Tim Nissen | Accounts Payable Automation Visibility Builds Company Growth.
Growth stories inspire hope in all of us.
This one’s built around an unexpected outcome; as Accounts Payable automation visibility builds company growth. The realities of AP automation’s process cost savings and contracted discount capital achievement are advantageous yet typical outcomes of ERP-ECM integrated automation.
This company’s story is one of growth.
This US-based manufacturing and business services category leader has exhibited consistent annual revenue growth and expanded their personnel base. Their business plan’s commitment to strategically increasing market share through sound investment in employees, facilities and technology, has proved successful.
With manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US and Europe, and regional offices globally, they’ve displayed dizzying new product development depth. Much of that is a result of hiring people with vision. Their 34% personnel base growth during the past five years is, ironically, rooted in automation. While increasing their headcount, they did so smartly by investing in people whose brainpower was needed, while simultaneously adding automation to areas that made sense.
People and automation mutually exclusive? Not to their thinking.
The company’s move from manual to automated document management and workflow began as they commenced ramping-up staffing. From their success story, this probably isn’t a coincidence. After surveying the enterprise content management marketplace, they selected IntelliChief ECM, based on the system’s integration ability with their ERP, coupled with IntelliChief’s depth of knowledge of AP workflows, and began document management automation in their Accounts Payable department. “We noticed an increasing number of companies going paperless, and calculated it would be a wise move for us, commented the company’s Director of Accounting. “It’s proved to be – IntelliChief has saved us considerable resource time and cost over our previous manual processes way of running our business, both in the AP department and in all others throughout the company utilizing the ECM system.”
In AP, 500 transactions are processed daily, typically a 50/50 split of purchase order and non-purchase order activities. “Having the ability to capture and organize all payables documentation through automation simplifies everything,” the Accounting Director highlighted. “It’s a more efficient, cost-saving way to process.”
“Automating our workflow with IntelliChief has provided us the ability to map our goals and targets, with visibility to processing status of daily tasks,” they stated. “This has provided us a phenomenal advantage with reviews and approvals, and with our cash flow management.”
Paper’s lifecycles are now able to come to an end. Once the mandatory storage window has closed, the files are off to recycling, while a digital copy is kept in ERP-IntelliChief archive. “We have paper storage both in-office and off-site in our warehouses,” they mentioned. “Freeing the space is allowing valuable square footage to be utilized more profitably.”
Adding Productivity to Production
Witnessing the benefits of IntelliChief with Accounts Payable, interdepartmental expansion was the company’s next move.
IntelliChief also enabled the Production department to collectively assemble all documentation per project within the system, allowing access and real-time visibility with cross-departmental workflow of every project. It also facilitated an archive of each projects’ details, accessible for future jobs.
Extending Production’s usage, IntelliChief provided Quality Control provision to manage work order documents electronically, enabling on-demand access of all records per project as needed. “The Production and Quality Control groups together have benefitted from tandem use of IntelliChief; it continually helped with project organization and oversight,” commented the Accounting Director. “Maintaining all project records together in a single repository, with automated workflow among those involved with each project, has simplified communications and enhanced delivery times notably.”
The Distribution department was a natural next-step of the company’s IntelliChief usage. Shipping and Receiving documentation is electronically captured at each logistic location, where it is routed through the system to either AP for matching and payment, or Customer Service for collection and archival with related information of each order. With both capacities, “workflow automation facilitates a welcomed reduction of footwork by our staff – all documentation is accounted for and routed where it needs to be,” they added enthusiastically, and somewhat relieved…
Assisted Audits – Accounting and Regulatory Affairs
Within their industry’s highly regulated environment, internal and independent audits occur with regularity. They saw this as an opportunity to reduce time and cost of these activities by establishing an auditing workstation on-site, where auditors have searchable access to any documentation they require via IntelliChief’s archive. This added organization to audits, eliminating the need to physically source documents from a file cabinet or warehouse in some corner of the world. “Single-point access had been an immense help with both Financial and Regulatory Affairs audits; the added convenience and time savings – both with auditors and our staff – is greatly reduced,” relayed the Accounting Director.
In addition to audits, their Regulatory Affairs department has added IntelliChief for a safe, updating repository for all product and procedure information related to their governing Food and Drug Administration regulations.
A rarity amongst business software companies is one with reliably helpful Technical Support. IntelliChief has proven to be an exception. “They’re excellent,” the Accounting Director conveyed. “I can count on them for rapid, informed assistance at any time. They’re on it; committed to keeping us up and running consistently.”