Retail (hardware/household goods)
• Automate and streamline AP invoice capture, AP data entry, routing, approval and ERP transaction
• Integration with Laserfiche Document Management System
Canac Inc. Slashes AP Invoice Cycle Times from Two Weeks to Two Days and Eliminates Manual Data Entry with docAlpha
When CANAC, one of Canada’s largest hardware retailers, needed to find a better way to manage invoices from over 200 vendors who deliver over 20,000 products to their customers, they turned to Artsyl Technologies. Artsyl delivered a solution that took the pain out of handling as many as 120,000 vendor invoices annually, automating the classification and filing of invoices while automating data entry.
By relying on Artsyl’s docAlpha Smart Process platform, CANAC spends a fraction of the time/effort required to process vendor invoices, reducing payment cycle times while allowing the company to scale as business grows without adding staff just to handling invoices.
As a result, CANAC can focus more of their AP staff’s energies on managing and optimizing cash flow while strengthening relationships with partners and suppliers.
Before migrating to a digital enterprise content management system and automating invoice routing and approval, CANAC handled paper invoices manually, sending physical invoices to department managers. AP team members wasted hours each week on filing, data entry, routing, approval tracking, PO matching and ultimately, payment processing.
The entire invoice approval process required as long as two weeks to complete, with one AP spending hours each week just on invoice filing and data entry.
The first step in solving the problem of inefficient AP processes was to implement Laserfiche as the company’s enterprise content management system, and to automate the routing and approval process, all the way through to creating transaction records in the company’s ERP system.
Implementing Laserfiche allowed CANAC to automate invoice routing and approval and to streamline the filing and retrieval of invoices, receipts and orders, saving time and reducing effort. But a gap still existed in CANAC’s AP processes—the manual scanning and filing of documents and the manual entry of data in ECM and ERP systems.
To get more out of its investment in Laserfiche and to reduce AP cycle times, CANAC tasked program analyst Sophie Maltais to analyze existing processes and recommend process improvements. One component to Maltais’ analysis and recommendations was applying intelligent capture to eliminate the need for manual data entry and to automate how documents scanned and stored in Laserfiche are indexed and filed.
After identifying opportunities for process improvement, Maltais worked with Artsyl Technologies to apply the company’s docAlpha smart process platform to intelligently capturing data from scanned paper and digital vendor invoices.
docAlpha provided Canac with the missing piece of the puzzle that would ultimately take the pain out of their AP processes—the sorting, filing and data entry tasks that remained a bottleneck in their payables process.
With docAlpha, Maltais has been able to configure docAlpha to eliminate 95% of the data entry that used to be required to process invoices. docAlpha intelligently converts text within scanned paper and digital documents into actionable data. All Canac’s AP team needs to do is scan their paper documents or upload electronic invoices so that docAlpha can identify relevant information like Vendor names and invoice amounts.
That data is used to inform Canac’s business rules within the Laserfiche ECM to determine who must code an invoice and review it prior to approval and payment. Laserfiche captures invoice payment approvals digitally, either via email or the Laserfiche interface, then passes the data along to the company’s ERP system.
According to Maltais, automating Canac’s AP processes with docAlpha will allow CANAC to reduce vendor invoice processing and approval from two weeks to two days.