Optimizing accounts receivable for distribution companies

The distribution industry is a prosperous sector that is growing in leaps and bounds—especially in this digital era where e-commerce and online purchasing are mainstream. Close to half of distribution-industry stakeholders expect the market to expand by 5% to 10%, according to a report by Deloitte. Against this backdrop, the industry has revised its priorities and is focusing more on retaining existing customers while maximizing profit.

To achieve that, distributors need powerful tools—and they need to enhance their e-commerce. Technology-wise, this means using technical features to manage CRM data and particularly to manage the processes for accounts receivable and invoice processing in the best way possible. The more sales they make, the more invoices they will have to process. So it is critical that they review their billing processes to make them more efficient, by digitizing them, for example.

Paper-based accounts receivable pose challenges for distributors

That’s the case for one of our US customers, a wholesale food distributor that specializes in delivering baked goods. The company was making numerous deliveries daily but all of its invoices were still being printed and scanned manually. They were then named and filed before being sent to each customer, one by one, in hard copy.

All of this handling was very time-consuming for the staff, and errors tended to occur. Records could easily get lost, which would delay payment. Document retrieval was tedious and took a fair amount of time.

Making the switch to automated digital billing

The company wanted to optimize its processes for printing invoices and to automate its mailouts—without a complete system overhaul. Thanks to Objectif Lune’s solutions, the company now prints invoices in batches and can export and send them by email to its customers. Since the invoices are now digital, the employees can find them easily in the system if needed.

What’s more, the paper invoices include bar codes and metadata, which makes it possible for them to be filed by customer. The documents can then be inserted in a single envelope, all through automation.

The same goes for dispatch documents: they’re printed and given to the drivers, who use them for the delivery. At the end of the day, the drivers bring their signed documents back to the office, where they are digitized in a single batch. All documents, whether invoices or delivery slips, are then grouped by customer.

As a result, the company has reduced its mailing costs while saving time and becoming more efficient. It has also cut down on the number of manual errors and improved customer service, which is key to earning customer loyalty!

Do you want to improve your accounts receivable processes? Contact one of our advisors and ask for a free consultation!

distribution industry