Spencer Fluid Power Introduces Efficiency to Their Invoice Processing


Spencer Fluid Power, a leading industrial technology company specializing in the distribution of hydraulic power components throughout the Pacific Northwest, needed help processing its incoming invoices. This was a complex undertaking as its 2-billion dollar Pacific Northwest division relies on more than 2,500 different vendors to support its operations and customer network. Manual invoice processing was costing the company significantly in terms of inaccurate data entry and invoicing, processing delays, partial shipments, lost invoices and long mail delivery wait times. And although scanners had been purchased for archiving invoices electronically, data entry and other invoice-related functions were still being performed manually and continued to hinder productivity.


GRM, with the help of strategic partner, The UniLink Group, set about converting Spencer’s remaining manual accounts payable tasks into a completely digitized workflow automation system. Invoices scanned by Spencer were uploaded to GRM’s cloud-based repository. This digital repository played a key role in facilitating the invoice viewing and approval process while at the same time providing a comprehensive audit trail and transaction history. Through GRM’s digital repository, all of the pertinent invoice data was extracted, converted and submitted to UniLink. The next step was for UniLink to translate and remap the data to a customized, intelligent EDI file, which was then delivered to Spencer’s Info SXE ERP system. Electronically and automatically without human involvement, the solution devised by GRM provided intelligent, actionable data quickly and accurately. Better yet, getting the entire EDI transaction system in place and enabling all 2,500 vendors to submit electronic invoices online, took just 45 days.

Manufacturing invoice process automation


Freed from manual data entry task delays, Spencer’s account payable team is now able to streamline approvals and process invoices with speed and efficiency. Paper invoices are a thing of the past, and significant cost savings are realized on every processed invoice. This has enabled the AP department to take advantage of early payment discounts while reducing overall invoice processing cost by 60% or more. Though the new system now processes over 5,000 invoices per month error-free, built-in growth capabilities can accommodate much larger numbers. According to one ERP manager at Spencer Fluid Power, accounts payable has tripled its productivity since the system was implemented. Also, the current AP department, with no additional staff, is able to handle invoicing for other segments of the company even as the program is being rolled out to three additional divisions.



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