Everyone is looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency, especially those in the distribution industry. Transportation, storage, delivery and tracking are just some of the expenses that accrue in this sector and the dollars continue to add up, especially when you factor in a lack of efficiency. One distribution company spent many years wrought with its own productivity challenges due to being overrun with piles of paper invoices in their accounts payable department.
Geiger is one of the largest family-owned companies in the promotional products industry, and is the largest privately held promotional products distributor in the world. They have more than 300 associates, 450 promotional consultants and 50,000 customers. This created a stream of paper invoices that the company was previously relying on. With that in mind, it’s clear why streamlining their accounts payable processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs was vital.
Geiger began looking for a solution that could automate their AP processes, but with more than 3,500 vendors it was difficult to find a system to accommodate them. They were in need of a system that would streamline their financial procedures across their entire vendor network without putting any additional requirements on the vendors themselves.
Since Geiger was processing hundreds of thousands of invoices annually, they decided to pursue a document management solution. Many document management solutions are flexible and scalable, meaning that they can be integrated into a company’s environment, alleviating some of the workload that accountants previously had to bear. Geiger’s solution of choice, MetaViewer, was hosted in a data center, allowing for increased security.
A document management system that integrated with Geiger’s highly customized ERP solution, creating Paperless ERP, was also necessary. Geiger worked with skilled installation technicians to make sure that the system could create real-time communication between the remotely located systems.
As a result of implementing the paperless solution, Geiger greatly increased both its productivity and accuracy. Geiger previously struggled through an average payable cycle of about 15 days. But, because of the efficiency of the document management solution, as well as process improvements, the payable cycle is now down to only seven days. They have reported increased vendor satisfaction, as well as improved client happiness because client invoices can be sent the day the vendor invoice is received.
In addition to increasing satisfaction, Geiger has also been cutting costs. Rather than having to manually go through invoices, key in information and struggle to stay within discount time periods, their new system has automated the majority of the tedious work and allows employees to process invoices quickly, ensuring early payment discounts.
The automated solution simplified processes, but did not take over anyone’s job. After implementation, Geiger executives were able to reallocate current staff to take on more crucial tasks within the company, leaving the data entry up to the document management solution.
Many distribution companies, like Geiger, find themselves with more paper invoices than they can possibly process in a timely manner. And in a fast-paced world where efficiency is key, it’s important for these companies to provide both quick and accurate information to clients and vendors. A document management system integrated with your current ERP solution (Paperless ERP) could be the solution to many of your company’s slow-downs and speed bumps.
If you find that you are missing out on early payment discounts, manually keying data, searching through piles of invoices and receiving frustrated calls from clients and vendors, it may be time to increase your ERP’s efficiency with management Paperless ERP solution.