"Paperwork, and the endless copying and distribution of forms have historically been the most inefficient part of our business process. Now, most of our forms in the accounting and shipping departments are stored electronically, and customer invoices are delivered via email in most cases."
Robert Niedermeier, General Manager | Valley Container Corp.
Valley Container, a full service corrugated sheet plant producing point-of-purchase, shelf, counter and floor displays, die cuts, and custom packaging solutions in Bridgeport, Connecticut, wanted to increase the efficiencies of their internal business processes. Streamlining internal operations, reducing the amount of paper used daily in their business, and eliminating time-consuming manual data entry were the key focus for Valley Container. In addition, Valley Container was looking for a more efficient way to handle the invoicing for the four different companies they run.
Valley Container, established almost 40 years ago, provides extensive CAD design and sampling services to their customers, and delivers products to their customers throughout New England and the surrounding region. Providing their customers economically affordable packaging solutions, Valley Container focuses on excellent customer service, and high-quality products delivered to their customers in a timely manner.
Robert Niedermeier, the general manager at Valley Container recalls some of the challenges they were experiencing: "Handling invoicing for our various companies, bills of lading, and providing access to information for our customer service department were some of the major challenges we were dealing with."
"With bills of lading, we would order pre-printed carbon forms, print individual bills of lading on a dot-matrix printer, and hand the forms to the driver for the order delivery."
"The driver would then bring back signed copies of the bills of lading, give them to our billing department who would then manually enter the information needed for invoicing back into the business software system."
"Forms would then be placed in customer files, stored away, and the accounting department would eventually invoice the customer by mailing them a printed invoice."
"We had issues with missing information, trying to match all the paperwork, and errors made during the manual data entry. Not to mention the time and man power it took for this whole process to be completed."
In search of efficiencies
Having identified the key issues, Valley Container approached Epicor, the provider of their business software system, for more information. "We found out that Epicor provided an electronic document management system that would integrate fully with our existing business software system. This was great news for us, as the solution was already working for numerous other packaging manufacturers," says Niedermeier.
Enter Epicor NowForms
Epicor NowForms, an electronic document management software, enables the electronic storage and distribution of documents, such as invoices and bills of lading, at Valley Container.
The integration of Epicor NowForms with the Epicor core business software system has resulted in a significant reduction of pre-printed forms usage within the organization. With Epicor NowForms, any customer-facing document within the business system can be printed, electronically stored and catalogued, emailed or faxed.
Elimination of manual data entry and paper
"We had been working on improving our internal network to be ready for digital transactions, so we were ready when the software installation began," says Niedermeier. "With Epicor NowForms, invoicing for all of our four companies and four unique product lines has become much easier."
"We've been able to free up time in the accounting department, and can now easily find and match all documents in the system. Important documents can be scanned directly into the document management software system, and the integration to our business system has eliminated the need for data entry, and subsequent errors."
"Our people really like the fact that all information is readily available within these two systems. Our customer service department has become more efficient as they can now find information easily and provide instant answers to our customers."
Measurable savings "Paperwork, and the endless copying and distribution of forms have historically been the most inefficient part of our business process," says Niedermeier. "Now, most of our forms in the accounting and shipping departments are stored electronically, and customer invoices are delivered via email in most cases. We've realized measurable savings by doing away with pre-printed forms, and have eliminated most of our invoicing postage costs by sending invoices electronically."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com .