Retail Trader Reduces "per invoice" Processing Costs

About the client: Notcutts is a family-owned group of 19 individual UK garden centres. The company started in 1897 and stands for excellence in gardening and providing the best products and advice to customers. Notcutts is distinguished by their horticultural expertise and the excellent service standards offered via their garden centres and online.

The challenge: Notcutts receives over 100,000 invoices per annum from more than 2,000 active suppliers. With garden centres spread across the country, Notcutts required a centralised and more efficient solution to manage their invoices. They were looking for a solution to streamline the process of invoice capture, distribution and approval, whilst achieving better visibility of the whole process. Key challenges faced were:

  • Invoice capture from different suppliers – a mixture of paper and electronic formats.
  • Absence of a centralised document repository.
  • Disparate invoice management process – the scanning process was outsourced to a third party.
  • Document management system not integrated with the financial systems or other incumbent applications used by Notcutts.
  • Delays in circulating invoices, thus affecting supplier relations.
  • Higher cost base, as use of the legacy system required more resources.

The Solution: Notcutts needed a system that would address the discrepancies in the established invoicing process. The engagement started with an initial consultation and analysis of the client's existing systems. Following this, DCS suggested a hybrid solution that would bridge the gaps between the invoice scanning processes and the distributed approval route. The solution was designed to manage invoice processing for all active suppliers. Paper invoices are converted to electronic documents as they enter the organisation. Electronic formats cost less to store and can be retrieved by or transmitted to those who need to access them.

Reducing per invoice processing costs Download the case study - Retail trader achieves 60% savings in invoice processing time

Outsourced invoice capture services:

  • DCS act as a central receiving point for all supplier invoices,both electronic and paper-based.
  • All invoices are processed on a daily basis, with the header and (in some situations) line information being captured, before supplier validation takes place.
  • On completion, the data and images are uploaded to a secure site for transfer to Notcutts internal infrastructure.

File storage and invoice approval system:

  • DCS have implemented their proprietary file storage and management system, FileStore EDM, to address the issue of a distributed and manually intensive invoicing process.
  • FileStore’s core technology meets the requirements of distributed invoice management, enabling users to view outstanding invoices on screen and approve them.
  • FileStore is configured to store the invoices for seven years, in accordance with HMRC regulations.

The benefits

  • Streamlined invoice processing – end-to-end visibility of the invoice approval system.
  • Rationalisation of the finance department with direct impact on the bottom line.
  • Cost benefits – the project is estimated to pay for itself over a period of 18 months.
  • Improved supplier relationships by reducing invoice processing time by 60% per supplier.
  • Reduction of risk – the scanning services and centralised storage system help reduce the risk of losing documents.

If you would like to know more about reducing costs through automated invoice processing, please speak to a DCS business consultant on 01753 616720, or send an enquiry using our Contact Form.

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