Spectrum Brands Powers Business Process Efficiency and Control with AP Automation from Esker
13-May-2011 | News-Press Release
Esker, the leader in document process automation solutions, today announced that it has been selected by Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., a global consumer products company, to automate processing of supplier invoices. Integrated with Spectrum Brands’ SAP system, the Esker solution streamlines accounts payable processing for the company’s highly recognizable brands including Rayovac®, Remington® and many others.
Before the Esker solution, supplier invoices were sent by mail to individuals in the different offices of Spectrum Brands’ North American business segments — spread across the country in multiple plants and offices from coast to coast. "All that paper going to separate locations made it a challenge to control invoice processing," said Patrick Alexander, Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Spectrum Brands. In addition, invoice images were archived in an external system and not linked to the SAP application. Staff doing cost center analysis would have to find a document number in SAP, then open the other system and type in the document number to view the invoice. "It was very time-consuming; and if an invoice had just recently been paid, it might not be in the system yet," said Alexander.
Spectrum Brands moved to a shared services model to centralize its back-office accounting at the company’s headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. The company’s IT team looked at several solutions to bring all invoices into the shared services center with approval workflow and integrated archiving capabilities. Spectrum Brands chose the Esker solution in part due to its ability to automate document processing in other areas, such as accounts receivable.
"We were looking for control over the process to gain efficiency and speed," said Alexander. "To support what we want to do as a lean organization and have the company embrace the shared services approach, we needed a system that we could rely on to get all the invoices in on a timely basis, make sure that the information is all secure and eliminate paper from going to multiple locations." With the Esker solution, Spectrum Brands’ supplier invoices go to one central location for imaging and electronic approval by the appropriate people. Invoice data goes into the SAP system automatically and invoice images are immediately available from the SAP interface.
"Having that link is a big help for our people to be able to drill down into our SAP system when they’re doing expense analysis to actually get the image of the invoice," said Alexander. "If someone is drilling down into their cost center, they can see an invoice as soon as it hits their budget. It’s probably five or six extra steps that they don’t have to go through versus just clicking on the image in SAP. That’s a great improvement to make us more efficient."
Alexander added, "As geographically spread out as our company is, with the Esker technology we’re able to utilize workflow and coordinate everything. People in any of our locations at any time can approve invoices and manage their budgets right within SAP. It’s all concentrated in one very efficient process, from receipt of an invoice all the way through the approval and the financial analysis that comes after the fact. Going green is another part of this. We have vendors email their invoices when we can to automate the process even more."
About Spectrum Brands
Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., (NYSE: SPB) and a member of the Russell 2000 Index, is a diversified, global consumer products company and a leading supplier of batteries, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn & garden and home pest control products, personal insect repellents and portable lighting. Helping to meet the needs of consumers worldwide, the Company offers a broad portfolio of market-leading and widely trusted brands including Rayovac®, Remington®, Varta®, George Foreman®, Black & Decker®, Toastmaster®, Tetra®, Marineland®, Nature's Miracle®, Dingo®, 8-in-1®, Littermaid®, Spectracide®, Cutter®, Repel®, and Hot Shot®. Spectrum Brands Holdings' products are sold by the world's top 25 retailers and are available in more than one million stores in more than 120 countries around the world. Spectrum Brands Holdings generated net sales of $3.1 billion from continuing operations in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.spectrumbrands.com.
Esker is a recognized leader in helping organizations reduce the use of paper, eliminate manual processes and simplify IT landscapes. With its comprehensive platform, Esker delivers the benefits of automated document processing as on-demand services (SaaS) and on-premise solutions. Customers achieve significant operational efficiencies, cost savings and ROI in as little as three to six months while gaining visibility and control within order-to-cash and procure-to-pay business processes ranging from sales order management and accounts receivable to purchasing and accounts payable. Founded in 1985, Esker operates globally with more than 80,000 customers and millions of licensed users worldwide. Esker has global headquarters in Lyon, France and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.esker.com. Follow Esker on Twitter at twitter.com/eskerinc and join the conversation on the Esker blog at www.quitpaper.com.
Corporate Contact: Renee Thomas, Esker, Inc. – Tel: 608.828.6140 § Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Investor Relations Contact: Emmanuel Olivier, Esker S.A. – Tel: 33 (0)4 72 83 46 46 § Email: email@example.com
© 2011 Esker S.A. All rights reserved. Esker and the Esker logo are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Esker S.A. in the United States and other countries. SAP is the registered trademark of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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