Streamlining AP processes with ApprovalPlus
Ravensdown is the largest supplier of fertiliser products in New Zealand, directly supplying more than half of all the fertiliser used in New Zealand agriculture. Ravensdown is wholly owned by New Zealand farmers and now has a substantial presence in Western Australia.
The Ravensdown head office, based in Christchurch, services three Superphosphate manufacturing sites in Awatoto, Hornby and Ravensbourne and ten Port Stores (from which products are discharged) in Bluff, Ravensbourne, Timaru (Seadown), Hornby, Nelson, New Plymouth, Napier, Tauranga, Awatoto and Whangarei.
Ravensdown also has company owned Stores, 64 consignment stores and 9 lime works scattered throughout the length and breadth of the country.
As part of the consolidation of the finance functions to the Christchurch head office, Ravensdown selected Fusion5’s ApprovalPlus product to streamline their Accounts Payable approval process, based on identifiable improvements to the inefficiencies of the existing manual approval processes.
Although the centralisation of these functions is still underway, already process improvements have been realised. Monthly business unit costs now reflect actual invoices received to date - when previously there was a significant time lag between the receipt of the invoice and having this reflected in the accounts, and often the cost would be allocated in an incorrect period altogether. The month end process previously included a degree of guesswork as to the accrual for invoices received, but not yet coded. With ApprovalPlus the guesswork has been removed from the equation. Month end speed improvements have also been realised.
Throughout the implementation process, Ravensdown found Fusion5 easy to work with and responsive to the inevitable issues that were encountered. Fusion5 worked closely with Ravensdown to ensure that must-have functionality was quickly developed and rolled into the base product in close consultation with Ravensdown to ensure requirements were met.
Now that they are live with ApprovalPlus, Ravensdown no longer have piles of paper filing to do, and particularly enjoy being able to see the processing history of an individual invoice quickly and easily. The immediate visibility into the virtual ‘location’ of an invoice allows for quick tracking of an invoice if any issues arise.
Even though the corporate wide rollout is only partially complete, immediate savings have been seen in storage requirements and postage/courier charges. Tracy Littlewood, Admin Supervisor at Ravensdown Head Office, said “We expected that it would make a difference [to costs], and it has already.”
On the coat-tails of the successful ApprovalPlus invoice module, Ravensdown is beginning to roll out the purchasing module throughout the organisation. This is expected to be a more lengthy process than the invoicing module as more people within the organisation are affected. However, significant downstream gains, improved internal controls and greater accountability are expected.
Fusion5 listened closely to user feedback throughout the rollout process, and while enjoying the immediate benefits of the features within the current release, Ravensdown is looking forward to the enhanced functionality and new features being delivered in the future releases.