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Case Study: Retail / Wholesale

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Stuart Plumbing & Heating Supplies is a family-run business that has been trading for over 35 years, specialising in central heating, plumbing, bathrooms, showers and a range of bathroom furniture such as vanity units and accessories. Currently, there are eight branches in the Leicestershire, Warwickshire and the Midlands area.

Stuart Plumbing were looking at document management solutions when their rapid expansion enabled them to open an eighth location. The growth had a significant impact on their finance department's workload. With only two staff members manually processing over 2,000 invoices a month from many different suppliers, it was a time-consuming and laborious task that was reaching breaking point. Stuart Plumbing knew they had to think about an automation platform to ease the pressure and sought the advice of their long-standing print and software supplier.

Automation for efficiency and accuracy

A full audit was carried out. Having identified the critical pain points, the experts in business workflows proposed DocuWare as a document management solution (DMS) to automate the invoice entry process. The system has been integrated into the capturing and classification solution, Ancora Software.

Three things were critical for the project — removing the manual tasks, streamlining processes within the finance department and, most importantly, highlighting and resolving errors quickly for improved accuracy.

With the scoping phase complete, the transition to the new solution was straightforward, easily integrating into the company's existing EDI software and the finance team adapted quickly to the further digitisation. The company could finally reduce its invoicing time by about 30-40% by automating a very manual and labour-intensive process.

Along with the time savings and increased accuracy, Stuart Plumbing has also reduced the amount of paper being used as invoices are entered straight into the system without being printed first, further reducing costs.

United Kingdom
Retail / Wholesale
ancora Software

Our key objectives when starting this project were to speed up the invoicing processing time and improve the accuracy of capture and errors. DocuWare has more than exceeded our expectations.

Stephen Elliott, Finance Director
Stuart Plumbing & Heating Supplies, Hinckley / Leicestershire (UK)

Stuart Plumbing had planned to recruit extra staff to cope with the large volume of invoices but have kept the overhead the same, even though they've grown by over 15% in the last year. Other benefits to the business include auditing. Now, the process is much slicker with all documents — from delivery notes to invoices — being retrieved quickly and easily. Thanks to DocuWare, employees can also access files from their phones, which helps create quotes while out of the office.

A true partnership

Stephen Elliott, Finance Director, commented on the relationship with their DocuWare partner, stating: "The team have been absolutely fantastic. From the outset, they really took the time to understand how we operate and make enhancements that would work for us.

"Nothing is ever too much trouble, and they're always at the end of the phone to deal with any queries or questions. We know that we have a fully future-proofed solution that is flexible and can adapt to our growing business.

"We're very much looking forward to working with our DocuWare partner on future projects."

A task that would have taken the whole month to complete, we can now close off 10 days earlier.

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