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Supply chain solutions provider ODW Logistics triples volume of business while cutting time to invoice by more than half using Synergize

Three divisions under the umbrella of ODW Logistics, Inc. operate different lines of the business: warehousing, asset-based carrier for full truckloads, and non-asset broker LTL. Synergize was implemented to manage the Accounts Payable documents at their Columbus, Ohio head office across all three divisions, plus Accounts Receivable documents for two divisions with separate business models and different capacity requirements.

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“The Synergize process took all the invoice tracking problems away from us. The invoice is scanned and we have 100% accessibility to the document from that point on. It’s a tremendous time saver and there is a significant convenience factor.”

- Don Hemmelgarn, Controller, ODW Logistics

Business Challenges

Processing 500-600 Accounts Receivable invoices per week for the asset-based division (Dist-Trans), and 900-1000 invoices per week for the non-asset broker division (ODW LTS) required a manual, time-consuming, paper-based process. Their procedure was to print the invoices, match up the supporting documents, file by invoice number, and make copies of everything to accommodate customer inquiries.

On the Accounts Payable side, once a vendor’s paper invoice came in, it would be recorded, then the paper would be sent out for approvals before coming back to the accounting department for payment. Since each one of ODW’s customers is handled by a different manager, and each manager approves his or her own invoices, tracking a given invoice as it goes through the approval process was a big problem. 

Microdea Solution

Two integrated Synergize systems were implemented for ODW and are supported as a complete multiple-company solution.

Using Synergize for Accounts Receivable, after an order’s paperwork is turned in by the driver and verified, documents are scanned and indexed once per day for Dist-Trans and twice per day for ODW LTS. Integrated with transportation management system TMW, Synergize will not allow an order to be billed unless the appropriate paperwork is present in the system. This ensures that the right supporting documents – POD, signed BOL, rate confirmation, ingate and outgate tickets - are associated with right order.  At end of the week, both divisions distribute invoices; 80% of invoices are PDF’d and emailed. For the handful of customers that still want billing on paper, Synergize prints all supporting documents in order, together with the invoice, so no matching is required.

For the LTL shipments, ODW LTS employs automated workflows to ensure that invoice amounts match. “No match” triggers an alert and a task is assigned to a customer service rep to either approve a short pay or pass it through. Once that task is completed, the invoice is automatically sent for batch invoicing.  Between 70 and 200 invoices daily are processed in this manner, and it takes only two minutes.

For head office Accounts Payable, all documents and information related to a payables transaction are stored electronically in the secure Synergize repository integrated with Microsoft Dynamics® GP. Routing invoice documents to the appropriate approvers is automated with Synergize Workflow. ODW relies completely on approval mapping groups that they devised and implemented, eliminating follow-up requirements. 

 

Results

Business has tripled in the past year, but ODW has cut the time to produce invoices by more than half, with the same number of staff.  By scanning all documents into Synergize and automating the associated workflows, both divisions are able to generate more invoices in less time and provide their users across Illinois, Wisconsin, California plus home base in Ohio with the convenience of lookup and review of their own documents. Storing documents electronically has reduced storage space requirements and is key to keeping their “paperwork” manageable.

 

Supporting the trucking community

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