Implementing More Cost-Effective Processes and Gaining Control Over ProcurementFuelsGrowing Profits for the Oregon-based Multi-Purpose Tool Manufacturer
In 2012, Leatherman waslaying the groundwork for a financial process to achieve better visibility and control over its business expenditures. Around that time, IT Director Travis Pierce on board to help the company to modernize the tools and processes they relied upon to achieve those goals.
According to Pierce, Leatherman previously had invested in tools to streamline operations, like Artsyl Technology’s docAlpha Smart Process Platform that helped to intelligently capture data from vendor invoices. The trouble was that the underlying ERP system and supporting workflow automation they had historically relied upon wasn’t able to keep up with the pace of their business.
“Our prior ERP system was 20 years old and included a lot of customization,” said Pierce. “The old system didn’t provide the flexibility we needed to grow our company and supported added shipping or manufacturing locations.”
To better position itself for growth, Leatherman decided to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics AX. Rather than abandon a supporting system like docAlpha, which had proven its value in eliminating manual data entry and document filing, Leatherman turned to Artsyl Technologies to deliver integration with Dynamics AX. The result would be an end-to-end automated AP process automation, with docAlpha delivering intelligent capture of data from vendor invoices to inform business rules that would drive the Dynamics AX workflow process.
Prior to the migration to AX, docAlpha allowed the three-person Leatherman AP team to manage over 80,000 invoices per year from nearly 2,000 vendors, with an average of 10,000 payments annually. By relying on docAlpha, the AP team believes that they were able to handle business growth through automation, essentially eliminating the need to add another staff member to focus full time on accounts payable processing.
By relying on docAlpha’s intelligent capture capabilities, the AP team doesn’t have to worry about manually filing and sorting invoices or manually keying information into their ERP system. docAlpha identifies and extracts actionable data from scanned paper or native digital invoices and inputs that data within the ERP system. That data informs their accounts payable approval workflow engine to route everything for coding and approval.
According to Senior AP Specialist Heather Williams, merging the capabilities of docAlpha with Dynamics AX will help Leatherman to achieve a new level of control over their AP process, while maintaining or increasing efficiency.
“Prior to docAlpha, people would just go order things, invoices would show up and the AP team would have to track down people for approvals and GL codes,” said Williams.
“Now, with docAlpha and AX, we are implementing a purchase requisition process with a clear approval structure that holds people accountable for what they are ordering and securing approval,” she added.
The docAlpha smart process platformfurther streamlines Leatherman’s purchase requisition process by automatically matching purchase orders generated from the requisition process, with quotes and invoices received from suppliers.
According to Pierce, the business impact of the newly-defined AP process has been significant for Leatherman.
“Putting a process in place to implement greater visibility and controlover purchasing and invoice approval has been hugely beneficial,” said Pierce, “It has a tremendous impact on our bottom line growth.”
Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Founded in 1983, Oregon-based Leatherman Tool Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of high quality multi-tools (Leatherman) and LED lights (LED LENSER), with more than 128 million tools and lights sold, and distribution in more than 80 countries.
Manufacturing (multi-purpose tools)
• Achieve better visibility and control over AP processes
• Automate and streamline AP invoice capture, AP data entry, routing, approval and ERP transaction creation
• Integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX
• docAlpha Smart Process Platform
• Integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX
• Accurate automatic sorting, filing and indexing of delivery documents in support of 2,000 suppliers and 80,000 vendor invoices annually
• Automatic matching of purchase orders, quotes and invoices to support the company’s purchase requisition process