Case Study: Enterprising ECM – Reducing Accounts Payable Costs and Improving Order’s Customer Service

Tim Nissen | Case Study: Enterprising ECM – Reducing Accounts Payable Costs and Improving Order’s Customer Service.

Here’s another company suffering severe paper overload internally. Misfiled documents, lost invoices and delays in answering customer requests were overwhelming. Their Accounting Manager states, “We were looking to improve processes to save time and money . . . how we dealt with customers and how we did our daily jobs. Our ultimate goal was to find a way to improve the bottom line, to improve profitability.”

IntelliChief Solution

The company’s solution search party asked their ERP provider for a document management automation solution suggestion. IntelliChief ECM was recommended to them, for its feature-rich capabilities and easy integration with their ERP system.

The next step was to obtain project approval. The CEO and CFO wanted real ROI – reduced costs encompassing labor, faxing, postage, check stock and paper. “Neither the CEO or CFO wanted to see any soft dollars. We were able to show there were big savings, which could be used to improve profitability and services, and those were hard dollars,” explains their Accounting Manager

The first challenge was the company’s Purchase-to-Pay process: purchasing, receiving and accounts payable. When creating PO’s, buyers printed them, emailed or faxed them to the vendor, stapled the confirmation receipt to the PO, and put everything in a basket to wait for confirmation, which took up to 4 hours on a good day…

Streamlining Purchase-to-Pay

All these cumbersome steps were eliminated with IntelliChief. When a PO is created, an electronic copy is saved. Quadrant Software’s FastFax (an integrated fax server for IntelliChief) then faxes or emails the PO in mere seconds without user intervention. Order Acknowledgments, received by fax or email, are archived in the IntelliChief database and linked to the appropriate PO. All of these documents can be retrieved on familiar ERP screens at any time by IntelliChief users.

Incoming products had Receiving Documents matched against PO’s, entered in ERP and filed. When invoices arrived in Accounts Payable (AP), invoices were matched against the receiving record in the system. If there was a discrepancy, AP staff needed to look for the original receiving documents, to determine if they had been incorrectly entered into the ERP, or if the invoice was wrong. “If the purchase had been made by one of our other facilities, I had to call them to send me a copy of the receiving documents, so I could match, review everything associated, and find out what happened,” says the company’s Accounts Payable Associate.

Today, after documents are matched in the warehouse and a receiving record created in the ERP, the receiving documents are scanned into IntelliChief, eliminating the need for hard copies and ensuring they are digitally available without the need to send physical paper to Accounts Payable.

Accounts Payable Results

Faxed invoices are captured via FastFax and archived. Mailed invoices are scanned. Emailed invoices are saved with the easy-to-use IntelliChief Print Capture application.

IntelliChief’s Workflow matches invoices against receiving documents and sends them to an electronic inbox (“Matched Invoices”); invoices without a receiving document go to an “Unmatched Invoices” inbox.

The impact? The Accounts Payable Associate comments, “Previously, every day I had to pull up the folder and try to match invoices . . . that was a big pain. . . With IntelliChief, the invoices are awaiting electronic matching with the receiver, as if they were saying, ‘Hey, here we are!’ It’s a tremendous time saver.”

Prior to IntelliChief, the huge paper trail prevented invoices that needed approval to be paid quickly. Copies were made by AP staff, sent to the appropriate manager for approval, and came back to AP for a voucher. The AP Associate explains, “When invoices make it back to us, I had to contact each person to verify they received it, approved it, and sent it back. Sometimes invoices were paid late, or we couldn’t take advantage of vendor discounts because we couldn’t make the deadline.” IntelliChief’s Workflow now electronically forwards invoices or approval to the correct person. They approve it with a click of the mouse. With IntelliChief’s automating workflow, the company has put an end to missing invoices, delays and unachieved discount savings.

When Accounts Payable wanted to pay invoices, the AP Associate again had to match paper documents. “I used to spend at least half a day every week manually matching up invoices and checks to be approved and signed by senior staff. This meant looking through filing cabinets for correct invoices and putting them in a folder with the corresponding check.”

