When families are shopping for food that meets the highest standards in terms of freshness, taste and price, they inevitably make their way to Longo’s. As a leader in the grocery sector, Longo’s reputation has helped drive considerable growth, which is visible by more than 10 additional locations the company has opened in less than a decade. What consumers don’t see, however, is the extra work that can come with that growth, in areas such as invoicing and reconciliation. To tackle that challenge effectively, Longo’s turned to Process Fusion.
A family business that was launched by three brothers in the mid-50s, Longo’s has grown from one 1,500 square foot store in Toronto to a total of 36 locations.
Beyond its business success, Longo’s has made an ongoing commitment to build happier and healthier communities through its Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation (LFCF), which has donated over $2 million to local charities, organizations and sponsored events.
Like many organizations, Longo’s historically had to process invoices from suppliers by manually entering them into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This includes the invoice itself, as well as a receiving document
— an internal document printed out on the ‘goods received’.”
As Longo’s has grown, the volume of invoice processing had become more arduous. The company has been fielding an average of 12,000 invoices per month or 700 in a single day, according to Eva Kazemi, Accounts Payables Supervisor at Longo’s.
Kazemi works on a team of six and hiring extra bodies would have added operational expense without necessarily addressing the volume of work in the best possible way.
Early on, Longo’s tried to address the issue with a mixture of technologies that included enterprise content management, collaboration and workflow applications, but this introduced additional problems. The systems were error prone and complicated and lead to slower than expected processing and user acceptance.
“It was a challenge managing all the licenses and making sure all the technologies we were putting together didn’t lead to mistakes happening,” says Alicia Samuel, Longo’s Vice-President of Information Technology.
Longo’s moved to CapturePoint, a universal document capture and processing solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in quicker processing.
Longo’s uses CapturePoint as the digital on-ramp to Longo’s ERP, Symphony GOLD; think of it as paper to EDI. Invoices are scanned, verified and released to Gold for payment processing.
The advantages of using CapturePoint over Longo’s previous mix of products include having a single system that runs in the cloud without IT infrastructure being required. Expensive licenses for enterprise content management software and server licenses were no longer required.
Finally, compared with the 10-year-old code running its previous invoicing solution, CapturePoint allows Longo’s to handle newer, problematic invoices that the old OCC technology could not handle without a lot of program template work.
“I have had a great experience with Process Fusion and CapturePoint,” Kazemi says. “I was the one doing the testing, and their technical team was able to answer questions and provide great support, especially when we went live with the new system and there were some new things happening.”
Time Savings & Increased Productivity Without Extra Human Resources:
Kazemi estimates that using CapturePoint has allowed Longo’s to save the cost of hiring extra people on her team, where salaries could start at $35,000 and more. CapturePoint is also a tool that can align with Longo’s continued growth, now handling more than 50% of its paper-based invoices.
“It’s definitely helping us with the volumes we’re seeing,” she says. “With CapturePoint, we can scan any invoice without the system needing to be ‘trained.’”
CapturePoint has been so easy to learn that Kazemi was able to assign CapturePoint processes to summer students who join Longo’s on a temporary basis.
Adding Value Amid A Major Upgrade:
Longo’s was deploying CapturePoint at a time when the organization was also moving to a new ERP system, which meant the opportunity for additional complexity and challenges were everywhere.
“The main concern for me was whether CapturePoint was going to be able pull all the necessary data into the new ERP,” Kazemi says. “Process Fusion made sure we would be able to get that working by collaborating with our business and technical folks.”
The data Longo’s ERP system receives today is now 100% accurate and verified through their “received goods” and purchase order information.
Boosting ROI Of Previous IT Investments:
“Scanners have been in operation for years at Longo’s, but they were not necessarily working at full capacity,” Samuel says.
“There were these old test scripts where we would be going back through the system to make sure everything was working,” she says. “It was Process Fusion and their experience that helped lead us where we wanted.”
Using CapturePoint can save companies like Longo’s $3,000.00 a month in technology costs alone, and approximately $6,000 per month in non-hired staff costs.
A Proactive Approach To Customer Success:
“The CapturePoint team is a good partner to work with. They followed up with us in every step of the implementation.” Samuel says. “They know the RPA business really well. Having them come in and advising us meant we could get through this project in a timely fashion. They’re very organized.”
Ending The Challenge Of Point Solutions:
“It’s a real benefit in having one platform with one major integration, versus having multiple pieces of a platform put together in multiple ways, where errors could happen,” Samuel said. “This is a great example of how technology can be an enabler of the business.”