ABBE Corrugated is an Australian family-owned and operated business specialising in corrugating packaging production.
ABBE operates from a state of the art facility on a 20-acre site in Coolaroo, Victoria, and has delivered customised and sustainable packaging and point-of-sale solutions to local businesses in diverse market segments for over 30 years. The company employs over 500 staff.
An inefficient AP process plus COVID!
At the beginning of 2020, the business was using Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, and the accounts payable team used largely manual processes to handle around supplier 1,000 invoices a month. At the time, improving the AP process wasn’t top of the list for the constantly busy company.
Alice Williams, Group Chief Information Officer for ABBES, explained: “Our invoice workflow process was inefficient, but it got the job done. It was never considered too much of an issue and, whilst we wanted to automate it, there were higher priority projects on, always!”
But the event of COVID-19 and the move to a work-from-home model for most administrative staff was a turning point for ABBES’ approach to accounts payable.
“When COVID came, and we were no longer in the office, the folders that we used to distribute the invoices into for approval wouldn’t work,” says Alice. “We had used Redmap for many years now for other document imaging solutions, and so we contacted them to see if they could help us.”
“I initially contacted Redmap to go down a full AP Automation implementation, and they told me that as they didn’t have PO integration with GP, they couldn’t help me. What happened next was really impressive to watch.
“The next day, my Account Manager contacted me and said whilst we can’t automate the PO matching and posting to GP, they had an idea. What if Redmap just automated the workflow and routing? And if they could implement this in a few days - rather than the months that I would be typically looking at for a full AP project?”
Alice loved seeing the idea come to fruition.
“Literally over one weekend, I watched the email traffic as the team built a new product. And a few weeks later, we had automated the workflow and removed the bottleneck of paper from the process.”
Announcing the safe and happy arrival of AP One
As is often the case, an emergency had spawned innovation and a new product – AP One - was born.
AP One allows customers to send invoices to an extraction process that captures the data from the document. The data is then used to route the invoice to the appropriate resource. All invoices are automatically checked within AP One against the customer’s spend limit to ensure that only fully authorised invoices are sent for coding into their ERP.
And as AP One can be implemented in days, customers realise immediate business benefits.
ABBES’ impressive implementation
Alice was delighted with the outcome for the business. “I couldn’t believe how quickly Redmap put the product together and got it implemented. I was so impressed with how responsive the team was.
“Everybody loves it. As I said, the old process was working. It was inefficient - but working! However, the amount of work required when COVID hit to get the same result was significant and not sustainable. In addition, the old process lacked visibility, and once we couldn’t walk around the office to see people and where the piles of paper were, we were flying blind.
“We had some initial challenges from a staff point perspective, but I can tell you that everyone - from Anthony the MD down - loves AP One. The ability to know exactly where everything is at any time is so beneficial to the business,” continued Alice.
The AP automation goodness from Redmap didn’t stop there. “Redmap extended this visibility to allow us to create a URL link to the document and include this in the posting of the invoice in GP,” says Mariee Gallo, Accounts Payable Manager for ABBES. “This means that from GP, I can click the link and see the invoice image - and that is amazing.
“I can’t imagine processing invoices without Redmap, ever again,” she concluded.
I can tell you that everyone from Anthony the MD down loves the product. The ability to know exactly where everything is at any time is so beneficial to the business.