North American Brands Case Study
When your business manages multiple brands and receives invoices from hundreds of vendors on a daily basis, processing them manually can be overwhelming. In North American Brand’s (NABs) case, they decided to take action by going paperless and streamlining their Accounts Payable processes. NAB realized the time and cost savings they could earn by eliminating paper, automating manual tasks, and reducing human error in their process.
NAB knew what they were looking for, now it was actually time to find it.
Since NAB already worked with BAASS Business Solutions who provided their Sage Software, they initially approached BAASS about a paperless AP solution, which is when they were recommended to look into Polar Imaging.
Although they had seen many slick presentations that were very appealing, it was when they saw PI’s presentation that they realized they found the right one. PI had a shell of a solution already made that they could customize specifically to take care of all of NAB’s needs.
Implementing Polar Imaging’s AI scanning solution with Sage 300 via BAASS Bridge, both company’s leverage their strengths to create the perfect solution to help the customer’s invoicing needs.
“The pre-existing relationship between PI and BAASS was a real asset, not having to be the go-between the two service providers, it was pretty seamless. PI was always accommodating me which was really unexpected”. – Sue Clifford, Financial Controller
NAB worked with Polar Imaging and BAASS to help streamline their AP processes, create automation and establish integration with their ERP, Sage300. The invoice process is now completely centralized via a cloud-based platform, enabling remote processing. The cloud-based platform enables workflow automation which has been configured based on NABs business processes.
Now when vendors send invoices, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is used to classify invoices and extract data. Extracted data includes items such as Invoice No, Invoice Date, Invoice Amount, Vendor Name, Purchase Order No., etc. Polar Imaging’s Digital Mailroom team verifies the accuracy of the data before the invoices enter the AP Workflow.
Once invoices enter the workflow, powerful automation directs the invoices through a custom workflow that’s been designed to accommodate NABs unique AP process. Real-time communication with Sage300 is crucial as invoices flow through the process.
First, vendor information is validated and verified against data in Sage300 via the BAASS Bridge then routing rules are automatically evaluated and the invoice begins its journey through the AP process. PO invoices are automatically recognized and matched against PO data in Sage300. The system then holds the invoice until it’s able to confirm that a product or service has been delivered against receiving data, completing a 3-way match.
For non-PO invoices, routing rules are applied, ensuring each invoice has proper approval before exiting the workflow. GL coding is also completed within the workflow.
“It was a big leap of faith to trust a company we had never worked with before, but PI’s workflow was more than just something out of the box. I’m sure our workflow is different from other companies, but it works beautifully for us. With all the other solutions, I felt like we would need to bend to it, while PI’s workflow bent to us”. – Sue Clifford, Financial Controller
It has made things so much faster. The process from receiving an invoice to having it show up in Sage has been significantly reduced.
Additionally finding invoices is now much faster and easier. There is no need to search through filing cabinets anymore.
AP managers love the fact that they can approve invoices from anywhere at any time without having to wait for a big folder to be handed to them full of invoices.
The time and effort involved in the AP process has decreased by about 75%.
Eliminating tedious manual tasks has also helped relieve work loads. Although sales have doubled, there has not been a need to add additional employees since the AP Automation solution has taken care of a lot of tasks.
It helped eliminate human error in data entry, the technology has been 100% accurate. The information NAB sees in Sage always matches what is on the invoice that was received.
“I expected Polar Imaging to deliver on what they promised and so far they are 100%”. – Sue Clifford, Financial Controller
Having experienced the benefits of being paperless in our AP department, NAB is starting to consider how it could benefit the rest of their business. They are considering getting their other departments to go paperless as well.
About North American Brands
Founded in 1989, North American Brands (NAB) represents multiple brands within the manufacturing industry. Representing manufacturers who are looking to buy and sell with Canadian wholesalers. NAB acts as an intermediary between the two parties.