Geiger is one of the most respected companies in the promotional products industry and the largest privately held promotional products distributor in the world. As a family owned company, if they make improvements, it is important they do not eliminate positions.
“We knew we needed to make a change,” said controller Mike Mayo. “We were sold on the fact that we needed to automate our accounts payable (AP) functions.”
Geiger boasts over 300 associates at its Maine headquarters and field offices, supporting a sales force of more than 450 promotional consultants in nearly every US state and more than 50,000 customers.
“We had to streamline our AP process,” said Dale Denham, Geiger’s CIO. “We looked into electronic data interchange solutions, but with the number of vendors we interact with, it would be a unique IT project for each vendor and not cost effective. Furthermore, we wanted a reliable hosted solution and Metafile offered that.”
Geiger’s vendor list boasts over 3,500 vendors worldwide, creating an intricate channel of available promotional products, distribution and a trail of paper invoices. The company needed a paperless solution that would streamline the AP invoice process across their entire vendor network without putting any additional requirements on their vendors.
When Mayo came across MetaViewer from Metafile, he immediately scheduled a presentation.
“After the demo, we realised that the MetaViewer’s AP automation would be the right solution for our needs,” he said. “The total cost for similar capabilities was a significant factor and the ability to provide a cloud solution was also significant to our needs. For me the people at Metafile stood out – they were very knowledgeable.”
Geiger was manually processing hundreds of thousands of invoices annually and needed a solution that was flexible, scalable, and cost effective. The company needed to automate and streamline their AP processes without impacting their existing computing infrastructure and IT resources and without compromising their data security.
Metafile’s AP automation software, MetaViewer, coupled with its sophisticated data centre, proved a perfect fit. Metafile’s data centre requires biometric iris recognition and simultaneous security token satisfaction as well as sign-in procedures and logs at entry point. In addition, the Metafile hosted solution provided redundancy via multiple secure data centres and automated alert system monitoring of key networking elements including routers, firewalls, uninterruptible power supplies and servers. This provided the required level of security Geiger was looking for.
Because Geiger had a highly customised enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the AP automation solution it selected had to be flexible to meet its unique business requirements today and in the future. Metafile and Geiger’s teams worked together to identify the integration specifics, and the web services were created to allow real time communication between these remotely located systems. Both teams continued to work closely to streamline the initial workflow and the integration components and made the necessary adjustments to increase the efficiency of the system.
As a result of implementing MetaViewer with its current ERP platform, Geiger has substantially improved both its productivity and accuracy.
“Prior to this project, the average payable cycle for our vendors was 15 days,” said Denham. “Now, a combination of MetaViewer and process improvements has us down to seven days. Vendors are happier because they are getting paid even faster. Believe it or not, clients are happier too because there were times a bill would be received after a financial period had closed. Now, thanks to MetaViewer, the day we receive our vendor invoice our client invoices can go out that same day.”
The Geiger team is also cutting costs.
“Before, we had to go through stacks of invoices, key in information, and struggle to stay within discount time periods.” Denham said. “Now, MetaViewer has automated the majority of non-value added work and we can process the invoices quickly ensuring we capture discounts.”
Geiger’s productivity overall is better, with a much more efficient process. The company processes over 200,000 AP invoices annually based on reported sales figures and industry average size. By eliminating the manual entry of invoices, Geiger has saved a substantial amount of time and money, allowing it the ability to reassign essential staff within the company.
“If you’re looking for a solution, particularly a hosted, web-based solution with real time data transfer, Metafile can get the job done and done right,” concluded Denham. “You need to be prepared. It is not a quick win for a complex environment like ours. It requires work for both organisations, but once it is up and running, it is extremely beneficial with a fast payback. “
Currently, Geiger plans to expand MetaViewer beyond AP invoice processing and into other divisions of the company.
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