Vancouver, B.C. -- British Columbia's largest coastal woodland operator and lumber producer is reaping big savings following a complete overhaul of its accounts payable process. Western Forest Products, an integrated Canadian forest products company, chose Xerox Canada and its partner CDIT Inc. to streamline its operations using Xerox's DocuShare CPX and CDIT's accounts payable solution. Western Forest Products estimates the new system is already saving the company close to $20,000 per month in hard costs, has improved turnaround times, and reduced errors. Accounts payable has moved from a highly manual process to a simple three step process. What used to take a week to process, now can take less than one day.
Western Forest expects a complete return on its investment within 15 months, but the company is also benefiting in other ways. Vendors can call and find out the status of an invoice instantly. Courier costs have been slashed. The company has eliminated late payments penalties and is now better able to take advantage of early-payment discounts.
Most importantly, less staff time is being wasted. "Under the old system many of our managers were spending around 10 per cent of their time sorting out invoices," said David Byng, Chief Information Officer at Western Forest. "Now, that time has been reduced dramatically."
Before implementing the new system, Western's accounts payable process was labour-intensive and awash in paper. Every day, more than 700 invoices were received at their head office in Duncan, British Columbia and over 20 remote offices and sites across coastal British Columbia from thousands of different suppliers.
Hardcopy invoices often had to be copied and mailed between remote site offices for review and approval and then copied and mailed again to the head office for final entry and payment. This manual, time consuming, process was subject to coding and approval errors and long payment cycles for the organization, often resulting in missed discounts and late payment fees.
"The forestry industry is fiercely competitive and we wanted to make our operations more efficient," said Byng. "The accounts payable department was a logical place to start."
Now, hardcopy invoices received at the Western Forest's head office are batch scanned into the Kofax Capture system, and automatically matched against financial records by CDIT's solution, AP-FLO. Invoices received at remote sites are scanned using existing Xerox multifunction devices and then automatically imported, along with invoices received via fax and e-mail. All invoices are then routed through a series of automated queues for document classification, data extraction and approval, eliminating the need for manual data-entry. And because completed invoices are tracked and stored in DocuShare, a full audit trail is available, as is extensive reporting.
About Western Forest Products
Western Forest Products Inc. is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer with an annual available harvest of approximately 7.5 million cubic metres of timber and lumber capacity in excess of 1.5 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing plants. Substantially all of Western's operations, employees and corporate facilities are located in the coastal region of British Columbia while its products are sold in over 20 countries worldwide. For more information visit www.westernforest.com.
About CDIT Inc.
CDIT Inc., Canada's leading Enterprise Content Management Consultant/Integrator, is focused on accelerating the capture, transformation, delivery and exchange of critical information. CDIT is a Xerox Solution Partner offering key industry expertise and services to support the integration of technologies into unique business and technology environments. CDIT's clients span across a range of public and private sector industries with a common goal of improving process efficiency. For more information visit www.cdit.com.
Xerox Corporation is the world's leading document management, technology and services enterprise, providing the industry's broadest portfolio of colour and black-and-white document processing systems and related supplies, as well as document management consulting and outsourcing services.
About Xerox DocuShare
Xerox DocuShare is an enterprise content management platform developed by Xerox Corporation. DocuShare's capabilities range from basic content services to more robust business process automation and paper-to-digital solutions. Xerox DocuShare also offers a number of partner solutions for vertical and cross industry business processes. For more information visit http://www.docushare.com or call 1-800-735-7749.