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Furniture manufacturer eliminates paper overload

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High Point Furniture Industries (HPFI) was experiencing paper overload. Misfiled documents, lost invoices and delays in answering customer requests were cumbersome.

Elaine Handley, accounting manager, explains, “We were looking to improve processes to save time and money … how we dealt with customers and how we did our daily jobs. Our ultimate goal was to find a way to improve the bottom line, to improve profitability.

HPFI decided to deploy a document imaging solution, choosing IntelliChief because of its capabilities, which included easy integration with the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The first step was to streamline the purchase-to-pay process. With IntelliChief, cumbersome steps were eliminated. Now when a purchase order (PO) is created, an electronic copy is saved. FastFax, the integrated fax server for IntelliChief, then faxes or e-mails the PO in seconds without user intervention. Order acknowledgments (received via fax or e-mail) are archived in the imaging database and linked to the appropriate PO. Either document can be retrieved on the screen at any time by the user, IntelliChief reports.

With accounts payable, faxed invoices are captured via FastFax and archived, and mailed invoices are scanned. E-mailed invoices are saved with the IntelliChief Print Capture application. IntelliChief Workflow matches invoices against receiving documents and sends them to an electronic inbox.

Crystal Delgado, accounts payable associate, says, “Every day I had to pull up the folder and try to match invoices … that was a big pain. With the new system, the invoices are awaiting electronic matching with the receiver, as if they were saying, ‘Hey, here we are!’ It’s a tremendous time saver.”

The pains of manual order processing have also been eradicated, and the process is more efficient, according to IntelliChief. When a customer calls with questions about an invoice, the entire order history and all related documents are electronic and readily available.

Handley explains, We can pull up and see where any bottlenecks are. We can see if orders are not being entered.Invoices are emailed to customers, saving postage, labor and mailing costs, she adds.

Regarding the benefits, Handley says, “It helped decrease the stress level. Being able to really see what’s happening, to see where holdups are is incredible. From a management standpoint, that’s a measurable benefit to me. An additional benefit is having everything electronic accessible for our auditors. We can’t wait until next year when they come in.  We'll provide them with a computer workstation accessing IntelliChief, and they can do document searches without involving any of our accounting staff.”

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