Company: DocumationCustomer: ABPSubmitted by: DocumationDate: August 2000The Port of Southampton is the UK’s leading cruise port and home for Cunard’s flagship QE2 and P&O Cruise ships the Aurora, Oriana, Victoria and Arcadia.

The port is one of the largest and most diverse in Europe and a prominent part of the Associated British Ports (ABP) Group. ABP, the UK’s leading ports operator, owns the Port of Southampton and has responsibility for the infrastructure, maintenance and safety of the whole port.The management of a port as large as Southampton generates a huge amount of paper, which was beginning to create a serious storage problem for ABP.Philip Palmer, Accountant at ABP and Documation Project Leader reckons “We were storing a large number of documents in a number of separate locations and felt that we really needed a more secure and permanent solution to our paper document storage problem”.

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Why Documation?

“We chose Documation as our EDM supplier after having excellent references from P&O Cruises and Hampshire County Council, two existing Documation customers.

We also visited the P&O Cruises site and were impressed with the system in action” says Philip.

The Initial System

ABP installed the first stage of their electronic document management (EDM) system within their Finance Department 3 years ago. This system was designed to manage all outgoing invoices and involved storing documents using Documation COLD.Philip Palmer remarks: “By storing documents as electronic images on optical disk, Documation’s Office system has significantly reduced the amount of storage space required for filing our internal and external correspondence. Another notable benefit is the reduction in the amount of time spent on retrieving documents.

Documents can now be retrieved quickly and simply from a staff member’s desktop eliminating the need to search though numerous filing cabinets.”


The success of the initial COLD system within their Finance Department, recently prompted ABP to extend the system into additional departments within the organisation, including Personnel and Sales ; Marketing, providing an efficient system for storing paper and Word processed documents along with computer generated reports. The new system has been custom designed to manage all external correspondence received along with internally produced documents such as monthly reports, audit documents and commercial agreements, allowing ABP to manage their documents more effectively and provide a high level of service for their customers.Philip continues: “Since the first system at our offices was installed the training and support supplied by Documation has been more than satisfactory and we look forward to continuing to work with their team into the future”.