Improving Accounts Receivable Processes
St. Marys Cement Inc. (SMC) is a leading manufacturer of cement and related construction products in Canada and the United States. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, SMC supplies cementation materials to the Great Lakes Region and is also a significant producer of concrete and aggregates to the Ontario market.
Ready-mix concrete is a service industry like none other. Each truck is a mobile mixing machine delivering a made-to-order product that is especially time sensitive. Being there on schedule is crucial, since a pour might require 100 cubic metres of concrete every hour with twenty or thirty skilled workers awaiting its arrival. Service is SMC's most important product.
SMC identified a cost and time saving opportunity to improve the process involved in storing and reproducing shipping waybills or tickets. Since these physical documents serve as signed proof of delivery documents, they are key elements in securing payment for outstanding receivables. Finding the physical signed copies was an extremely labour intensive process given the high volumes of paperwork generated at each St. Marys location.
Octacom was selected by SMC to scan hard-copy cement, concrete and aggregate tickets (or bills of lading). Digitizing and indexing the tickets, as well as providing email functionality, would speed up the Accounts Receivable process and reduce the labour required to provide each proof.
Octacom uses optical character recognition (OCR) to read key data from each ticket and match this key data with St. Marys data file records which contain additional reference data. Octacom's ODISS solution is used by all users for fast and accurate access to the signed tickets. Reference data can then be used by A/R and Plant users to quickly search for and view tickets in Octacom's hosted ODISS solution.
"The site worked like a charm for us when one of our customers required all tickets for a large job in 2009. With the selection of customer/project name we had access to all tickets within minutes. Previously this would have taken a whole day pulling tickets out of file boxes. It was wonderful." commented Jenny Brown, A/R Supervisor, St. Marys Cement Inc.
SMC has reduced their outstanding Accounts Receivable levels and quickly provides their customers with signed proof of deliveries.