Palmers Mechanical Case Study
Account Payable Automation Feature Means Big Time and Money Savings for Engineering Company
Engineering company Palmers Mechanical integrated NimbuScan account payable automation into its administrative processes and has recorded significant time and cost savings as a result.
The company, based in Dunedin, is a general engineering company that specializes in work for mining and quarrying businesses. The company employs about 45 people at two different sites who work in areas such as irrigation, hydraulics, pneumatics, general engineering, light and heavy metal engineering, and vehicle maintenance.
The company has used Nimbus since the 1990s to sharpen its productivity and save money.
General Manager Craig Stringer says that Palmers Mechanical became the alpha test site for NimbuScan in New Zealand in December 2020 to automate the labour intensive process of inputting data.
“NimbuScan has not only saved us approximately 25-30% of creditor processing time, but it has also saved us time during job card processing and simplified quoting by having instant access to old invoices.”
After 18 months and more than 13,000 invoices processed, Stringer says, “With the advent of NimbuScan, our Purchase Order receiving sped up and become simpler. Now almost anyone with the appropriate clearance can click on the link and bring up the invoice instantly to see what we have purchased.” This function allows people in multiple roles to review current or old jobs when they need to see what has been purchased.
The company’s workshop supervisors use this function because it saves them time when they are completing job cards. Previously, they had to call the office staff and ask them to locate the invoice, and either reprint it or email it to the supervisor. “Now the information is at their fingertips, and they can view the document in seconds.”
Stringer calculates that after integrating NimbuScan the company has saved about 82.5 person hours per month or about $3700 in wages, including reductions in processing time for end of month creditors and end of year scanning and filing for the office staff as well as reduced administrative time for job supervisors. This time is now utilised in more productive areas.
Prior to integrating NimbuScan, invoice receipting and tracking occupied a significant amount of the office administrator’s time. Invoices were printed each day, a process that took hours at busy times of the month. Once printed, and receipted against purchase orders, those paper invoices would be filed in a folder in a filing cabinet. Subsequently, once or twice a year, the invoices would be scanned onto the server and filed alphabetically by year, with the largest clients assigned their own folder.
“If we were really lucky, the person scanning the invoices would remember to make them searchable so you could type in an invoice number and you could search, but if that feature wasn’t turned on, you would have to go visually through each one. It wasn’t an easy task.”
Managing the company’s invoices was a tedious and time consuming job, and because so much of the process was hand filing, there was potential for data entry mistakes and missing invoices.
Previously, the company always had missed invoices due to printing errors or misplacing them. Now, Stringer says, there might be a handful of invoices missed in a month out of an average volume of 700 to 1000 invoices.
After NimbuScan, Stringer says managing invoices is really simple and easy. “Our invoice processing and receipting time has reduced by around 25% to 30% as well as saving another two to three days of processing for our end of month creditor balancing.” With fewer missing invoices the creditor statements generally balance with little extra effort.
Setting up NimbuScan was simple and straightforward. The background work to integrate the AP automation was done remotely by a consultant who dialled in to Palmers’ servers. Stringer and his administrator were also trained how to use NimbuScan remotely via videos and Nimbus staff answered questions by telephone.
In the past, Palmers Mechanical staff have seen how improvements with Nimbus can make their roles easier and integrating NimbuScan was no exception. With the time saved using NimbuScan AP automation, Palmers’ office administrator can get involved in other areas such as workshop support and supporting and improving health and safety processes. “She’s picking up more and more work because she’s got certain times of the month, she has quite a bit of free time.”
For more information about adding NimbuScan to your system, contact Daryl Woodward
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