Impact Networking & DocuWare Create Comfortable Office Workflow28 Feb, 2014
The accounting office for a national heating and cooling company utilizes DocuWare to streamline both receivable invoice creation and distribution, as well as payable and payroll processes resulting in transparent efficient work processes that improve customer service and cash flow.
Comfort Systems USA National Accounts, LLC is one of the nation’s premiere mechanical systems installation and service providers, offering a single source for complete heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) service, anywhere, anytime to buildings from your neighborhood grocery or school, to your favorite retail stores, museums, libraries and restaurants.
Comfort System’s Accounts Payable department receives almost 4,000 invoices a month via mail, email and through their FTP site. A few years ago the company’s processes were paper based and required a staff member to spend two to three hours each morning, making copies of invoices that were then sorted and distributed for approval. The originals were filed in a filing cabinet and once paid, moved to a different cabinet. As an environmentally conscious company, they realized that their internal business processes needed to be as efficient as the buildings they heated.
After evaluating several document management solutions Comfort Systems choose to implement DocuWare and installed one Kodak scanner and three Konica Minolta and two Samsung multi-function devices to round out their scanning needs.
Today, paper invoices are scanned into their DocuWare system at the front desk as they come in. Electronic invoices received via email and the company’s FTP site are automatically imported into DocuWare for indexing. Comfort System employees simply point and click on information on the document to index it by work-order number, invoice number, invoice date and amount
In no time DocuWare was expanded to the Payroll department where paychecks created in the accounting system are now automatically stored in DocuWare, using the information on the top of the check as index entries. Third-party software, PlanetPress, is used to “watch” the DocuWare database and automatically email each employee their paystub.
“With 150 + employees and some receiving multiple checks, automating the storage of paystubs and their distribution is a huge time saver,” said Julie Priest, Controller for Comfort Systems USA National Accounts, LLC.
The Accounts Receivable department wasn’t far behind in its adoption of DocuWare. Invoices are created in the accounting software and then use DocuWare to automatically index, store and route them for approval using an electronic stamp. With DocuWare, the Operations Manager has all the billing information at his fingertips and approves each invoice releasing it to be sent to the customer. Staff members use DocuWare to easily create an electronic packet of backup information to accompany each invoice and are able to email, print or upload the documents to a web portal directly from DocuWare as specified for each customer.
“We service large corporate accounts that have specific requirements for receiving invoices. DocuWare helps us easily meet each invoice requirement electronically,” said Priest.
Automating paper-based workflows gave Comfort Systems new efficiencies providing transparency and ensuring no documents are ever lost. Staff members can look up a document in so many different ways that answering questions can be done in an instant. Annotations can also be digitally placed on a document ensuring that any staff member has all the information they need to resolve an issue improving their customer’s experience. The time and energy saved also gives employees the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and learn new things leading to professional and personal growth.
Adopting a digital workflow with electronic stamps has sped company processes allowing both invoices to be distributed faster and suppliers to be paid quicker, resulting in better cash flow and the ability to take advantage of early payment discounts.
Additionally, the company has seen reduced paper and printing costs and was able to remove 20-30 filing cabinets, freeing up the former file room to become new office space.
Comfort Systems plans to continue the DocuWare expansion to utilize better workflow controls on contracts and construction job files. Priest summed it up saying, “DocuWare has been a key factor in helping us to better meet the accounting needs of our customers the last couple years. Since implementing our Accounts Payable workflow, our accounting team has decreased the average time to process a batch of invoices from a little over a day to less than 1 hour. This increase in productivity allows us to both pay our vendors and bill our customers more quickly. All of these new efficiencies are helping us to grow in a healthy way.”