Operations: Secure document generation and distribution

Controlling the automated process of sensitive document distribution

The headline

Many product companies are rightly protective over the product details that they provide to customers. Often product information sheets contain privileged information that is restricted, and in the case of products like paints, coatings, chemicals, and fuels, safety data sheets contain highly confidential information.

Nevertheless, this is information that customers require. The challenge is, how to manage this efficiently and securely at scale, especially when documents like safety data sheets are created on demand through PIM systems, and vary by customer, location, and time?

This is the challenge we are solving for our clients, with enterprise solutions that are automating the generation of >150k documents annually in a secure, traceable, and accountable way.

The challenge

Our clients are global organisations, with thousands of product across multiple regions in the world. Ingredients, recipes, safety proceedures and legislation/legal requirements are all variable, and as such they have invested in sophisticated ERP and PIM platforms to generate client-specific product data and safety data sheets.

This need is on demand. However, the act of generating and distributing these documents is something that requires control. Product recipe information is commercially sensitive intellectual property. Safety and composition information has safety implications. And the need to confirm to variables of regulatory and legislative framework means that document specificity is key.

All this combined, for one client, to having a workflow demand of >150,000 manual transmissions of product and safety data sheets per year. At 5 mins per time, that equates to 15 FTE equivalents across the organisation just on this process.

The solution

Our team has created a middleware between their ERP system (SAP) and customer service desk. Integrated into their existing internal platform, this new interface allows customers to directly self-service their product and safety data sheet needs.

Protected behind a secure and authenticated login, and governed with strict access controls, business managers are able to specify precisely which documents individual customers have access to. Consent and control is immediate and transparent. Management information and PowerBI reports provide direct access to usage in a rollup/roll-down dashboard view.

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The result

We forecast this automation saves work effort to the equivalent of 15 FTEs, as well as providing a superior customer experience and a more secure, measurable solution for the business.

The public interface enables existing and potential new customers to easily find and download the Safety Data Sheet they are looking for. With the new interface users no longer have to contact the customer service desk to send the Safety Data Sheet by email.


This solution is of great value to us working at Customer Service. Sometimes we receive long lists with SDS requests and it takes time for us to gather these documents. I also see the benefit for the customers and distributors who can search for the SDS whenever they need it so it is actually a win-win solution.

- A. Karlsson, Customer Service Representative, Construction Specialties.

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