Stergiou Family optimizes its infrastructure through the advanced Retail@Link solutions

Need & Initiative

The traditional management of a huge volume of documents created practical problems in the daily operation of the company, leading to the strategic decision for a total reorganization. In particular, the delayed reception of the Delivery Notes by each representative (especially in remote locations), in combination with their manual data entry, as well as the communications and increased checks for the necessary clarifications and corrections respectively, led to even greater delay in completing the payment cycle. As a result, the accounting department was mainly in charge of the heavy workload, where the increased need for human involvement often questioned the validity of data. At the same time the lack of a common coding list between the Stergiou Family and their representatives, required an additional effort for the correct comparison of codes, thus complicating and delaying the invoicing process.

Additionally, the lack of a GLN field led to the manual retrieval of information only from folders filled with paper documents, which were first scanned and then archived in large storage spaces. The operating printing costs skyrocketed due to the huge number of documents, resulting in the accounting department to bear once again the costly and time-consuming process of managing and processing them.

 

Implementation goals:

  • Digitization of paper documents
  • Elimination of repetitive controls due to errors
  • Reassignment of the accounting staff to other important tasks
  • Management’s full visibility of sales per customer and geographical area, as well as xVan sales

 

Challenges:

  • The huge volume of documents:
    • The electronic archiving of 24.000 documents on average on a weekly basis
    • The sending of 20.770 EDI messages on average on a monthly basis
    • The issuance of 6,360 e-invoicing documents on average on a yearly basis
  • The comparison of a multitude of different document names of every representative based of the codifications of the Stergiou Family
  • The creation of a climate of trust between Representatives – Retail@Link to remove mistrust and resistance to the transition to a modern work environment
  • Integration with Stergiou Family’s existing operating system, which presented difficulties in configuration
  • Need for separate implementation per representative according to the existing operating system, aiming at a unified result

Based on the experience and know-how of Retail@Link, Stergiou Family adopted the R@L Electronic Invoicing and EDI solutions, covering the end-to-end invoicing cycle and, radically modernizing its, until recently, traditional way of operating.

It is worth noting that the technical complexity and the scope of the project’s configuration were balanced by the correct basis of cooperation created from the beginning, resulting in immediate project kick off and completion of the implementation process in just 4 months.

The wide range of implementation was supported by the smooth adoption, acceptance and adaptability of the executives of the Stergiou Family as well as the representatives, contributing significantly to the immediate ROI of the solution but also to immediate visible benefits.

The new, technologically advanced operating model, was based on 3 axes (document simplification, electronic archiving and automated data entry of incoming documents), which quickly yielded satisfactory results such as reduction of document storage costs, time required for cash flow planning and invoice printing/sending, saving time required for resending lost documents, as well as the total management time and reduction of operating costs.

 

According to Mr. Nikolaos Krimbalis, IT Manager at the Stergiou Family: “The systemic upgrade of the company through the Electronic Invoicing solutions that we implemented, optimized our business infrastructure, therefore significantly contributing to the reduction of operating costs. The biggest benefit was the improvement of the internal operations of the accounting department, with a two-way benefit for our customers, as the implementation of Retail@Link now allows us to focus on the upgraded service of our commercial transactions, creating stronger collaborations and increasing our competitiveness.”