AP processing is now completed in half the time, with 75 percent of manual keyboard entry eliminated and less headcount required.
Overdrive Heavy Duty is a family-owned and run business based in Alberta, Canada that has been in operation for nearly 20 years. The firm’s cutting-edge, 14-bay facility can perform everything from truck alignment work to diesel engine rebuilds for vehicles ranging from a diesel long haul tractor-trailer rig to local farming equipment.
-Rob Dumelie, Operations Director
When Overdrive’s Accounts Payable clerk went out on maternity leave, Operations Director Rob Dumelie assumed responsibility for the company’s AP operations. It was then that he quickly realized trying to keep up with the AP and AR operations without automation was a big challenge.
While Overdrive was receiving 80% of invoices electronically (PDF attached to email), that’s where its AP digitization started and ended, as they then had to open and print some 500 invoices each month.
“AP was taking up a lot of my time and also the handling of paper invoices and documentation was extremely inefficient,” said Dumelie. The process, which involved 100% manual keying of information also left the company open to human errors. “If you inadvertently reversed a ‘7’ or a ‘2’ when inputting the invoice, it would introduce an error that might take hours on the back end to find.”
What’s more, if there was a question about an invoice, research involved a laborious process of digging through paperwork in file cabinets. “Searching for information was taking us so much time.” So Dumelie got to work doing what Overdrive does best: fixing things to create a well-oiled machine – in this case, by deploying the Epicor ECM AP Automation (formerly DocStar) solution to bring much-needed digitization, automation, efficiency, and visibility to the AP process.
A big reason Overdrive selected Epicor ECM was its tight integration with Karmak Fusion, the software platform designed specifically for the heavy-duty industry; built to handle all the varied demands of operating in the commercial transportation sector.
Through a unique partnership between Epicor and Karmak, customers such as Overdrive can gain seamless AP automation for Karmak Fusion, for enhanced productivity, agility, and increased cost savings.
The integration with Epicor ECM leverages information from Karmak Fusion using an advanced API that delivers an easy, streamlined user experience. This integrated solution reduces data entry and virtually eliminates keystroke errors. Related documents are easily and quickly retrieved from Karmak Fusion screens. Using the Epicor ECM Karmak Fusion Connector, transactional information is electronically submitted into Karmak Fusion at the conclusion of an approval process (such as an invoice that has been approved for payment), further eliminating data entry, and creating new levels of operational efficiency.
“The interconnectivity of the system is amazing,” said Dumelie. “This has been beneficial when a customer wants a warranty or requests a refund, we can easily confirm if we were paid for a return, as all the documentation is tied together and easy to locate online.”
When Overdrive pulls up a work order, they can now easily access related documentation that is attached, and the system creates these correlations and associations automatically.
With the implementation of Epicor ECM AP Automation, Overdrive is now processing 20-50 invoices a day and using the Intelligent Data Capture solution to automate the capture of invoice content, eliminating labor-intensive, error-prone, and time-consuming manual document processing.
Approximately 75% of invoices flow through the AP approval process in a straight-through processing fashion, with no human intervention required. Additionally, Overdrive now has best-in-class visibility of its AP operations. “I can monitor the cost of things and it gives me a pulse of the amount of cash flowing out of the business,” said Dumelie.
Not having to move paper around has been a huge benefit, reducing the hunting and gathering of invoices and documentation. Overdrive has also achieved substantial cost savings both in time and labor and by eliminating hard copy printing.
With Epicor ECM AP Automation, the time needed to process AP has been reduced by at least 50 percent. The real AP acid test was when Dumelie returned from vacation and found 150-200 invoices waiting for him. “I was able to process every invoice within one day,” he remarked.
Overdrive’s implementation was very streamlined and automated AP operations were up and running in less than 8weeks. “The professionalism of everyone involved was very impressive and the training was pretty quick and easy,” said Dumelie. “The Epicor team walked me through uploading half a dozen invoices and then let me loose. If I ran into problems, I’d send a quick email which was often answered within 10-15 minutes, and even if the resolution involved a configuration issue, I never waited more than a day to get things sorted,” he said.
Bringing in Epicor ECM AP Automation has saved Overdrive one FullTime Employee a year – a substantial labor savings considering the company’s total employee count is only 30 – and Overdrive has found the benefits to far outweigh the cost of the software.
“I’m very happy with the product and would recommend it easily,” said Dumelie. “It has saved me a lot of time.” As well, use of Epicor ECM AP Automation has also helped the company support growth. “By the end of next year, we expect to have double the invoices to process.”
Dumelie’s advice to other executives at small businesses who might be considering AP automation? “Jump right in! “Don’t just look at AP as something you relegate to a clerk and then review after the fact while you’re writing the checks. This can create a disconnect from the day-to-day operations.
“Being intimately involved with AP operations has been very valuable and with automation it’s not a big chore. Plus, I now have a view into everything that’s going on and can make more timely decisions and resolve issues before they become major problems,” he said.