IntelliChief saves checks as an electronic image and manages them via Workflow. The AP Associate describes how IntelliChief streamlines check runs and approval processes: “IntelliChief automates our check production; checks go via Workflow to senior staff, and they can simply click and look up the relevant documentation on-screen and either approve or void the check.”

Order Processing Pains

The second challenge was orders – coming via fax, email and postal mail. They were manually routed to the Traffic Group for review and carrier information access and logged before going to Order Entry. They were sent back to the Customer Service Representative (CSR) or manager with any questions, or when a discount required approval.

Their CSR Manager explains, “There was no way to know where in the process the order was at any given time, until it was put into the system. Sometimes we had to ask the customer to re-send, which you can imagine they weren’t very happy about. Then the workflow-by-hand’s a tedious process, having to constantly ask staff in various departments where the order presently is, and where it’s going next. It slowed our fulfillment.”

After the order was entered, an acknowledgment was printed, proofed, and compared to the PO. Once approved, a CSR made a copy, faxed or mailed it to the customer, and filed the copy with the PO.

Order Processing Done Right

With IntelliChief, order processing is efficient. Faxed orders are captured with FastFax, mailed orders are scanned into the system, and emailed orders are saved with IntelliChief’s easy-to-use Print Capture feature, all archived in IntelliChief’s database.

The electronic order is sent to Order Entry or the CSR via IntelliChief Workflow. The order is routed to Traffic, and then to Order Entry. IntelliChief creates and saves the Acknowledgment, which is faxed or emailed directly to the customer.

“We now have only 3 people involved in the process rather than 7 previously, and we always know exactly where the order is,” says the CSR Manager. “IntelliChief cut our order process time in half.”

When customers called with questions about invoices, CSR’s had to request a copy from Accounting. The Accounting Manager explains, “Prior to IntelliChief’s automation, the invoice had to be pulled from the files, which could take minutes or hours, and then logged.” The order history (original PO, any change orders, acknowledgments, and all related documents) is now electronic. “We can view order status through IntelliChief Analytics and see where any bottlenecks are. We can see if orders are not being entered. Invoices are emailed to customers, saving postage, labor, and mailing costs,” the Accounting Manager exudes.

Key Benefits

IntelliChief provides the company both ROI and intangible benefits. “It helped decrease the stress level! Being able to really see what’s happening, to see where holdups are is incredible,” states the Accounting Manager. “From a management standpoint, that’s a measurable benefit to me.” An additional benefit is having everything electronic accessible for their auditors. “We can’t wait until next year when the independent auditors come in; we’ll provide them with a workstation accessing IntelliChief; they can do document searches without involving any of our Accounting staff.”

Paperless Future

Implementing document management automation is admittedly a procedural shift. “The idea of not having paper anymore for some people was difficult to overcome, initially. They now understand automation is a real advantage for all of us, with how we serve our customers, and everyone realizes the competitive advantage it provides us,” the Accounting Manager states.

Realizing the advantages of automating document capture and workflow, the company plans to roll out IntelliChief to other high-documentation, workflow-intensive areas of the company, maximizing abilities of their ERP, while reducing costs throughout the organization, and serving customers faster and more efficiently.

 

Also see: Workflow Automation: How to Speed Up Your Business Processes

Paperless HRIS System

Tim Nissen | Paperless HRIS System.

Your core HRIS platform probably include components for Applicant Tracking, Employee Onboarding, Performance Management, and Employee Self Service. It’s the employee file management that most systems lack. This is where enterprise content management (ECM) comes in.

IntelliChief ECM provides a paperless option to file cabinet storage, integrated with your HRIS. It captures all employee or contractor’s information you need to maintain, converting the documents in their various native formats to uniform electronic images. From there, it verifies key HRIS-stored information and archives all documentation electronically. You also have the option to include automated workflow to assist collaboration with departmental management. Want the ease of reporting on any data set you can imagine? IntelliChief Analytics has you covered with real-time status visibility and customized reporting.

