David Seidman
by
David Seidman

Exela cut the company’s costs, improved productivity, and reduced the level of risk

CHALLENGE

A grocery chain relied heavily on cumbersome manual processes and an inefficient accounts payable (AP) operation. The problems ranged from lost invoices and missing payments to duplicate payments and other errors. What’s more, the grocer couldn’t easily identify its true cost of goods, because different stores in the chain were paying different prices for the same item from the same vendor. Inconsistent and inefficient buying practices were rampant.

The grocer’s leadership detected the key trouble: Its treasury department’s AP function was decentralised and siloed among its stores.

SOLUTION

Exela consulted with the grocer, studied the company’s processes, and determined where to make improvements. We recommended a solution that would automate multiple steps to streamline operations, increase productivity, and save money.

The first step: Establish a digital mailroom to capture and validate data from incoming mail. We automated the process, moving all invoices to from paper to digital. We particularly focused on indirect-purchase, non-EDI (electronic data interchange, a computer-to-computer interchange of business documents) invoices.

We also required vendors to join a global vendor network. The change centralised the accounts payable function, streamlined procure-to-pay (P2P) procedures, simplified invoice processing toward methods that required fewer employees, and empowered the grocer to take advantage of liquidity opportunities it had never had before.

The change also delivered data-powered insights into vendor purchasing. The grocer could track all invoices for each location, see key analytics, find exceptions to standard practices, and quickly rectify problems. Additionally, the solution improved supplier onboarding and increased accountability within the company.

BENEFITS

  • Reduced full-time invoice-processing staff by 50%

  • More insight into suppliers

  • Reduced paperwork

  • Lower operational costs

  • More transparency and visibility for accounts payable

  • Greater employee responsiveness and accountability

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