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Revolutionizing Accounts Payable: Getting Started with AI-Driven Document Management

Ochoco West leverages DocuXplorer’s AI Capture to streamline its accounts payable workflow, reducing manual processing by more than 60% and securing more time for other important work.

February 20, 2024

Lumber worker with the text "Ochoco West - Cuts their AP processing time by 86%"

Achieving digital transformation in AP: It’s easier than you think.

Brittni Reavis, who manages Accounts Payable at Ochoco West, faced a challenge familiar to many: the daunting task of managing a mountain of invoices.

Brittni’s small team used to receive documents by email and relied on manual processing and filing protocols to manage the invoices. Ochoco West is a nationwide distributor of lumber, plywood, and engineered wood, and the company partners with customers and vendors, making their invoicing processes complex. During busy seasons, Brittni tells us, Ochoco West manages as many as 400 customer invoices per month, and each customer invoice typically includes several attached vendor invoices.

Accessing and organizing files was also a headache for Brittni and the rest of the staff. Filing would often be set aside and done in batches whenever there was time. “We'd just have stacks and stacks and stacks of paperwork that we'd get to filing at some point,” she says.

Brittni knew there had to be a better way. She needed a solution that accommodated Ochoco West’s specific AP processes and supported their vital customer and vendor relationships.

A glimpse into Ochoco West’s digital transformation

While there were only two touchpoints for invoices at Ochoco West, it was a painstaking process for the team. Brittni and her colleague pulled the invoices from email, printed them, and then dated, stamped, and distributed each for processing. Invoices would eventually come back to accounts payable and be manually filed. 

The process, Brittni says, took about 15 minutes from start to finish for each invoice. Since Ochoco West deals with hundreds of invoices per month, it was a time sink.

Once Brittni transitioned to DocuXplorer, her team’s workflow transformed. She began to utilize AI Capture to extract the most essential information from Ochoco West’s invoices. She quickly set the parameters for their unique customers and accounts, and the AI Capture automatically took over pulling, tagging, and filing the invoices.

What is Brittni’s new AP process like? “We get an email, and now we run the AI capture, and it fills in the vast majority of the information.” Seamlessly integrating with their existing WoodPro ERP system, Brittni now processes an invoice within 5 minutes. 

“That's also cutting out the printing, the stamping, the dating, and the filing, because it's already taken care of with the AI capture,” she says. “So we have gained a ton of time.”

This shift extended beyond just processing invoices. An additional layer of complexity within Ochoco West’s AP protocol is providing proof of delivery for specific customers. Brittni used to have to track down the vendor invoice associated with the customer, get the POD, scan it, and return it to the customer, a process necessitating several hours per week. 

Now, as Brittni tells us, all they have to do is type the customer's invoice into DocuXplorer, and they have the information they need. AI automation has reduced the process to 12% of the required time.

The personal impact of automation

The use of AI Capture has not only enhanced Ochoco West’s operational efficiency; it has enriched the lives of the AP team. Brittni and her colleague reclaimed time – a precious resource. They have used this extra time to tackle other vital projects, from accounting clean-ups to inventory management.

DocuXplorer’s timely support and guidance also impact Brittni’s experience. “I don't wait for anything; if I need support, we get an immediate response,” she says.

How AP automation is changing the game

The shift to AP automation isn’t just a trend – it’s a strategic move. It’s about reducing errors, fostering stronger customer and vendor relationships, and gaining clearer financial insights. For a growing business like Ochoco West, automating AP processes is vital to improving efficiency to expand their business and service more clients without putting strain on their AP team.

Other reasons to automate AP include a tangible and rapid return on investment. While digital transformation can be daunting, by reducing manual effort, AP automation saves companies time and money immediately. 

Based on a familiar cabinet, drawer, and folder system, document management systems are just as easy to use, but they enable flexibility beyond the physical management of files. In Brittni’s case, accessing files just took up too much time. “We had to go to a filing cabinet, open the filing cabinet, and dig them out,” she says.

By embracing digital transformation, Ochoco West minimizes the risky physical handling of documents, processes invoices faster, and enjoys centralized access to documentation. In the future, should Ochoco West need to scale AP, their digital system will be able to keep up.

Even Brittni herself was skeptical at first of the impact. “I didn’t think it was going to be as significant as it has been.” Brittni says that with only two people managing the entire AP process, AI automation is a game changer for Ochoco West.

What about automating your auditing process?

Recently, Ochoco West switched banks and needed to conduct a bank audit. Previously, this meant Accounts Payable would spend a week scouring through paper files and scanning the necessary documents. But with DocuXplorer’s seamless data storage library, Brittni pulled all the records from one central place in just two hours. The difference she felt was incredible. “It was night and day.”

For accounting professionals, audits are an inherent part of the job. But they don’t need to be painful. Audit automation is like having a dedicated data entry and filing assistant that functions automatically without you having to manage it.

Using DocuXplorer for audit automation means you can:

  • Eliminate the need for auditors to perform work on-site.
  • Quickly consolidate all the documents for an audit and share them digitally.
  • Alleviate the stress and strain on your business resources during audits.
  • Track added and adjusted documents directly in DocuXplorer.

Experience the difference now with AP automation

Ochoco West’s transition to automation offers insight for companies navigating the complex waters of AP and document management.

Automating workflows helps you achieve a game-changing level of efficiency, no matter the size of your team. In Ochoco West’s case, managing invoices from multiple sources and protecting those relationships required nuance. With AI capture, Brittni found a reliable and elegant solution.

To solve your unique challenges, schedule a call with our team to learn how to save time and money, reduce error and risk, and simplify your workflow.