Scottish Courage toasts success of new purchase invoice processing solution

Scottish Courage, the UKs leading brewer, has selected Graphic Data Online (GDO), a leading provider of document and data management solutions, to automate the processing of over 180,000 invoices per annum.

Scottish Courage, the UK division of Scottish & Newcastle, produces well-known brands including John Smiths, Fosters, Kronenbourg and Strongbow. One of the companys key business drivers is the pursuit of cost reduction and efficiency gains, not least of all in its purchase invoice processes.

The company receives around 180,000 purchase invoices a year from a wide range of UK and overseas suppliers, valued at around 1bn. Historically, the management of those invoices has involved accounts payable staff manually sorting and matching them to relevant purchase orders and goods received notes and keying in data to the companys SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It decided to move towards an outsourced purchase invoice processing service to maximise efficiency and reduce costs, and selected GDO as its services partner.

Graham Cameron, Purchase Ledger Manager at Scottish Courage, explained: GDO filters and deals with all our purchase invoices according to specific business rules. Invoices are scanned and images are loaded onto a CD, ready to be processed by us utilising software developed by GDO. Any invoices that have information missing, such as purchase order numbers, are automatically returned by GDO to suppliers.

Recently, Scottish Courage decided to take advantage of GDOs more extensive invoice processing services. Now, invoices are scanned as before, and in addition data is extracted from each invoice and verified for accuracy from vendor information supplied by Scottish Courage. The invoice images and associated data are then loaded onto GDOs Web-based electronic document management (EDM) and workflow system, where checks are made and simple workflow is invoked.

Our invoice processing staff can view invoice images by selecting from these queues via a Web browser and take the appropriate action, added Cameron. Images are viewed alongside our SAP registration and matching screens, with the header data extracted by GDO made available for input into SAP.

After the initial start-up learning curve, the service is consistently providing increased transaction throughput, said Cameron. Not only does this latest upgrade to GDOs service speed up the processing of purchase invoices, but the expansion of the service provides staff at our companys locations UK-wide with equivalent access to the system via a Web browser. This has been particularly beneficial where credit notes need to be matched and approved at our depots.

He concluded: Today were putting things in place to provide even better workflow management and reporting tools. We are very happy with GDO, who provide the services we want to the standard we require, and were confident about asking the company to work with us on the next stage.

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