Kefron, a document management software provider, has provided new automated Accounts Payable system to Applegreen that has significantly reduced invoice processing time from days to hours.

Applegreen plc is a rapidly growing petrol retailer and has grown to more than 340 stores across Ireland, the UK and the US. This development required review of their back office systems including their Accounts Payable process.

Angelina McGuirk, key account manager on the Kefron Accounts Payable project, explained: “Prior to launching Kefron Accounts Payable, Applegreen’s process was not automated which made it more difficult to manage. Applegreen’s management were keen to resolve the challenges typical of a non-automated process such as duplicate invoices and supplier query handling and at the same time wanted to improve efficiency and control’’

Sandrine Tugler, accounts payable manager with Applegreen, said: “The Accounts Payable system that we had in place was complex and stretched to handle our growth. Communication with suppliers was through a number of channels which made it difficult to track.

“We had tried to maintain our original processing plan with each new store that we opened and, while this worked when it was just 50 sites, it became very difficult to replicate at 200 sites. Our growth was so fast, the old way of doing things just couldn’t keep up with the pace.

“The other problem was the rate at which we would receive invoices. Our sites remain open seven days a week, invoices were sent on a constant basis and they could accumulate quickly the more the company expanded. We knew we could improve through automation.”

Kefron’s solution introduced a system whereby all documentation is sent to one portal, no matter what channel it originates from. Kefron Accounts Payable then reads and extracts the required invoice fields. Any duplicates, discrepancies or invalid information is flagged to a member of the Applegreen accounts team.

Angelina McGuirk continued: “Through Kefron Accounts Payable, all documents are securely stored within the system, meaning they can be searched for and accessed later by the Applegreen team – and not lost. The team has access to the system through a web-based user interface using secure log-ins for verification purposes, making the entire process seamless and easy. As well as the reduction in process time the system has also reduced paper usage, decreased the risk of duplication and eliminated the risk of human error.”

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