80%

reduction in invoice
resolution times

100%

visibility over
all invoices

Savings

in both time
and costs

“Because staff act faster, we can pay suppliers faster and have better
relationships with them.”

Jimmy McHugh, IT Business Systems Manager, C&C Group

Challenge

The vendor invoice volume managed by the C&C Group’s accounts payable department had doubled to nearly 60,000 invoices annually. The existing paper-based, manual invoice approval and payment process required automation to support all international offices. C&C also required full visibility over all invoices processed and a reduction in the time taken to process supplier invoices.

C&C is the number one drinks distributor to the UK and Ireland hospitality sectors, supplying to over 35,000 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels across the UK and Ireland and exporting its brands to over 60 countries internationally. As a supplier to an ever-growing distribution network and customer base, C&C’s print and post billing process was proving both costly and inefficient. They required a solution to automate the issuing and billing frequency of invoices to their customers.

Solution

SoftCo Accounts Payable Automation was deployed for centralized business automation, providing integrated scanning and routing across all regions and storage in the SoftCo Compliant Archive. All vendor invoices are captured and matched against valid purchase orders ensuring vendor compliance. Invoices are routed for approval and signed off by relevant approvers. Rejected or queried invoices are rerouted via dedicated workflows for exception handling. The solution is fully integrated with the organization’s JD Edwards ERP system.  The C&C Group’s accounts payable team now have complete control and visibility over the entire AP process.

SoftCo eBilling now automates the issuing of invoices, credit notes and statements to all customers across the entire C&C group. Documents are issued either via email or directly into the eBilling Portal. Each entity has full control over customer billing frequencies, which can be adjusted to suit each customer’s preferences. The solution fully integrates with C&C Group’s electronic POD system, so when a customer receives a delivery, a digitally signed POD is generated in PDF form and automatically routed to the SoftCo eBilling system. All customers have access to the SoftCo eBilling Portal where they can view their invoices, credit notes, proof of deliveries and statements. Account summaries also provide up-to-date financial positions to customers.

Results

C&C have full visibility over the status of all vendor invoices for each entity. Problem invoices are pinpointed and issues resolved across various time zones within days instead of weeks. Significant time and costs have been saved, supplier queries are handled promptly and C&C access all invoices and related information instantaneously and compliantly.

C&C group have reduced their customer billing costs by switching from a manual, paper-based process to an automated system. SoftCo eBilling has significantly reduce debtor days, with configurable billing frequencies allowing the issuing of invoices to customers at a much faster rate. The SoftCo eBilling portal ensures that customers are able to access documents as soon as they are sent, which helps to reduce payment delays and billing queries. With signed POD’s now captured on the portal, C&C Group confirm goods acceptance immediately and fast-track query resolution where required.

Information

Industry:Food & Beverages
Solution:Accounts Payable Automation
Region:UK & Ireland
Employees500+
Invoices:60,000 per annum
ERP System:JD Edwards

C&C Group has a turnover in excess of €875 million, employing over 500 people. The group’s brands include Bulmers, Magners, Tennants, Five Lamps and Caledonia. The group owns markets and distributes its portfolio of largely Scottish, Irish, and English beer and cider brands in its two home territories of the island of Ireland and Great Britain. In addition, its international operations comprise North America with a portfolio of craft cider brands, which are also exported to over 60 other countries worldwide.

“Staff who help us resolve problem invoices are based in
offices around the world. We find that the SoftCo AP solution
makes it much easier to communicate with people across different time zones.”

Jimmy McHugh, IT Business Systems Manager, C&C Group

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