A fast-growing natural skin care manufacturer cuts administration overheads and error rates using a sales order solution from streamline.
Natalie Peat’s work day used to begin with data entry. Lots of it. She would assemble the day’s sales orders from any number of different wholesale customers, each with a different tax code, due date and pricing structure. Then she would manually key each order into a Saasu accounting system and generate a sales order invoice. The process took Natalie half a day, every day.
It couldn’t last. Natalie’s employer, natural skin care business The Natalie Group (the names are entirely coincidental), was growing fast. Fuelled by demand from export markets, the Queensland-based company, with just 10 people on staff, had doubled its revenue over the previous 18 months. Natalie, the company’s management accountant, knew she needed to focus more on finance and much less on data entry.
So, in October 2016, The Natalie Group brought in streamline to fix the problem. The answer: Springboard, a solution that combined the Indeks document management system with dedicated back office support.
“What happens now is that customers email their orders direct to an Indeks address, which goes to streamline,” says Natalie. “The orders are collated by a data entry specialist who keys the data into Saasu for us. When I arrive at work, I can jump on to their system and check progress, but the process itself is entirely managed by streamline.”
Natalie says the new approach was quick to deliver benefits. “When I arrive each morning now I spend the first 45 minutes to an hour checking sales orders. And that’s it. The rest of the morning has been given back to me, and that means I can now devote it to finance management. For example, I used to do quarterly financial analysis. Now I do it monthly. From that respect, it’s been a good investment for us.”
The warehouse team has also seen upside from the new system. It used to have just two hours to assemble and dispatch the day’s orders. With sales order invoices now arriving much earlier in the day, the team has more time to do the job properly.
“Another benefit, and one I hadn’t expected, was order accuracy,” Natalie reports. “With the old system, I used to both enter the data and check it. Now streamline is entering the data and I’m checking it, which means two pairs of eyes on each order rather than just one. The result is that orders are a lot more accurate.
“We used to have customers coming back and querying a delivery, perhaps because it didn’t match the order, every few weeks or so. That’s now very rare.”
Natalie’s advice for anyone considering a move to a similar sales order solution is to be ready for the handover.
“Naturally there was a learning curve for streamline, because no two customers are alike and they each have different expectations. Streamline’s back office people had to learn the differences. The time-consuming part of the handover for us was documenting the process for each customer. To be honest, that in the end was a good discipline – it revealed quite a few opportunities to improve the sales order process, and we’ve gone on to capture those.”