe Acrobat DC.
“I am in charge of hiring for HR,” says Mr. Fukami. “We often receive resumes and other documents as data. However, since they are sent in various formats, we would print each document one by one and then store them as paper files. The biggest advantage with Acrobat is that we can now convert all data to PDF and then combine it into a single file on a computer. This also makes searching easy and saves a lot of time.”
Muneaki Amano, who works in the Air Freight CS Section and handles connections between client companies and the Customs Clearance Department, says he sees a great benefit of being able to use Adobe Acrobat DC to easily extract data from PDF files.
“When preparing the necessary documents to hand over to the Customs Department, we have to check the PDFs obtained from the customer while transcribing figures for quantity and value one by one into Excel,” says Mr. Amano. “Previously, we had to input these figures manually. So, of course there were typos, and it took a lot of time to check everything. I was shocked when I learned that we could export these figures and other data from PDF and into Excel in one step.”
Itaru Sera, who is in charge of sales in the Project Cargo Department, says that “Organize Pages” is his favorite function. “For an import project, we receive all the freight documentation as a single PDF from the country of origin,” says Mr. Sera. “But it includes many documents that we do not need to give to the customer. The Organize Pages function is very useful when we want to delete unnecessary pages, change the order, align the orientation of vertical and horizontal pages, and organize documents so that customers can view them more easily.”
“The Organize Pages function is very useful when we want to delete unnecessary pages, change the order, align the orientation of vertical and horizontal pages, and organize documents so that customers can view them more easily.”
Semiconductor Section, Project Cargo Department, “K” Line Logistics
Looking ahead: compliance and business efficiency
Now that “K” Line Logistics has expanded the use of Acrobat throughout the company, many more departments and users have requested access. In addition, some departments that use the software with restrictions on certain functions have begun requesting that those restrictions be lifted. Mr. Muramatsu says this about deploying Adobe Acrobat DC internally in the future.
“Users want access to convenient functions to improve work efficiency,” he says. “But the company must emphasize security and compliance. So, one issue for the future will be how to achieve this balance. We are thinking about conducting training on a regular basis and creating guidelines. We hope to create an environment where everyone can use Acrobat safely and easily.”
* This information is current as of July 2019