NES Rentals Customer Story

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NES Rentals case study

PAPER, PAPER EVERYWHERE

NES Rentals is a leader in the rental equipment industry. They have been providing customers with boom lifts, cranes and diggers since 1997.

The Accounts Payable (A/P) department at NES Rentals was processing 15,000 paper invoices a month. Receiving an invoice by mail or fax started a tedious manual process. Each invoice was date stamped, sorted by branch, keyed in, indexed, reconciled for errors, submitted for payment and then filed onsite by an A/P staff member. Any keying errors led to backtracking and corrections. Older invoices had to be periodically pulled from onsite records and removed for filing in offsite locations.

This manual workflow operated on a standard two-week backlog. It was a process that A/P specialists struggled to work within, rendered early payment discounts almost null and resulted in a labyrinthian audit trail.

Challenge:

  • Streamline Accounts Payable processes
  • Address inefficiencies caused by manually processing paper invoices
  • Reduce payment backlog

Solution:

A comprehensive, tailored digital document management solution

Value

  • Improved efficiency throughout accounts payable process: reduced input errors, invoice turnover and A/P staff
  • Saved up to $400,000/ year in reduced real estate costs (office space, onsite storage)
  • 70% of invoices processed without any manual staff input

Making the Right Choice

NES Rentals realized paper invoicing was a major problem and wanted a modern, digital solution that would foster future growth. They chose a comprehensive digital A/P solution from Recall (acquired by Iron Mountain in May 2016) powered by Hyland. This solution combines Iron Mountain imaging with the OnBase platform and workflow. The system allows for tailored customizations that meet the unique needs of any customer.

NES Rentals have been using this solution for eight years and are seasoned veterans in the digitized invoice space. John Christiansen, the NES Rentals Shared Services Director, has worked with this solution since its implementation and has seen it evolve into a powerful tool. “It’s a transformation. You have to ask yourself ‘What can I really do with this?’ … It’s not just about the product you choose, it’s about the process you put in place.”

Faster, Better, Easier

NES Rentals now processes 17,000 monthly invoices from 85 branches. 70% off all these invoices are digitally processed through the ReView workflow with no manual input from NES Rentals staff.

Fully processing paper invoices used to take NES Rentals two weeks. Now a branch manager in Charleston and any Team Member in Chicago can log on and view the same invoices within 48 hours.

“We’re not taking up the time of someone who could be doing research on invoices that actually have issues.”

- John Christiansen, NES Rentals Shared Services Director

In the automated workflow incoming invoices are initially scanned, keyed and indexed. Then invoices are 3-way matched against NES purchase orders and receipts. Invoice data is validated and vouchered into the NES financial system. Finally, NES Rentals A/P specialists receive digitized invoices for approval. Once approved, with a simple click, invoices are routed back to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to await payment. NES Rentals staff don’t open, fax, scan or file paper invoices.

As a result of this automated A/P workflow NES Rentals was able to reduce the number of A/P specialists from 11 to seven. The specialists who remained in the department thrived in the new workflow. Unburdened from the tedium of the manual side of A/P they had the latitude to resolve difficult invoices, address higher level administrative issues and increase the depth of their service to their organization.

Christiansen was glad to see his staff take on a more analytical role, “we’re not taking up the time of someone who could be doing research on invoices that actually have issues.” Instead of manually filing paper invoices and correcting keystroke errors Christiansen’s staff has the bandwidth to resolve more complex invoicing disputes.

A/P specialists started working remotely half the time. Desk sharing meant NES Rentals was able to reduce the A/P office footprint by half – saving between $300,000 and $400,000 annually.

“The audit trail it offers you is the best ever,” Christiansen notes that they have come a long way from the tedious audits of paper invoices. Both internal and third party auditors can log into the system remotely.

This solution continues to evolve as a successful system at NES Rentals. Christiansen said it best, “We are all trying to find ways that we can operate our businesses as efficiently as possible, but we also want to find some cost savings in that bigger goal.”

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