The centre was dealing with a substantial amount of paper and needed to come up with a solution to handle paper based processes in an efficient way. The 3 main areas that used significant paper were AP Invoices, Sales Dockets & the AR receipting processes.
“Paper-based processes have always been a big part of the business and we recognised that scanning and managing documents was the key to streamlining those processes,” said Jason Montgomery, Sales Administration Manager, ISAC. “At the same time we wanted to see how we could enhance it and move it on.”
ISAC needed to bring new efficiencies to these paper-based processes and chose SoftCo to assist with this.
All document and data capture process was automated and centralised. Distributed scanners were replaced with new high performance devices located in the SSC. The new hardware delivered higher accuracy for reading barcodes off dockets, reducing error rates and the need to key in data manually. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) software was implemented to extract data from cheques and remittance slips and match them with a customer’s account details.
“Previously, all these line items had to be manually keyed, so it was a paper nightmare with lots of scope for manual error. By automating the process we have made it quicker and more accurate.”
The Accounts Payable process has been streamlined by the SoftCo AP module. All supplier invoices are now sent directly to the SSC for processing. The invoices are scanned in bulk and the software automatically lifts and are passed through a series of validations routines and the data is then posted in to the Oracle financial system. The invoices are then archived and instantly available to employees directly through Oracle which means that any queries can be dealt with is a much more streamlined way as the image of the invoice is available instantaneously.
All information is archived in a single SoftCo R8 business process repository. The SoftCo Storlife CAS (Content Addressed Storage) module ensures the authenticity of each document on fast magnetic media and Life Cycle Management assists ISAC with its document retention policies.
With a substantial customer base the support team spent a lot of time answering customer queries and emailing or faxing documents. Using SoftCo's Customer Self-Service component all customer documentation such as delivery dockets, invoices and statements etc are now replicated to a secure dedicated R8 repository in the SSC. Using a simple web browser, customers can now log on to the self-service portal and access their own documents only at their own convenience. The result is reduced calls to the SSC and customers can now access their information when it suits them.
“With SoftCo’s Customer Self-Service customers can now access all their documents instantly through a central hub,” commented Jason Montgomery. “Consequently, the amount of inbound support calls has been reduced.”
Efficiencies and processing improvements have been achieved through the move to the Shared Administration Centre. SoftCo has been part of that success, consolidating technology, reducing paper processing costs and reducing the number of errors. The SoftCo AP solution has assisted with reducing the time handling supplier invoices. The consolidation of the scanning and data capture process alone, helped streamline the headcount allowing staff to focus on more value added activities. Remittances and cheques are now scanned and entered separately; removing room for error and making it is easier to match payments precisely with customer accounts.
“We now have leading edge technology in place, which we are constantly looking at new ways to improve with SoftCo’s help,” said Jason Montgomery. “We are optimising what we have and creating a Shared Services delivery model that may well be adopted by the wider business. The benefits have been achieved after significant investment in terms of equipment, process analysis and time to get it working. The centre uses a continuous improvement philosophy to ensure more benefits are realised into the future through the use KPI’s & SLA’s.
*Roadstone Wood, part of the global CRH PLC Group company , is the leading manufacturer and supplier of building materials in Ireland.
Sales Administration Manager
Sales Administration Manager