When Albrecht, Incorporated was founded in 1932 the company owned grocery stores exclusively, but eventually its portfolio grew to include some of the largest free-standing supercenters in Northeast Ohio. Today the company’s holdings comprise 2.5 million square feet of retail properties (primarily grocery-anchored shopping centers) and 1.5 million square feet of industrial and office space. Albrecht, Incorporated also develops grocery-anchored shopping centers with their anchor tenant, Acme Fresh Market.
Albrecht, Incorporated’s problem was straightforward: “We needed a bono fide document management system,” explains Kriss Hays, the company’s director of technology and systems. “For accounts payable we needed a routing system that ensured all invoices would be processed in a timelier manner, with a better record of who had seen each document and what action had been taken with it. And we wanted a better way to track our commercial lease documents that would give users access at their fingertips.” Before PaperSave, Albrecht’s administrative staff, managers and executives were manually handling everything from filing and data entry to routing, approval tracking, and payment processing. The process was time-consuming and inefficient.
The ultimate responsibility of ensuring all the accounts payable paperwork was trafficked properly fell on the shoulders of controller Merilee Bailey, who processes more than 3,000 invoices monthly. Once receipts for services rendered and related paperwork went through her, they were then forwarded to department approvers and then to the desk of Albrecht, Incorporated’s president for review and approval before payments were made. Before PaperSave, the entire invoice approval and routing process took up to two weeks, with each invoice requiring almost three hours of processing time from start to finish.
Solution Design & Project Management
Albrecht, Incorporated considered OnBase by Hyland Software, but decided it was too complicated and costly, so instead they implemented PaperSave ECM. As the company’s enterprise content management system, PaperSave automated the accounts payable invoice entry, routing and approval processes, all the way through to creating transaction records in the company’s Dynamics GP ERP system. Later Albrecht, Incorporated added OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, which converts text from scanned and digital documents into actionable data.
Now Albrecht, Incorporated’s AP team merely scans paper documents or uploads electronic invoices, reviews the files to ensure the coding is correct, sends them to the appropriate reviewers and pays them in a timely manner. As a final step, an electronic copy of each check is automatically associated with appropriate invoices. Additionally, the AR team scans or uploads commercial lease documents into the PaperSave system and attaches them to customer cards.
Project Results & Key Success Indicators
Bailey says she saves three quarters of her time each day, on average, related to payment processing and approval tracking. Now both accounting departments enjoy accurate automatic sorting, filing and indexing of delivery documents, without fear of losing hard copies. Before PaperSave, invoices took two weeks on average to get paid. Now it takes only two days. Before PaperSave, lease documents were harder to track and occasionally went missing. Now they are easy to find and are never “accidentally” deleted from digital files.
“PaperSave is an easy to implement document management system and we highly recommend it to a small business.” – Kriss Hays, Director of Technology and Systems, Albrecht, Incorporated
Measures of Success
- More than 3,000 invoices monthly are sorted, filed and indexed automatically
- Invoice payments are made within two days, instead of two weeks
- Tracking over 350 client lease files is easier, now that documentation can quickly be retrieved for analysis, emailed or printed