April 11th, 2016

New Look

Founded in 1969, New Look has grown from a single store to become a dynamic, international, multichannel retail brand with a unique value-fashion offer in apparel, footwear and accessories for women, men and teenage girls. The New Look Group has over 800 stores across the globe in 21 countries, and their estate of 650 UK stores places New Look in immediate reach of the majority of the British population. 

The Challenge 

The main challenge was lack of visibility of HR documents as each of the 650 stores across UK stores its own employee documents. This made it difficult to audit and reference any employee documents to comply with regulations such as “right to work”. New Look felt the need for a more robust and centralised hr document management system that would help them keep each personnel file up to date, access and update document and keep them secure. 
DCS was shortlisted to provide a HR document management solution because of the level of understanding shown towards New Look’s requirements, expertise in document management and ability to provide a solution in a short timescale. 

The Solution 

Following a detailed requirements analysis, DCS implemented a solution that allows New Look to manage all employee documents centrally. It gives the HR team complete visibility of the status of documents in each employee file. The system is accessible by sixty HR team members and others in distribution team. 


The first deliverable of the project was to start scanning over 18000 existing employee files into DCS’s electronic document management system – FileStore. Despite valiant attempts at sampling it was not possible to get a consistent picture of what and how much to expect in each employee file, so the precise volume of the job was unknown. New Look arranged for their cash pickup partners to take the HR records from branches and deliver them to DCS for scanning.

“Day-Forward” Scanning

The process for day-forward scanning was similar but treated as a separate task. It concerned new files created after an agreed date and therefore not included in the Backscanning process. These new files were considered most likely to be subject to updating and therefore guarantee of immediate access for HR staff was even more crucial.
For additional flexibility, an ad-hoc bulk upload service was set up via a desktop shortcut icon. This allows New Look HR staff to move any other files or documents (which may or may not be HR records) into a FTP transfer for DCS to pick up and into FileStore.

The HR team at New Look is excited about using FileStore as their HR EDM system as it will provide consistency to how we save access, update and retrieve large numbers of employee files and documents. Our requirements have been accurately met with a solution that is really simple and easy to use with a familiar and adaptive user interface. The ability for each user to customise views of the system allows us better control and a deeper understanding of what we have in our personnel files.

Ann-marie Murphy, HR Director


Key solution components 

DCS outsourced services: DCS scanned 15000 existing employee files using industry leading document imaging software Kofax from Lexmark. DCS are diamond resellers of Kofax and use Kofax Capture and Transformation Module in our scanning bureau for document scanning and electronic data capture from scanned documents. This data is then used to tag document images with important business information.
FileStore:  Filestore is an award winning electronic document management system which was configured to meet New Look’s specific business requirements. It is robust electronic document repository with an intuitive user interface. Filestore can also be integrated with any business application to allow exchange of data and document images between systems.

Notable solution features

Notable features of the solution include:

  • Various levels of access rights have been programmed to ensure employee data protection.
  • Reports to alert HR team of any missing documents or documents that need to be updated. 
  • Customisable interface for ease of use.
  • Users have the option of either uploading the documents individually or in bulk via a desktop shortcut. 
  • Over 140 different document types have been configured which means each document can be searched via an easy “google-like” search. 
  • Ability to add new classifications without changing the existing system.

The Benefits

The headline improvement that makes a difference is how quick and easy it is for HR staff to find documents and to help with personnel enquiries. A lot of time is saved from having eliminated manual tasks.

  • New Look HR team now has complete visibility of their employee documents held across 650 stores all across UK. 
  • The solution allows for significant process improvements such as retrieving employee data for re-employment.
  • Any time secure access of employee documents
  • It makes it easier to retrieve information and help with general enquiries 
  • A HR document management system that makes compliance to HMRC and Data Protection regulations easier.
  • New Look HR department and branches given back some space in reduced filing cabinets

In addition, New Look HR staff are now able to see who is sending documents and when, thus providing an invaluable view of branch stores’ use of the system. They can also run reports in FileStore looking for specifics – such as missing required information from HR records – making it much easier to draw up project plans to fix issues if they arise. New Look would not need a complete overhaul in case of business rules or strategy changing. For instance, whenever new stores need to be added or regions subdivided, DCS can accomplish this and ensure all existing data is appropriately reallocated since FileStore has been configured as a dynamic and future proof solution.