IntelliChief ECM enables a thoroughly paperless HRIS system. In addition to the convenience of keyword searching any information you ever need, it’s also protecting you and your organization’s security, confidentiality and compliance.

This 30-minute video presentation shows you how: //bit.ly/2DcXLWU

 

Related: Automation Human Resources Functions: The Benefits of Paperless HR

An Easier Way to Manage Your Supplier Payments

You shouldn’t have to spend valuable time managing your supplier payments. With IntelliChief, you can automate the entire process.

IntelliChief helps you pay for routine B2B purchases, as well as non-purchase-order transactions. It uses information you already have stored in your ERP to confirm the details on each of your invoices. This way, you only pay for what you ordered (and received) – at the prices your suppliers originally quoted – while giving you the ability to take applicable discounts if you so choose.

Once your invoices are verified, the voucher is created and scheduled for payment. No more delayed payments, and no more costly late fees. It’s an easy way to keep your Accounts Payable cycle on track.

Straight-Through Processing for Supplier Payments

When IntelliChief captures a new invoice, it automatically finds the corresponding purchase order and receipts. (No purchase order? No problem. IntelliChief can route expense invoices to the appropriate approver. They can approve, code and import the invoice data without keying it in to your ERP).

For PO-based transactions, IntelliChief matches the supplier invoice with your company’s supporting documentation. Even at the line level, IntelliChief performs the match automatically and creates the voucher, as long as everything meets your variance policy.

For a typical B2B transaction, your employees don’t have to do a thing. There’s no need to manually enter the invoice into your ERP to check for a match.  This keeps the supplier payment process simple and efficient. Meanwhile, IntelliChief’s workflow includes duplicate invoice checking, to eliminate double payments.

Resolving Supplier Invoice Problems To Enhance Straight Through Processing

If there’s a discrepancy between your purchase order and what’s listed on your supplier invoice, IntelliChief can help you find a solution. One example: you place an order for 100 units, but your supplier sends an invoice for 10 boxes of 10 units each. Your invoice and the purchase order don’t match – but they both reflect the same materials. Instead of wasting your team’s time on a simple unit & measure conversion, our software takes care it for you to enhance straight through processing rates.Automate Supplier Payments

Another common example is when you and the vendor use different part numbers.  There’s usually a conversion table for part numbers in your ERP, but it’s rarely accurate. IntelliChief will prompt the user to save the converted part numbers the first time, allowing the system to remember the difference the next time that part number is ordered. Here too, your Accounts Payable team doesn’t have to perform the conversion manually each time.

Look Up Vendor Payment Terms

Our invoice processing software also ensures that you get the discounts you’re entitled to.

IntelliChief searches each invoice for supplier payment terms, such as a 2 percent discount if you pay by a specific date.  When there is an incentive, IntelliChief makes sure the invoice is entered and paid by the deadline – without a last-minute rush from your team.

Schedule Supplier Payments

As each invoice is verified, IntelliChief tells your accounting software to start the payment process. It automatically creates your vouchers, then follows the payment schedule in your ERP or accounting system.

As each payment is issued, our software archives the corresponding transaction detail. If you pay a supplier with a check, the system will capture it automatically and authorized users (or auditors) can see a complete history of the transaction.

Track and Analyze Your Outbound Payment Activity

When it comes to your finances, visibility is key. IntelliChief helps you create detailed, real-time accounting reports for every supplier payment.

With Analytics, you can see:

  • When each of your pending invoices are due
  • What percentage of your invoices were processed straight through
  • Which suppliers you spend the most with throughout a given period
  • How many invoices you haven’t processed yet (and will need to accrue in the following period)

Thanks to self-serve access, anyone in your organization – from your Financial Controller and your CFO to your Accounting Manager or VP of Operations – can quickly access the information that’s most important to them.

