Dennison Commercials – Getting on the right road to financial efficiency
Sector: Transport and Motor
Product: AdestAP and AdestWeb
Application: Automated Purchase Invoice Processing, Invoice Matching, Approval Workflow and Secure Storage
About Dennison Commercials
Dennison Commercials Ltd is one of the longest established and largest franchised Volvo truck and bus dealers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Operating out of four depots throughout Northern Ireland, with a workforce of almost 130, the company head office and main depot is located in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim. The company also provides contract hire and fleet rental solutions, parts and maintenance.
Dennison Commercials Ltd needed to process and store between 12,000-14,000 purchase invoices per year within the Volvo franchise for parts for sale, services and insurance. Iain McKinney, Financial Controller, Dennison Commercials operates a small team of two, who are responsible for maintaining the purchase ledger for four departments, and across all four sites. Invoices would arrive in a mixture of post and email. As Iain explains, “Issues arose in terms of not knowing where invoices were being sent, they would be distributed to depot managers, and it then proved difficult to locate or would go missing. We knew we had received the invoice, but could not confirm where it was.”
Also, Dennisons had to file all of the invoices received which was time consuming and frustrating for the small team. During a visit to another Volvo dealer in the UK Iain noted how, “There were so few files around the walls, because all their purchase invoices once scanned were shredded. We thought that was a brilliant idea.”
Iain recognised the need to improve the invoice processing procedure at Dennisons, to be more compliant, to educate customers into consolidating all invoices into a weekly email, and to streamline the purchase ledger so the finance team could chase actual money.
Dennisons approached Adest which specialises in the provision of document processing solutions tailored for SME’s, which recommended AdestAP to deliver the significant savings and control that the business required.
Using AdestAP to scan and verify, Dennison’s purchase invoices are automatically captured both in hardcopy and softcopy and then immediately managed through the finance department’s processes. The aim was to significantly reduce manual work, reduce total processing time, and lower the cost for supplier handling.
AdestAP automatically imports straight into the capture software all invoices attached to email, detecting any format (including PDF, TIFF, and PNG). The benefit for Dennisons was the creation of a unified email inbox for all invoices. Any emailed data received would then be processed automatically by AdestAP in exactly the same way that paper invoices are processed, so the same business rules could be applied to data transferring into the host system meaning incoming invoices could be ready for approval in a matter of seconds
Once the data is fed into Adest’s software, validation and verification of the invoices is handled easily, and the invoices are then exported for coding, authorisation and approval by Dennison’s accounts payable staff and department managers. By deploying AdestAP, Dennisons successfully implemented electronic invoice processing.
Adest managed all integration of the AP software with Dennison’s existing Chorus financial management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The purchase ledger is checked against supplier statement to ensure they match, then, once input and stored the financial team is able to search by amount or document number – all uploaded into Chorus by the Adest system. “This has made it very easy for us to find invoices,” says Iain. “We run the programme each day. It picks up on all invoices at end of the day which have been approved and these are bulk posted.”
“With the invoices under control and coded correctly it has now become the role of just one person to maintain the purchase ledger because we are no longer having to take time to file invoices. From my perspective as Financial Controller, I am personally able to deal with more credit control calls,” says Iain.
“Overall, there is less demand on us at month end because we are not chasing down which invoice is with whom. We just have to export data to Excel and create an accrual point at the end of the month, and that is now very easy because of the increased accuracy of the figures which are ready to hand,” he says.
Looking back over the roll out of the project Iain is very pleased, “Adest has proved itself to be very popular, especially with the department managers. You click on an invoice and ‘bang’ it is up! That really is excellent.”
“It has freed up our time to concentrate on the business at hand,” he says, and that now means putting pressure on suppliers to provide all invoices via email, to reduce even further the need for scanning. With his sights set on improving how his suppliers operate Iain has one last challenge, “We are very close to taking the next big step which is to start shredding. It has been a simple matter of an email to inform HMRC that we have moved over to scanning, and with our servers backed up overnight.”