Supporting rapid business growth while increasing customer & employee satisfaction
- 100%of invoice processing automated, 30% of them touchless
- 45%of all group-wide orders uploaded hands-free
- 30%of orders processed automatically
- 50%of AP time transferred to higher-value tasks
Routeco is the UK’s leading specialist distributor of industrial automation and control products from worldwide manufacturers - packaged together with a range of added-value services.
Challenges: Laborious manual processes undermined efficiency
Routeco’s ambitious growth strategy was proving difficult to implement without also addressing its Accounts Payable (AP) and Order Management processes.
Printing, scanning and emailing invoices to other departments within the company was time consuming and had staff continuously on their toes throughout the entire process. The limited visibility and control of payment amounts due to unclear VAT situations and cost variances slowed Routeco down even more.
Order processing also needed a revamp, as it was highly manual and error-prone. Routeco was looking for ways to improve data accuracy and avoid incorrect deliveries. Freeing up time for the sales team to improve overall efficiency would lead the company towards the goal of all teams being more proactive rather than reactive.
- Adapt AP process to growth strategy
- Limit manual internal document exchange
- Boost employee morale and efficiency
- Improve accuracy of order entry to avoid incorrect deliveries
- Speed up order entry process for large orders
Solution: Nimble processes result in improved visibility
My favourite feature by far is the ability to completely customise the dashboards. This is brilliant for management to understand if the processing team is on track and see where there may be some issues. It can be really motivating for the team to see the goals they are achieving.
“When considering Esker, we looked at several systems and they all felt very clunky, like somebody had bolted lots of additional features on over time and they didn’t quite flow. Esker, on the other hand, was very intuitive, is easy to navigate and simple,” commented Claire Hancott, Finance Director at Routeco Group.
Apart from the huge increase in productivity Esker’s solutions have brought to both AP and order management, the complete visibility of the processes from start to finish proved very useful as well. Routeco now knows exactly how many invoices need processing at any one time and can plan workloads accordingly. They can also easily see the history linked to a posted invoice, such as any queries raised, notes added and who approved it..
Unique dashboards and views have also been set up for other people around the company who receive invoice queries or invoices to approve. They clearly show the staff what needs to be done and if anything is overdue.
As for the processing of orders, these are now fully automated. Users only need to view them within the ERP system to check whether data has been uploaded correctly, without spending a lot of time manually entering the orders. Routeco can now view all orders on the dashboard, providing an overview of how many orders are coming in for each customer service centre.
The customisation around the user access is also quite unique to Esker and has been very useful. The options are endless to control what menu options, reports etc. each individual user or group of users can see. This level of flexibility is very important to us when we are such a big company that has a centralised finance team covering several locations and countries.
Results: Happier employees, customers & vendors
The biggest results were observed in added productivity, both for AP as well as order managment. Despite a recent increase in invoices, having them available in digital format made their processing easier and faster by saving on administrative tasks such as printing, filing and scanning.
Esker’s AI-based machine learning capabilities help correct key stroke errors and formatting deviations, thereby ensuring more accurate order entry and removing the manual aspects of order processing. The need for manual intervention decreased and Routeco’s customers can now place orders very late in the working day and still have them immediately processed and the goods shipped the next day.
“The increased accuracy of order processing results in a better customer journey. As we have utilised Esker more and more, our employees are able to see the time savings, freeing up time for more customer contact and value-added activities,” concluded Mark Crawford, Group Operations Director at Routeco Limited.
Business growth can now be managed without adding on extra resources, leading to an increase in overall profitability. Morale has improved by building stronger inter-departmental relationships. With better visibility over goals, all teams are more focused and can celebrate achieving them together..
Customer experience and satisfaction levels have improved as we are now able to upload customer orders into our ERP system much quicker. This has enabled us to get customer orders out the door faster and with fewer pick errors.
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