Ergonomic Solutions, founded in 1996, is a global leader in providing mounting hardware used primarily in the retail industry, but also in many other scenarios where devices, terminals, and equipment need to be installed in a space-saving, ergonomically sound manner. Among the company’s poles, printer and payment terminal mounts, enclosures, cables, tethers, ceiling and wall mounts for screens, and peripherals, the most well-known product is the SpacePole, installed in 4.2 million locations. More than 60 percent of the world’s 250 largest retailers use the product. Ergonomic Solutions is headquartered in Epsom, just outside of London in the U.K., and has sales offices across Europe, in North America, and in Australia. All of Ergonomic Solutions’ manufacturing takes place at a factory in Denmark.
Prompt invoice approvals anchor streamlined finance management
The manufacturing operation as well as other business groups were struggling with the distribution of paper-based invoices for approval by people in various teams. At the end of every month, it was a major undertaking to gather, post, and pay all approved invoices or resolve issues. If an approver was away, invoices had to wait, because Ergonomic Solutions did not have a way to re-route invoices to delegate approvers. Invoice approvals were partly sequential, with approvers waiting to submit approvals.
Ergonomic Solutions decided to improve invoice processing along with the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as the new ERP system. To-Increase Invoice Workflow, completely integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX, became the invoice approval tool. The company used the solution to configure consistent, efficient workflows for invoice approvals—including forwarding to designated substitute approvers—and automated invoice-related processes. Invoices are quickly scanned as they come in and handled electronically from then on. With Invoice Workflow, they can easily be compared to the related purchase orders, a capability that was not available before. Approvers no longer need to wait for their turn in line.
Scalable solution supports financial insight
Per Bjerring, Group Operations Director at Ergonomic Solutions, says, “Shortly after the implementation of To-Increase Invoice Workflow we saw a month with our highest turnover ever, 80 percent more than budgeted. We had more invoices than ever before. Despite that, we had an unproblematic month end. It’s very impressive.”
The company achieved a number of noteworthy improvements after deploying Invoice Workflow. Today, invoices are approved in time, by the end of every month, and finance managers can easily assess how current and complete invoicing is, how much has been invoiced, invoicing projected for next month, and more. The solution saved the company a large amount of working hours as well as paper and binders. Finance managers won extra time, which they use to support the company’s growth and get work done with minimal overtime hours. Bjerring comments, “Invoice Workflow has reduced our non-productive time significantly. Previously, it was clearly a challenge to get invoices approved in time for us to meet our deadlines by month end. Now everything runs completely smoothly. The system also saves us a lot of binders and paper, because now the invoices stay where they are.”