Customer Story: Lipari Foods Customer Story - Ricoh Scanners Skip to main content

Lipari Foods

Customer Story

Food distributor finds workflow efficiencies, reclaimed space and cost savings.

Imagine being responsible for procuring, managing and delivering tens of thousands of food and beverage items—including perishables—on time, to thousands of customers in more than half of the United States.  Now, consider the volume of paperwork to keep track of it all, from invoices and purchase orders to delivery details and human resources forms. It’s a daily reality for Lipari Foods, a leading wholesale food distributor based in Warren, Michigan.


Food Distributor Document Stats


Pages Scanned a Month


Document Types



Business Needs

For years, Lipari had been managing all their paperwork manually, storing most of it in 250 filing cabinets in their headquarters—and in countless binders in employees’ offices. 

“Visibility was an issue for us,” explains Michael Hegarty, Vice President of Technology. “We wanted everyone to have access to the information they needed, whether they were in the office or on the road."

The durability of the fi Series scanner equipment makes it a rock star.

Michael Hegarty, VP of Technology Lipari Foods


Lipari eventually found its solution in a powerful union between the fi Series scanners and SMRTR’s (an S4i Systems Company) business process automation software that integrates with Lipari’s back-end ERP platform. 

The company embarked on its digital transformation journey in search of an easier, more integrated automation software product. That’s when they discovered SMRTR. 

SMRTR offered a powerful capture and content repository solution. Plus, the company had standardized on fi Series scanners. “We looked at a lot of different scanners, and fi Series scanners proved to be the most reliable and offered the best programs for our customers,” says Susanne Moore, SMRTR’s CEO. 

In 2012, Lipari purchased one fi-6130Z scanner. A year later, they added six more to their fleet. Today, fi Series scanners are found throughout the company, from administration and human resources to customer service and the warehouse. The lineup includes:  • 15 fi-6130Zs • 50 fi-7180s • 1 fi-7900s • 25 fi-8190s

“Now, everyone is responsible for scanning their own documents,” says Hegarty. “And for customer invoices, we have one fi-7900. Instead of having ten people taking three days to get caught up on those periodically, we can now have one person get it done in under two hours of continuous scanning.” 

Since the company tracks at least 350 unique document types, the integration with SMRTR’s solutions has been key. When an employee launches the SMRTR app from their desktop, they can choose a document type. From there, the software initiates a scanning session, classifies the document and extracts the appropriate data for indexing. Indexing is based on the QR barcode that SMRTR developed to standardize the scanning process regardless of the type of document the user is scanning. 

The scanned file is then captured and stored in the SMRTR Content Management System, making it retrievable from the ERP system within a given transaction, such as a specific purchase order number.

Whether it’s promotional forms or vendor price change documents, ingredient lists or origination details, the Lipari team can quickly access what they need. Reconciling proof of delivery documents with delivery logs is easier too. 

For jobs with mixed documents, the SMRTR software generates cover pages that act as separation sheets with intelligent QR codes to differentiate files and provide the document type and indexes—while built-in quality-control tools ensure that all the pages are scanned. 

As Lipari continues to grow, they now have a repeatable, templated process in place to support the numerous companies they’re acquiring. With the included Scanner Central Admin application, Hegarty and his team can easily monitor and manage their fleet of scanners, wherever they are physically deployed, from a single location in Warren, Michigan. Whether they need to push firmware updates, get real-time scanner inventory or check on consumables, the team can take care of it quickly. 

Lipari not only gained more control over their paperwork and workflow, they are able to give employees remote access to the document they need. Plus, they were able to get rid of those 250 filing cabinets.

“We were able to repurpose the storage space into offices for procurement and accounting to support our expansion efforts,” explains Hegarty “That’s one more perk that came from the powerful integration between the fi Series scanners and SMRTR’s software platform.”


Having a platform that can ingest so much paper while reading barcodes has really made our life easier. Between the time it takes to file and retrieve document, as well as the office space reclaimed, the savings equates to about $295,000—ultimately a savings of 1.125M since we implemented this full-scale solution ten years ago.

Michael Hegarty, VP of Technology Lipari Foods