Grafton faced challenges managing more than 300,000 vendor invoices for its 35 different locations. With 100 business approvers, vendor invoice resolution times were typically more than 40 days, resulting in slow payments, a lack of visibility, and delays in the accruals process. The manual nature of capturing and processing paper invoices meant that Grafton had high storage and labor overheads.
As a supplier of building materials to over 15,000 customers, Grafton also faced many challenges in dealing with over 200,000 customer invoices and statements issued each month. Their billing process was manual, paper-based and time-consuming. Payment runs were limited to every two weeks, with a customer file consisting of invoices and a statement being sent to a third party for processing. The documents within this file would then be printed and posted to customers for payment, with an average cost of €4 per envelope.
Grafton implemented SoftCo Accounts Payable Automation to manage the growing volume of vendor invoices, receive vendor invoices via email, speed up approval times and ensure prompt payments to vendors. The solution eliminates the need for manual capture and processing of invoices, saving time, and increasing productivity. SoftCo Accounts Payable Automation integrates with the existing ERP systems, Unison and Accustar, and is deployed in the cloud on industry-leading AWS infrastructure. The solution automates the entire AP process, enabling the AP team to gain full visibility and control over all invoices.
With SoftCo eBilling, Grafton now automate the issuing of invoices, credit notes and statements to their customers either via email or through the SoftCo eBilling Portal where customers access all documents, including invoices, credit notes, proofs of delivery (POD) and statements.. Billing frequencies are now fully configurable through the system, depending on customer preferences, completely removing the need to post paper statements and invoices and the restrictions of fortnightly payment runs. SoftCo eBilling fully integrates with Grafton’s electronic POD system to generate PDFs upon proof of delivery, which are then routed to the SoftCo Compliant Archive for secure storage.
Grafton has achieved straight-through processing of 75% of all vendor invoices and increased the capacity of its AP team by more than 50%. By automating its AP process, Grafton reduced its labor costs despite handling an increasing volume of invoices. Now 100% of invoices are received electronically into Grafton. These results have allowed Grafton Ireland to achieve a year one return on investment.
With SoftCo eBilling, Grafton have fully automated their customer billing process. They have completely removed paper from the process, reduced debtor and significantly increased the frequency in which statements and invoices are issued. This has resulted in an 80% overall reduction in billing costs.
- Industry:Building Materials
- Solution:Accounts Payable Automation
- Invoices:300,000 per annum
- ERP System:Accustar and Sun
Grafton Group plc is an international distributor of building materials to trade customers primarily engaged in residential construction and maintenance. The company has a turnover in excess of £2.2 billion, employs over 12,000 people in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Netherlands and a 600 branch network.