Wildman Business Group Automates Invoices with ABBYY

Wildman Business Group Automates Invoices with ABBYY
Wildman Business Group Automates Invoices with ABBYY

As a premier provider of corporate laundry services, linen and apparel, Wildman Business Group receives more than 40,000 invoices a year. But processing them manually was slow, error-prone, costly, and inefficient — until ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices enabled accurate and automated entry of invoice data into Wildman’s ERP system.


“The difference is night and day. Before FlexiCapture, invoices were stacked on people’s desks. Now they’re routed electronically the day they arrive and approval goes much faster.”

Claudia Keirn, Corporate Senior Accountant, Wildman Business Group

Serving companies and community for over 60 years

Founded in 1952 by Rex Wildman as a corporate laundry service, Wildman Business Group has grown into a multi-divisional industry leader. Serving Indiana companies in four key areas, Wild­man’s divisions comprise of Uniform and Linen, Facility Services, Corporate Apparel and IDNA Brands — a leading supplier of major-league branded promotional items that includes the Sportula barbeque spatula. Priding itself on providing high quality, personalized service, Wildman has seen its commitment to customers and employees rewarded by 200% growth in the last four years.


Reclaiming efficiency lost to manual invoice processing


Wildman’s diverse range of services and growing business also means it increasingly requires more from its vendors. Together, they submit over 40,000 invoices a year — all of which required tedious and error-prone manual entry into Sage 100 ERP. “We finally reached a tipping point,” says Claudia Keirn, Corporate Senior Accountant, Wildman Business Group. “It was taking us over 50 hours a week to print each invoice received as a PDF via email, check its PO, manually enter its data into Sage 100, verify the data, then route and file the physical document.”

Additionally, Wildman’s complex AP approval processes were strained by having to rely on paper. “Our workflows span six divisions and all those paper invoices caused inefficiency,” says Keirn. “Paper was piling up on desks and approval times were impacted. Filing and storing all those invoices was also burdensome and so was having to retrieve an invoice if there was a query.”

And, Keirn notes, Wildman’s rapidly expanding business meant a solution was needed fast. “As I said, we were at a tipping point. We anticipated that invoice growth would track business growth. So AP automation became a priority.”


Finding the answer with ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices

Keirn and her team identified the need to capture and automatically enter data from invoices received as PDFs into Sage 100 — with the images simultaneously uploaded into SharePoint. Beginning their search for a solution, they met with several vendors — but were unconvinced that their approaches offered the flexibility to meet Wildman’s special needs. “We’re a unique company, with needs that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions,” explains Keirn.

Finally, though, Keirn’s research paid off. “A recommendation from one of our in-house develop­ers led us to UFC® Inc. and their General Manager, Travis Spangler — who introduced us to ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices.”

But before engaging with UFC, Keirn requested a demonstration of FlexiCapture. So, using invoice samples supplied by Wildman, Spangler and his team performed a live demo at company head­quarters. “We wanted,” says Spangler, “to show FlexiCapture’s flexibility and its compatibility with an array of choices. So in addition to demonstrating how it integrated with Sage 100 and Share­Point, we showed how well it also worked with SharePoint Online and FileNet P8.”

And as Keirn describes, FlexiCapture’s agility and flexibility was impressive: “The demonstrated ability to integrate quickly with a variety of options and to adapt to our workflows was remarkable. We decided to move ahead with FlexiCapture.”


The fast-track to AP automation and higher efficiency

According to Keirn, what UFC® promised was implemented in just one week. “They arrived onsite and five working days later we had our new solution in place,” confirms Keirn. “Installation of FlexiCapture for Invoices on our Windows server running SQL went smoothly and the integration with Sage 100 and SharePoint was seamless. UFC® did a bit of training with our IT staff and in no time we were up and running.”

After some initial fine-tuning to accommodate Wildman’s top vendors, Keirn’s team used FlexiCap­ture’s auto training features to quickly enable it to handle the remainder. “And during that time,” says Keirn, “Travis and UFC® were great. Whenever we had a question they were immediately back to us with the answer.”

And as Keirn states, Wildman’s AP automation system is delivering as expected: “All invoice data is automatically captured by FlexiCapture from the invoice images and uploaded into our Sage 100 ERP system, and the images themselves are sent straight into SharePoint. The system validates the invoice data according to our custom rules, then the invoices are automatically routed to the correct people for approval.”


The results

FlexiCapture for Invoices is well on track to delivering the time-savings and workflow efficiencies that were expected by Wildman Business Group. “The difference,” confirms Keirn, “is night and day. Before FlexiCapture, invoices were stacked up on people’s desks. Now they receive invoices via email the same day they arrive and approval goes much faster.”


“FlexiCapture’s accuracy means there’s minimal need for manual intervention. Instead of spending 50 hours a week on invoices, staff now spends only 40 hours.”

Claudia Keirn, Corporate Senior Accountant, Wildman Business Group


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