A local shipping company was using a four sheet carbonless bill-of-laden form system to give receipts to their customers, the receivers, the companies archive and later mailed to their customer as part of the end of month statement. Each form would cost them around 7 cents each and they would use around 700-800 forms each work day and around 17,000 each month.
QuickBooks was used as their accounting package and was getting so large with entering invoices into it that it took an employee between 8-10 hours each day to enter all of the invoices into QuickBooks.
Archiving of the bill-of-ladens was done manually with the paper copy being placed alphabetically. Whenever a question would arise about a shipment an office assistant would have to go through the archive and pull it to answer any questions about it. In order to do this they had to have two people full time to both archive the bill-of-ladens and pull them out when there were questions about them.
Month end mailing of statements took 6 people around 18 hours each to get 1,500 parcels together with around 17,000 invoices in them out to the post office.
The plan was to help them get away from paper and to help them with their QuickBooks. First they did away with the 4 sheet carbonless bill-of-laden system and replaced it with a 3 carbon sheet system. Now they give the first copy to the original place of goods and then a copy to the place of delivery. Then they would take the third sheet back to the office where they would scan it and make an image of it. Then enter it into their accounting system and the image of the invoice filed away electronically.
Their QuickBooks file was archived and a new file was created with all of the previous information but only the active invoices. This freed up QuickBooks and made it much more responsive.
Software was added to simplify the entering and retrieving of invoices. Now they are entered into a SQL database which pushes the new invoices in as batches into QuickBooks. This keeps QuickBooks freed up most of the time for other purposes, and it allows someone to enter in all of the quickly. Now it only takes one person 3-4 hours a day to enter in the invoices instead of 8-10 hours.
The added software also allows for quickly searching for and bringing up past invoices. After they do a quick search and bring up the desired invoice they have the option to either print and mail, or email the invoice to the customer.
Added software was created to pull from QuickBooks the needed information to produce Month end statements. It also pulls all of the images needed to go with the statements. The process also now allows for validation processes that helps cut down on errors and latter complaints from customers. The files are then sent to ODP to be processed and made into statements with images of the invoices for the month. The statements are then either printed and mailed to the customer or made into PDF’s to be either faxed or sent through secure email to the customer. The total required time for H&H employee is now just an hour and the statements are at the post office by the next day.
All of these improvements have made great strides to diminishing human errors, greater visibility, responsiveness, and increased customer satisfaction. At the same time the improvements brought about greater savings for the company.