How Distributor Royal Brass & Hose Achieved Efficient Sales And Invoice Automation

Id 8920 Royal Brassand Hose

Background

Royal Brass & Hose is a distributor of hydraulic hoses, fittings, assemblies, tube bending and fabrication, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. From its humble beginnings back in 1949, Royal Brass & Hose has flourished as a trusted supplier serving the OEM, transportation, mining, agriculture, retail, industrial, mill, forestry, and mobile equipment industries. Today they’ve evolved to ten locations across the USA that employ more than 200 staff. However despite their growth, they pride themselves on their family-run approach and they’ve built a reputation for always going the extra mile to exceed customer expectations.

With such a diverse customer base, Royal Brass & Hose works with thousands of leading suppliers to stock an impressive inventory of more than 78,000 products to ensure its customers’ needs are always met. With a foundation focused on delivering unparalleled customer excellence, Royal Brass & Hose is committed to helping their customers become more efficient and profitable. Logically, they are also committed to seeking continuous internal improvements. One key area primed for improvement was the manual data entry process involved in managing customer orders and supplier invoices.

Challenges

Need to Enter Invoices & Orders Faster
As a leading distributor, Royal Brass & Hose has customers and vendors already EDI-enabled, which makes processing orders and invoices a breeze. “The benefits of EDI processing were crystal clear, both in terms of handling higher volumes and fluctuating levels,” shared Drew MacDonald, Vice President at Royal Brass & Hose. “Unfortunately it’s simply not practical to get every customer and supplier EDI-enabled, which left us processing a large amount of information manually.” Royal Brass & Hose needed to fill the gap between EDI processing and receiving fax and email documents that required human intervention.

Need to Accelerate Reconciliation Times
The finance department manages cash flow, payables, and relationships with their trusted suppliers. Every week, the AP team receives numerous supplier invoices that need to be processed quickly and efficiently. “It takes a considerable amount of time to open envelopes, key-in invoices, and verify information against purchase orders,” said Sandy Nicely from Accounts Payable. “Processing AP invoices is a very time-consuming function that’s compounded when volumes increase. Switching to an automated process would help us as we continue to grow.”

Need to Reduce Multitasking Errors
Since the Royal Brass & Hose team is always juggling calls, customer service, and orders, it’s next to impossible to carve out uninterrupted time to focus exclusively on entering purchase orders. “We’re always so busy doing whatever it takes to serve our customers that it can be difficult to enter orders quickly and accurately,” shared Misti White from Customer Service. “I often find myself double and triple checking entries for accuracy since I’m constantly multitasking. Naturally this means order entries take even more time than we’d like.”

The Solution

Royal Brass & Hose was excited to lessen the burden of manual data entry for both their AP and CSR teams. “It was a unanimous decision for us to invest in the right solution to help us become better at what we do,” explained MacDonald. They turned to automation by Conexiom for their solutions in AP Invoice Automation and Sales Order Automation. Conexiom was the ideal solution because it captures critical line item data from computer generated invoices and orders and then automatically processes them in their existing ERP system. 

“We were really excited about the ability to stop relying on people to physically handle paperwork, which in turn would help us process orders and invoices faster – and with greater accuracy of information,” shared MacDonald. “We explored a few solutions, but ultimately selected Conexiom because of its unique 100%-accurate data capture technology that doesn’t rely on Optical Character Recognition.”

Benefits

Processing Customer Orders Faster
By automating manual entry, it eliminated the need for human intervention, which accelerated processing times for both customer orders and supplier invoices. Automation allows staff to focus on exceptions and building relationships, rather than entering data. “Since time is money in distribution, the faster you can get orders in, the faster you can serve your customers,” explained MacDonald. “With Conexiom, customers sending machine-readable documents now have their orders processed in seconds rather than minutes with 100% accuracy. Frankly it’s amazing.”

Reduced Operational Costs
Automating the order and invoice entry process has given Royal Brass & Hose flexibility to handle the ebbs and flows of business during busy times without experiencing delaying in processing cycles. “Now that we no longer need to hire additional staff to match demand, it’s alleviated hiring pressures and assists smaller branches who have fewer staff to handle processing,” said MacDonald. “Not only is Conexiom cost-effective, but it helps us tame operational expenses related to personnel.”

Instantly Reconciles Purchase Orders
One of the most time consuming AP tasks is the matching of supplier invoices against original purchase orders. “Sometimes this task could literally take hours just for one large invoice with hundreds of line items,” shared MacDonald. “Thanks to Conexiom’s ability to provide invoice line-item details, we are able to reconcile a purchase order in seconds, and the increased value to convert AP to an EDI-type model was instantaneous.”

Refocusing Staff on Higher Value Priorities
“Thanks to Conexiom’s ability to minimize the volume of tedious, repetitive tasks, we’ve created space to find new ways to add value to our business, so it’s a big victory,” exclaimed MacDonald. While still in the early stages of implementation, Royal Brass & Hose has exciting plans to fill the free time created by automation including additional training and more proactive customer service. “Anything we can do to earn more praise from our customers is the ultimate measure of success. Customer service is the name of the game.”

Royal Brass & Hose has already enrolled many customers and vendors with Conexiom and they’re excited to include many more. “As long-standing innovators, we’re always looking for the right ways to harness technology to lessen the workload. If it makes sense for our business and our customers, then we’ll explore it,” said MacDonald. “Conexiom was a natural fit for its ability to automate manual entry and modernize the archaic process of physically entering orders and invoices.”

Conexiom allows manufacturers and distributors to focus on serving customers and managing supplier relationships instead of entering data. The patent-pending Conexiom solution was created by ecmarket, a cloud solutions developer. Conexiom revolutionizes critical sales and accounting business practices by automating manual entry with 100% accuracy. Conexiom effortlessly converts emailed and printed customer purchase orders and supplier invoices into automated sales orders and invoices, enabling companies to focus on driving growth. Conexiom helps organizations across the globe maintain a competitive edge. For more information visit conexiom.com

More in Supply Chain