With 39 branches nationwide, Supagas is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of LPG, industrial, medical, speciality and helium gases.
Their reputation for rapid growth and success is based on their exceptional ‘YES WE CAN’ customer service offering and quality product in a highly competitive market.
Supagas’ state-of-the-art facilities allow them to offer multiple gas types and gas products and run specialised laboratories to mix and test speciality gas. In 2016, Supagas Holdings was acquired by Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), the 4th largest gas supplier in the world.
A safe technology bet
Supagas uses Pronto Xi as their ERP and processes approximately 2,500 invoices every month. While their purchase orders are evenly split between stock and non-stock purchases, 30% of incoming invoices don’t have a PO at all.
Paul Meissel, Financial Controller for Supagas, was enthusiastic about introducing new technology into the business and reaping the efficiency benefits that AP automation would bring.
“We run a solid business and have continued to be acquisitive, but I identified opportunities to improve efficiencies in many areas. I know, from past experience, that technology projects can be difficult to execute, so I chose one that I thought had a low risk of failure. To that end, Redmap’s experience and reference sites convinced me that they were the ones to engage.”
“AP Automation is such an obvious project in a business with any volume. When I looked at it, there were macro and micro benefits. Not only was it going to allow my team to do other more valuable tasks, but it would also close the gap of annoying little things like invoices not turning up and missing payments.”
Moving to best practice
Redmap implemented Accounts Payable Best Practice for Pronto Xi at Supagas to streamline their invoice handling and process PO and non-PO invoices.
Incoming invoices are sent directly to an email address provided by Redmap and enter the AP Best Practice system. Here, the data is automatically extracted and examined to determine if the invoice can be posted to Pronto, or sent to someone in the business for their approval. Once the invoice is posted to the ERP, the system generates a link to the source document, so if needed, it can be downloaded easily in the future.
Paul made a strategic decision to stick to an out-of-the-box implementation.
“I decided that we would take the vanilla Best Practice from Redmap and said ‘no’ to every modification that the team asked for. In my opinion, technology is best in its off-the-shelf format to make upgrades and support more streamlined in the future. Further, it felt to me like each modification was to try and replicate the old manual process and would actually slow the automation down.”
Redmap does what it says on the bottle
Paul was delighted with the entire project. Not only was the implementation smooth and seamless, but it ended up costing the business nothing. In addition, the automated AP process has significantly decluttered the MD’s desk of paperwork and improved the vendor payment timeline! So it’s happiness all round.
“Redmap did exactly what I thought it would do,” says Paul. “You can’t say that about a lot of technology projects, and so it was a complete success.
“Furthermore, it cost us nothing to put in. One of the team had resigned during the project, and I decided not to re-hire. Those savings alone meant that the install and software costs were already covered. It is such a no-brainer.
“The team has more time, and that means that we are able to do more of what I think finance professionals should be doing - monitoring, measuring, we certainly take up more queries with the vendors now. Payments are made on time, and so the vendors are happier, as is the MD, especially given that we have removed what used to be a massive pile of paper on his desk at payment run time.”
Redmap did exactly what I thought it would do. You can’t say that about a lot of technology projects, and so it was a complete success.