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FACT SHEET: MULTICHANNEL
DOCUMENTS AT A TIME AND PLACE
The Food Company supplies food products to supermarket chains, wholesalers and small
businesses, distributing its products via three different companies within its Group.
Electronic invoices were generated via EDI for the larger supermarket chains only. Invoices,
credit notes, consolidated invoices and statements for all other customers were printed in-
house on 3 part pre-printed stationery using legacy dot matrix printers.
Invoices should have been mailed daily, however due to peaks in demand and availability of
staff, documents were often late.
In addition, invoices were often printed for the same customer on the same day but mailed in
separate envelopes. Credit notes were also posted separately.
The mainframe computer system was not user-friendly so the credit control department had
to access paper file copies of documents to answer queries.
The Group generated over 250,000 documents per year, many of which had multiple pages.
Sometimes the wrong invoices were sent to the wrong customer meaning that customer saw
competitor’s prices and discount terms, resulting in costly discussions and re-negotiations.
LEADING UK FOOD MANUFACTURER
FACT SHEET: MULTICHANNEL
CHOICE IS KEY
There were a number of cost inefficiencies, which were all improved with the outsource
1. The on-going cost of running out of date equipment
2. Staff time cost of manually handling a process that is faster by machine
3. Posting invoices in separate envelopes when they could be combined into one
4. Continuous stationery can only fit a few line entries meaning more paper was required
5. Late sending of invoices led to late payment of invoices
6. Staff time was wasted working off paper file copies
7. All documents were sent in the post when many customers would accept an electronic
THE OUTSOURCING REQUIREMENT
CHOICE IS KEY
The Food Company looked to outsourcing hoping to speed up the invoicing process; with less
error; whilst reducing the overall costs. They ultimately expected an improvement in cash flow
as a result of invoices being mailed on time and credit control having an effective tool to use
for dealing with queries.
For the future, they wanted a robust and secure method of delivering an electronic billing
solution to some of their customers currently not utilising.
A custom data preparation programme was written to combine the different files for the
various documents from the three companies and then sort by type of document and mailing
FACT SHEET: MULTICHANNEL
Stationery types are identified by a pre-printed barcode in the window position on the letter
and the individual document by a small 2D data barcode.
Multiple pages are identified with OMR marks printed on the documents to ensure the right
documents are inserted with the relevant continuation pages.
Flags are included in the data file supplied, indicating how each record should be processed.
01 - Print and mail
02 - Email with PDF attached
03 - Email to advise that documents are available in the web for viewing and printing
Additional logic is in place to divert documents such as nil balances, inter-company invoices,
credit notes over a certain value and so on. The documents are still printed but couriered or
PRINT AND MAIL
All documents are printed using Xerox laser printers, pulling the stationery “on the fly”, saving
set up and printing time.
Inserting equipment is fitted with cameras to scan the first page of each document through the
window of the envelope, checking documents are printed on the right letterhead; there are no
missing documents and the right documents are inserted into the correct envelope. Multiple
page documents and combined documents for one address are inserted together - resulting in
significant saving of mailing costs.
CREDIT CONTROL COPIES AND ARCHIVES
PDF copies of all documents from each print run and non-printed EDI documents are
uploaded to a dedicated Webcare site branded to the customer. Credit Controllers and
Managers at The Food Company are now able to log on to the site and view their customer’s
At the end of each month, a copy of the previous month’s documents is saved to a CD to be
kept by the company as an archive copy – a method approved by the Inland Revenue.
ELECTRONIC BILLING SYSTEM (EBS)
The Webcare system is also used as the vehicle to communicate billing documents
electronically. The Food Company’s customers have the facility to register online and decide
how they wish to receive their documents in the future.
When data is uploaded to the web, the system automatically sends off emails to the selected
users, who can then log on to view and print their specific billing documents.
It is also possible for users to download document data directly from the Webcare site in a
CSV or Excel format and then into their own ledger system - so removing the need to print
anything on paper at all.
Why Digital Print Management?
Data security and document accuracy are at the
core of everything we do.
The UK production facility is C&CCC accredited and
approved to ISO27001 standard and manufacturing
is fulfilled for many leading retailers, charities and
financial institutions worldwide.
t: +44 (0) 1234 271156