Headquartered in Milwaukie, Oregon, Shelter Products is a distributor of lumber, plywood and other building materials. With sales offices in six states, the company supplies premier building contractors across the country, specializing in just-in-time shipments for projects including multi-family housing, assisted living, hotels and motels.
Finding the right solution
As the company’s operations grew, so did the need for an efficient accounts payable system. To streamline the accounts payable processes, the company’s IT director Colin McDonell, researched document management systems. “We were interested in a proven solution with a long track record of success and a robust support system behind it,” McDonell says. DocuWare had all the right parameters, including the same SQL Server platform as Shelter Products, which enabled a powerful integration.
Faster processing saves time and money
Installing DocuWare solved several industry-specific challenges. “In the construction business, our customers get a draw from their bank loans once a month,” McDonell explains. “Quick turn-around of invoices is critical. If we miss a cut-off by one day, we're not getting paid for an additional 30 days.” The company has only a few days to take advantage of early payment discounts, and often missed that window due to lost or incorrectly routed paperwork. “The work is delegated to trader assistants who are mini-project managers. Each one oversees billing to a particular job and routing documents to the right approver,” McDonell says. With roughly 100 invoices a day, paper processing took hours to route invoices to the appropriate trader assistant. With DocuWare, the documents arrive in seconds. “We recently put in an automated invoice approval process that replaced the need for sign off on paper. Because we process 2,400 invoices a month, it was a pinch point,” McDonell says. Now invoices are approved within three hours, rather than possibly sitting on someone’s desk for a day or two.