Probably every company encounters process errors to some extent, they are manifested mainly by the inefficiency of all possible areas of operation. Mistakes unnecessarily add work to employees, duplicate activities and are a space for error. Companies often do not even know about such inefficiencies or maybe just suspect. Improperly set processes affect the further operation of the company and cost thousands to tens of thousands of crowns the company's budget. At the same time, they can be relatively easily removed, for example, by introducing EDI or other online tools. Do you also observe such warning signals in the company?
The customer creates an order, the supplier prepares the goods and sends it together with the delivery note and invoice. A typical ordering process that is repeated daily in thousands of companies. And erroneous ordering, loss or damage to goods during transport and other objective circumstances are also repeated on a daily basis, which as a result often lead to the crediting of goods that no accounting firm is definitely in love with.
The introduction of EDI (electronic data interchange) will speed up and streamline the whole process. The customer creates an order, the supplier accepts it and immediately sends a delivery note. After receiving the goods, the customer sends a receipt and the supplier only now issues an invoice, which he has approved before posting. All communication takes place electronically, using structured EDI messages, and you can largely automate it. Both parties have control over the entire process, and whenever there is a risk of an error, you will detect and resolve it in a timely manner.
Trucks with goods arrive for customers, but because it is not ready for receipt, it takes a disproportionately long time to stock the goods. Cars are standing, drivers are waiting, storekeepers are not catching up. If you communicate with the supplier via EDI, he will send you a notice before the physical delivery of the goods. This way you know in advance when things will come to you and you will prepare for the reception. If you use barcode readers in the warehouse, you will simply read the goods upon arrival and they will be immediately written to your system. You can speed up storage even more if you use SSCC codes, because then you do not load individual boxes, but straight entire pallets.
Companies that print each accounting document and then archive it in files pay money for paper, printing and renting a warehouse for archiving. Whenever the invoice clerk or accountant retrieves a document, it takes a long time. Today, you can exchange documents purely electronically, for example by e-mail or even better using EDI. And only a trustworthy electronic archive is needed for archiving.
Invoices sent by post or e-mail can be forged, or anyone can send you an unauthorized or fictitious invoice. And again, for decades, you decide where the invoice came from and what it might be for. Thanks to the audit trail of documents and secure transmission channels, this is practically not the case for goods invoices sent via EDI. In general, it is more a problem of overhead invoices for various services, which EDI usually does not solve. However, errors in the payment of invoices can be avoided by setting up the invoice processing process correctly or by using new tools (called accounts payable abroad), such as the iNVOiCE FLOW solution.
When you receive an invoice by post or e-mail, the invoice clerk must accept it, check it, verify that it corresponds to the recipient / order, in some cases approve it with a superior, transcribe it into the information system and post it. The whole thing takes a few minutes and according to research (Billentis) the process is burdened with about 10% error rate. And at peak times, when invoice clerks are overloaded, the situation is getting worse. After the introduction of EDI, the system automatically compares the documents (invoice with the order and receipt) and notifies the operator only of any differences (for example, within the agreed variance). This significantly speeds up the whole process and, in addition, eliminates the risk of human error. If you are not sure about the quality of your processes, use the services of GRiT, which will help you with the analysis of the current state and suggest ways to achieve higher efficiency and higher profits.
The article was published in the magazine Systémy logistiky.