The Leading Garden Center Chain Automates Invoice Processing

The Leading Garden Center Chain Automates Invoice Processing

The Challenge

Process Fusion and their partner worked with a leading Garden Centre chain, founded in 1864, with 17 centres, in addition to a headquarters and several commercial nurseries, across England. Established over 100 years ago, their workflow systems were ready for a refresh. Most of their process were manual and heavily paper based.

They first approached us, as they had identified an opportunity for improvement, within their accounts payable process. Being paper based, it led to a lack of visibility, human errors, long delays and large consumable waste.

Process Fusion and their partner conducted a thorough assessment of their original accounts payable infrastructure. Findings from the assessment identified multiple issues with their existing process, including (but not limited to):

  • Month end reporting accuracy suffered as invoices were not accounted for until entered into the ERP system, which could be up to 20 days after receiving them.
  • Supplier accounts placed on hold due late payment as a result of the total workflow time.
  • The AP Team was stretched, as the company had grown by acquisition, taking on 5 new centres in 2019, but the AP Team remained the same size.
  • Poor user experience – centre managers complained of significant time taken to approve invoices.
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The Solution

The Garden Centre deployed CP-1 to automate the capture of invoices. They also implemented M-Files to store all invoices in the cloud and mange electronic signoff workflow – with full integration with Hillier’s ERP system. They phased implementation with bespoke training to facilitate change management.

The Results

The garden centre was able to eliminate 147,000 of printed pages per annum – saving almost 20 trees a year!

They also reduced the supplier invoice process time form an average of 17 days to 4, increased customer satisfaction, centre Managers delighted with the new solution, especially the visibility of past invoices and time savings, and now have 100% accuracy for month end reporting with the ability to accrue invoices captured but not paid.

Bottom line, they’re process for invoice validation and exception management process for Centres Manager, AP Team and Buyers is more efficient.