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Key Takeaways

2 million invoices manually processed to automated

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65% increase in speed of paying suppliers

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Empowered to become 100% paperless

Manual accounts payable processes were costing the retailer time and money

The retailer who wishes to remain anonymous is a leading Australian supermarket, retail and consumer services chain that manages over 100,000 employees and thousands of suppliers who work together to serve millions of Australians every year. 

The retailer partnered with Canon Business Services (formerly Converga) in 2006 after seeking a more efficient way to process the tens of thousands of supplier invoices they manage every month. 

Accounts payable is an essential component of all businesses, but particularly significant for those that operate in sectors such as manufacturing, retail & wholesale and distribution.

As one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, the retailer manages a complete range of food and grocery line items sourced from thousands of local and international suppliers. 

The company’s accounts payable team consisted of 14 staff who were physically processing, coding and approving tens of thousands of supplier invoices every month, up to 2 million annually, which was incredibly time consuming and inefficient – costing the business time and money. 

Invoice approvals were occurring on-site at over 500 sites and were then redirected to the head office for matching and data entry/coding into a legacy ERP system. This inevitably caused delays in the payment of suppliers and increased costs significantly.

Automated Accounts Payable drives high efficiency with increased oversight for control of expenses.

Canon Business Services partners with the retailer to automate accounts payable

Canon Business Services (CBS) was challenged with reducing the costs of the accounts payable function, reducing paper handling of invoices, streamlining processes and ultimately, supporting faster payment cycles. Our team of automation experts worked closely with the retailer’s financial team to develop an automated solution which would solve their challenges. 

The solution Automated Accounts Payable, was tailored to meet the retailer’s specific needs and included:

  • Automated scanning of paper invoices
  • Capturing data and integrating directly into the retailer’s financial system
  • Automatic emails to flag progress and exceptions

The Results

As a result, the retailer’s finance team has benefited from greater efficiency, reduced invoice processing costs, and more time for staff to focus on higher value tasks for which they are highly trained and skilled. Critically, it also means suppliers are paid on time which ensures stock continuity. 

Since the implementation of Automated Accounts Payable, CBS has gone on to assist the retailer with a variety of solutions within their Property, Facilities, Printroom and Mailroom space. This includes several digitisation projects which have allowed the retailer to digitally archive essential records safely and securely – thereby meeting internal and external compliance requirements. 

The results speak for themselves:

  • 2,100,000 invoices processed annually
  • +800% increase in efficiency
  • $25 per invoice saved in processing costs
  • 65% increase in speed of paying suppliers

With an ongoing commitment to digital transformation, CBS’ solution has empowered the retailer to continue their journey to become 100% paperless and drive new efficiencies across the business. 

If your business is experiencing similar challenges and you would like to find out how we can help you drive better performance, increased visibility and control, get in touch with us today.

90% customer satisfaction rate

36,600+ invoices processed monthly

98.5% data accuracy

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