Start Managing your Supplier Payments with IntelliChief’s Invoice Automation Software

The more successful the business, the more transactions you have to manage in your back office. And when you’re dealing with thousands of purchases at a time, an inefficient supplier payment process can easily overwhelm your team.

At IntelliChief, we’re here to help. Our accounts payable solutions can integrate with your ERP or line of business system. (Oracle Financials, SAP FI, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne are some of our most common integrations – although our software can work with any accounting program.) Our experts will handle the set-up, and your employees won’t have to learn a whole new payment process. It’s a simple and intuitive way to manage your supplier payments – and we can get started whenever you’re ready.

For more information about IntelliChief’s B2B payment solutions, contact us today.

Accessing Financial Operations Data

Tim Nissen | Accessing Financial Operations Data.

Surveys of Accounting and Finance professionals resonate a pressing need: accessing financial operations data from a single system source.

The problem comes from two primary perspectives. One is attempting to report from disparate systems, particularly ERP’s and line of business systems, manually assembling reports cobbled from these multiple sources. The other is the manual approach of exporting data out of ERP systems and into Microsoft Office applications. Unfortunately, neither solves the data integration issues standing in the way of gaining accurate, actionable information consistently.

The number that relays the consequences of this continuing lack: less than 20% of Accounting and Finance professionals’ time is allocated to strategic activities. It’s the time and effort tied-up in the common problem – manual reporting, rather than utilizing a single-source visualizing and reporting source integrated with their ERP’s and business systems.

Further, those surveyed denote that it’s the non-value-added tasks; data gathering, verifying accuracy, and formatting reports, that distract from the strategic analysis emphasis needed. System integration constitutes the biggest technology obstacle to gaining actionable reporting information, to report on both financial and operational data.

An actual automated source is available by utilizing an enterprise content management (ECM) system. These can sync with ERP’s and business systems, creating a hub for transactional information and supporting documentation, with full cashflow visibility and financial reporting, in configurations of the user’s choosing.

Through ECM, users can deliver the value-added analysis desired by key stakeholders.

While the system integrations enable ECM’s effectiveness, success starts with automating the capture (imaging) and indexing (OCR) all needed transactional information from related documentation, from beginning to end, to populate corresponding ECM fields. This enables information verification amongst systems for accuracy both in processing and reporting. Automating interdepartmental workflows provides the field of view for real-time financial reporting, as does document archival ECM provides. Together, a single-source document management system accessing financial operations data easily and accurately.

 

Also see:

Accounts Payable Automation: Leverage the Power of Technology to Streamline Your AP Workflows

Accounts Receivable Automation Software for Reduced DSO’s and Improved Cash Flow

IntelliChief ECM Named Quest Oracle Community Partner

IntelliChief, LLC, an Oracle PartnerNetwork Member, Gold Level Product Integration member, and provider of automated document management and workflow enterprise content management (ECM) solutions, announces IntelliChief ECM named Quest Oracle Community Partner.

The designation reflects the company’s ongoing support of regional Quest Oracle Community user groups, and progressive product development of Accounts Payable automation and Orders Processing automation for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft users. Also attributed was the company’s industry-noted product advancements in the areas of multi-format automated document capture and indexing, AI and robotic process automation (RPA) and company-specific process configured workflow, providing mobile access for all staff and stakeholders.

IntelliChief’s enterprise AI-powered automated document management focus benefit at manufacturer’s departmental level, encompassing Accounts Payable, Order Processing, Finance, Purchasing, Sales Management, Customer Service, Human Resources-HCM, IT Legal, and Logistics/Distribution.

IntelliChief ECM provides a smooth, automated transition from costly manual document management and workflow functions. Its industry-awarded automated capture, validation, database update and real-time analytic visibility enables users to capture documentation in any format, index contents and validate with data in their ERP and line of business applications. It lifecycle-manages all related documentation, facilitates optimized interdepartmental processes workflow automation and cash flow optimization.

For IntelliChief ECM information, contact IntelliChief.

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