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Processing orders is an essential component of doing business, but for companies in the food industry like Paulig, which manufactures and distributes perishable goods, speed and accuracy in the supply chain is critical. Additionally, the food industry is experiencing continuous growth, and companies within the industry are facing the challenge of handling increasing order volumes without adding new staff and maintaining employee satisfaction. Read more

Collections efficiency increased due to cloud-based solution

Operating in the self-proclaimed “happiest place on Earth”, the Wine Warehouse distributes fine wine, beer and spirits to companies located throughout California.

The company’s customer base often orders more than once a week, resulting in roughly 15,000 weekly open invoices to collect on.

A challenge to handle that number of invoices in any environment, the matter was further complicated by some sales representatives having to collect payment by hand while on site. Although a common process in Wine Warehouse’s industry, this process led to an increase in Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and often left sales attempting to reconcile accounts and handle issues better suited for the accounts receivable (AR) department to handle.

Now, the process is more efficient thanks to Esker’s Collections Management solution. Rather than relying on sales to handle invoice questions and receive payment, invoicing and collections are now left to the AR department – resulting in faster collections and a higher level of visibility due to custom reporting tools and real-time metrics being tracked.

On the other end, customers can access a self-service portal. From this portal they may view invoices, setup an auto-pay option or immediately pay, which in turn reduce DSO and improves the customer experience. Not only does the cloud-based solution offer staff newfound capabilities – such as taking payments over the phone or monitoring best possible DSO – it has benefitted multiple teams by centralising all AR information.

“The enthusiasm for Esker isn’t just limited to the AR department,” said Patrick Powers, credit manager at Wine Warehouse. “Our IT team was the one that introduced it to us and recognised its potential. We all love it.”

Since implementing Esker’s automation solution, the Wine Warehouse has managed to streamline its systems, which has led to:
• Increased amount of money collected through solution by 45 per cent over a single year.
• Raised the Collections Effectiveness Index (CEI) to over 80 per cent.
• Greater staff productivity; sales are no longer involved in invoicing and there are less customer calls requesting paper copies.
• Enhanced visibility; customisable reports and real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are easily accessible.
• Customers have self-service options and are able to communicate directly with accounting rather than sales.
• Lowered DSO; sending weekly automated reminders to customers.

Software timesaver for franchisee

Building and sustaining a successful enterprise demands a keen understanding of when and how to address potential issues – turning what could be a critical weakness into a value-added strength.

As a Pepsi-Cola franchisee with 25 years in the distribution business, LinPepCo had the intuition to make a change in their accounts receivable (AR) collections process by using Esker software.

Before Esker, LinPepCo relied on a largely manual process to manage its collections. Paper was prevalent, as the team was tasked with printing statements and sending reminders by hand.

“A lot of cost and manual labour went into that,” said Jen Pfeifer, director of IT at LinPepCo. “We knew there had to be a faster, more cost-effective way to help our staff collect and our customers make payments. Esker’s TermSync product offered that solution.”
The solution

One of the biggest goals LinPepCo wanted to achieve in implementing a new solution was to utilise as few different systems and technologies as possible. Ultimately, it was Esker’s automated Collections Management solution that stood out for its robust capabilities and integration with VIP, LinPepCo’s existing software system. Esker’s business partnership with VIP meant a faster and seamless solution delivery process for LinPepCo with few resources needed to get up and running.

“Esker checked off so many boxes for us that we really had no reason to test other solutions,” said Pfeifer. “It was perfectly compatible with what we had in place and the implementation process couldn’t have been more painless. After just a few weeks of going live, we had customers and team members telling us how slick the solution was.”

Approximately 67 per cent of LinPepCo’s customer base (3,800 customers) is currently using Esker’s cloud-based solution. Nearly one in four customers are using the auto-pay feature, which has proven to be a time-saver for both the company and its customers.

“All our goals have been accomplished with Esker’s Collections Management solution. Payment reminders are being sent out electronically, our staff is more productive and proactive, and our customers are happy. Everything we were hoping for was delivered.” said LinPepCo CFO Kara Deist.

LinPepCo went live with Esker’s Collections Management solution in early 2015. Since then, the company has achieved a number of business benefits. Among these include:
Reduced day sales outstanding (DSO) – with electronic reminders being sent out and reduced manual duties, LinPepCo has significantly reduced its DSO, virtually eliminating customers in the 90- day past-due category.

Improved customer experience – due to Esker’s online portal, LinPepCo can offer its customers a number of self-service options for managing invoices; since go-live LinPepCo has seen a 69 per cent increase in auto-pay customers.

Freed up staff time – fewer administrative duties has freed up LinPepCo team members to spend more time on strategic things like managing reports, contacting customers, reconciliation and more.