7 min read
Taking the Pain Out of Accounts PayableDownload Now
We’re pretty much fully automated now. We’re not going back. There’s no taking steps backwards.
LouAnn Clarke, Corporate Accounting Manager at Napoleon Products
3-Way Match Rate
Invoices Processed & Paid Touch Free Per Month
Escaping the Nightmare of Fully Analog Accounts Payable
Napoleon Products is one of the fastest-growing, heating, cooling, and outdoor living companies worldwide. Their vision is to inspire and enhance the memorable experiences people enjoy in their homes with hearth, grills, and HVAC. They have 1,400 employees worldwide. They currently use Visual ERP to manage 2,000-3,000 invoices from 800+ suppliers each month.
In order to ‘triple check’ supplier payments before they were issued, the Accounts Payable team would physically travel in the building between buckets of paper. Not only did this highly manual process make it impossible for Napoleon to take advantage of their suppliers’ 10-day early pay discounts, but it also ensured that the month-end closing process was a nightmare for AP – every single month. Their team described the old process as “buckets and buckets and buckets of paper.”
We’d bring old clothes to work so we could go up to an archive room in the mezzanine to dig through file boxes to try to pull the invoices that our auditors were requesting.
Napoleon Stays Ahead of the Game With Paperless Invoicing
- Touchless Invoice Processing Only a handful require human attention because they don’t match.
- Speedy Month-End Close AP closes their part in the monthly closing process in minutes.
- Increased Visibility to Working Capital The financials are ready for Schroeter family review in 2 days.
- Paperless Invoice Process Napoleon Products payment process is now 97% paperless – including the payments themselves.
- Manual Invoice Processing 100% of invoices required hands-on human reconciliation before payment.
- Long Month-End Close AP’s portion of the month-end close process took 3-4 days.
- Lack of Visibility to Working Capital The whole month-end process close took up to 2 weeks.
- Too Many Paper Invoices All invoices were matched and paid via a paper-based process.
We are 97% paperless right now in our office. Including payments. We don’t even do checks anymore.
Managing the New Supplier Experience
Most of Napoleon’s suppliers had no issue altering their invoicing process to match the new paperless process. Some had to make minor changes to their invoices, such as where they designated their state or how the purchase order number was included, but SourceDay’s supplier onboarding team worked with them individually to resolve questions and issues.
The effort was ultimately in the suppliers’ best interests, because now they are paid much sooner – within the contract terms – because everything is managed digitally, both the invoicing and the payments. Suppliers are also able to include more than one PO per invoice, streamlining the effort for them as well as for Napoleon. Naturally, there was a transition period, and the Napoleon Products AP team didn’t go it alone, but they made it through the process and everyone’s work situation, and even work life balance, has improved.
Bringing Accounts Payable Up to Speed with SourceDay
In 2015, Napoleon Products’ owners set the goal of doubling the company within 5 years. Both Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable were paper based at that time. The team was able to automate AR, but AP remained a challenge, which required extra temporary staff and FTEs to manage. As time went on, it became apparent that their paper based AP processes would be a gating factor to the company hitting their growth goal.
The team started doing research without realizing that SourceDay – which they were already using to collaborate on purchase orders – could do precisely what they needed to modernize Accounts Payable. SourceDay is even helping them meet their records retention requirements for the Canadian Government, making it possible to respond to tax audit questions by spending 15 minutes at a computer screen instead of climbing around in a dusty archival records room.
From Constant Paper Cuts to Continuous Improvement
Napoleon now has better visibility into their cash and capital assets and liabilities and they are able to take advantage of all their suppliers’ cash discounts. Their cash discounts have tripled since the SourceDay implementation because their invoicing is kept up to date – and automatically aligned with their inventory management system.
In addition, AP is better aligned with Napoleon’s corporate culture – one that stresses continuous improvement. By automating their AP processes and getting rid of all the manual-match paperwork tasks in their process, people were freed up from repetitive tasks – leading to an immediate morale boost. In addition, it was no longer necessary to bring in scores of part-time associates to assist with the heavy lifting their old process required.
Who We Are
SourceDay is a supply chain performance software that bridges the gap between the ERP and the supplier network, making it easy to manage changes throughout the direct spend lifecycle. With SourceDay’s suite of collaborative products, entire teams can trace a single part from PO issuance through delivery, giving organizations unprecedented command and control over their businesses.
Napoleon Products is North America’s largest privately-owned manufacturer of quality wood and gas fireplaces (inserts and stoves), gas and charcoal grills, outdoor living products and heating & cooling products. For more than 40 years, their vision has been to inspire and enhance the most memorable experiences people enjoy in their homes.