In 2018, Accru assisted a long-standing client in their transition from a small Australian marketing company to a large importer and distributor of plumbing supplies. Due to the volume of inventory turnover, the client’s key goal was to ensure efficiency in all systems and for the systems to be connected to create a seamless process from order, delivery and invoicing to debt collection.
The Problem – High Volume of Transactions in Separate Systems
Previously our client traded as an Australian marketing and sales advisory subsidiary for its global parent company. However, through transforming this entity into a large distributor, the tasks of inventory management, additional financial reporting and efficient sales invoice processes became a challenge which Accru worked closely with the client to ensure smooth implementation of the changes. Accru were required to guarantee that the processes were organised and streamlined to ensure both the client and their customers were satisfied.
The company was planning for a sharp increase in transaction volume from 10-50 transactions per month to over 10,000 and required a system that could manage this volume increase. The client had outsourced their finance function to Accru and in this transition, decided to outsource their logistics function to a third-party provider as well. Therefore, we were required to work closely with the third-party logistics provider to ensure a fully connected end to end system.
At Accru we had to consider the client’s specific requests, such as tailoring sales invoices for different customers, integrating a system of debt collection and creating additional format-specific sales reporting templates for the foreign head entity.
The Solution – Full Integration Using Various Connections
The Accru Business Process Outsourcing team, along with our IT Manager, we’re able to work through various options that involved testing and troubleshooting early in the project with the logistics provider to create a reliable flow of data between the logistics system and accounting software.
Through the use of APIs and Visual Basic Macros in Excel, not only were we able to create a seamless data flow to the accounting software but we were also able to use the data from the accounting system to create a number of customised reporting packages, as required by the global head entity, so that sales reporting would flow in a timely manner.
The Client Benefit – Up to Date Data, Invoicing and Reporting at a Low Cost
Our client was able to have up to date sales information processed into their accounting system and a seamless invoicing and delivery process without the need to invest in an expensive system. Additionally, they had the ability to fully customise how each system communicated and the data that was available.
By creating various processes which utilised the open API of the accounting software in use
we were able to ensure up to date sales data is available both locally and in the reporting templates, which were required by the global head office with sharp deadline reporting.
Accru’s Perspective – Continuous Improvement
It has been a great opportunity to be a part of the journey for this client as they transitioned from a small marketing subsidiary where we were providing simple outsourcing services, into a full distributor working with a system that we helped to create. As we have continued with outsourcing services in the client’s new business operation, we can see the benefits of the initial investment in creating a robust set of data flows and reporting systems and will continue to help develop this further as the client’s requirements from the system change over time.