Foodfirst improves A/P efficiency and cashflow with PSIcapture

Foodfirst, a 100% New Zealand owned and operated national food distributor, has turned to PSIcapture to streamline its operational processes and implement an automated method for extracting and indexing of invoice documents.

The company was formed in 1987 with 9 distributors and has grown to 23 distributors with over 60 sales representatives. Foodfirst distributors operate over 260 temperature-controlled vehicles delivering a range of over 10,000 frozen, chilled and ambient products daily throughout New Zealand.

Foodfirst has over 4500 invoices per month coming into the business via email and hard copy. This required four full time employees and one part time to ensure all data was entered into the Accredo accounting software in a timely fashion.

The growth of the organisation and increase in invoices being processed meant it faced a decision whether to recruit a 5th full time employee to cover the data entry load or look for some other solution.

The volume of invoices and the reliance upon manual data entry was having a negative impact on the business in terms of being able to access up to date information on cash flow needs as well as data quality concerns being introduced into the finance system.

Foodfirst worked closely with the digital solutions team at Sharp New Zealand, a PSIGEN local reseller, which presented a solution that dramatically reduced the need for manual data entry and increased the speed of information that was available within Accredo.

This was achieved by capturing emailed and hard copy invoices, with the latter scanned into a monitored network location. The PSIcapture Table Extraction Module automatically imports the invoices into PSIcapture and using the intelligent capture capabilities it extracts the Header information and Line item data from the invoice documents. PSIcapture automatically processes all invoices and presents the information in a flat file for ingestion into the Accredo accounting solution.

“Foodfirst operates in an extremely competitive environment and constantly examines how business efficiencies can be gained” said Craig Smith, Financial Controller.

“By partnering with SHARP, Foodfirst was able to implement a software solution to future proof against increases in invoice volumes and redeploy data entry resources to value-add tasks.”

PSIGEN easily integrated with the existing Accredo accounting system. Additionally, the robust accelerated classification capabilities meant Foodfirst can easily configure, automate and extract key metadata for each of its suppliers.

Today, Foodfirst has redeployed most of the team and now has just one full time employee to handle incoming invoices for the whole organisation. By being able to reconcile their workforce in this way, the return on investment (ROI) for the PSIcapture solution was only a matter of weeks.

This has allowed Foodfirst to improve cashflow management, as well as increase the accuracy of the data going in to Accredo accounting solution.

Foodfirst also took advantage of a managed service offered by Sharp that provides access to skilled Professional Services engineers during the first year after implementation, as the company familiarizes itself with the solution. This time was used for any additional requirements or changes within the configuration giving peace of mind as the company transformed its business processes.