|Name||Vehicle Component Manufacturer|
|Products and Services||High performance wheel components for the heavy-duty vehicle and automotive industries|
|Industry||Hardware & software|
America’s leading supplier of Wheel Ends to OEM manufactures now receives over 200,000 paper invoices every year from its vendors. Manually processing the documents demands the time of twelve employees – a task that the company is automating using ABBYY FlexiCapture® for Invoices.
“Dealing with debit memos manually would take four people 3-4 hours a day. With FlexiCapture for Invoices, one person can do it in an hour," said EDI Group Manager.
faster invoice processing
accuracy for invoices
for 300 debit memos
Fifty years of innovation, superior manufacturing and dedication to customer support have earned this Vancouver-based company 92% of the OEM market for wheel ends in the United States. Its game-changing excellence has earned it dozens of awards, too – as well as its position as the undisputed leader in high performance products for the heavy-duty truck and trailer industry. “We deliver the highest-rated wheel ends in the world,” says the company’s EDI Group Manager. “It’s enabled us to grow into a billion dollar a year company.”
The company’s growth has also created a large network of vendors – who send it 200,000 invoices a year, almost all of them paper. And this, says the EDI Manager, had to change: “We have twelve people dedicated to entering invoices into our system. And with the number of invoices growing every year, it’s vital to eliminate manual entry and move all our valued suppliers to EDI (Electronic Document Interchange). The drain on resources and efficiency will otherwise be too high.”
As the EDI Manager explains, a critical element in the move to EDI is ensuring that invoice data conforms to a common electronic format. However, as some vendors will invariably submit invoices as PDFs and TIFFs, the company needed a way to automate their data’s entry into its ERP system too. This necessitated a solution for automatically extracting and classifying their information for conversion into the EDI format. ““And,” says the EDI Manager, “we needed the flexibility to eventually handle purchase orders, too."
The EDI Manager and his team mapped out stringent requirements that included interoperability with a new Goods Receipt process the company was creating for its SAP ERP solution. After six months’ testing of ten competitors and their solutions, two made the final cut and only one met all of the company’s criteria: ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices.
In comparing the two solutions, the EDI Manager stated the company had very specific requirements, including being able to run their own post-ABBYY, pre-SAP processing.
Also important, he says, was ABBYY’s partner, UFC Inc. “UFC showed us how to use FlexiCapture for Invoices to achieve our goals, using our own resources. The other provider wanted us to do it via their cloud system or let them handle the pre-processing – not what we wanted.”
Implementation of FlexiCapture began with Phill Cormier, Senior Developer and Lead Integrator at UFC, working onsite at the manufacturer’s Vancouver headquarters for a week. “Phill was absolutely phenomenal,” the EDI Manager says. “He was beyond professional and had the FlexiCapture end of our solution up and running, fully functional and populating our SQL databases, within five business days.”
From there, the company’s team created a module for export of the data in SAP and worked to implement a custom Goods Receipt process. “We’re currently running our FlexiCapture server out of Windows 2012 R2 Server,” explains the EDI Manager. “Data is extracted to an EDI database over the network. Our EDI server then pulls the data in, bounces it up against the SAP master data and then creates the SAP load files.”
The entire solution is being rolled out in stages, with full vendor participation expected in 2016. “We’re up and running with dozens of vendors already,” states the EDI Manager. “And things are going well.”
He also confirms that the company is already realizing big efficiency gains, and expects even greater timesavings in the near future. “One person is easily able to handle the electronic invoices we currently receive. Verification time is down from four hours a day to half an hour. And we estimate that the hours required to process and verify all the invoices, when we go fully electronic, will drop from 240 hours per week to 80.”
And as the EDI Manager describes, FlexiCapture’s accuracy and flexibility play a key role in the project’s success. “We’re realizing near 100% accuracy with invoices processed through the system. And the flexibility of ABBYY’s solution is outstanding. It enables us to capture line items from virtually any invoice format – which is vital since every vendor uses their own form. With just three samples we can train the solution on a new invoice.”
Such flexibility also means that the EDI Manager and his team will soon be able to implement a solution for processing purchase orders – and with very little effort: “It’ll just be a modification of our invoice project, but geared for POs with a few keywords added,” he explains.
Plus, UFC used FlexiCapture for Invoices to create another timesaving solution for the company. “During Phill’s time here,” the EDI Manager says, “he put together a solution for dealing with the 300 debit memos we get every week. It used to take four people three hours a day to process them manually. Now it takes one person, one hour a day. They just scan the forms and the data is populated into an SQL database that ties to a spreadsheet. No more paper.”
He also sees even more benefits in the future: “There’s no end to the ideas people have for FlexiCapture. We can train it to put anything we need into a database and run businesses processes from the data. We couldn’t accomplish what we’re doing without FlexiCapture,” he concludes.