Taking back control of accounts payable

Until recently, Victaulic, a developer and producer of mechanical pipe joining processed most of their invoices manually, leading to some serious challenges for the industrial manufacturer. Their issues centered around process inefficiencies, expensive processes and much more.

To optimize the entire accounts payable process, Victaulic implemented Medius leading cloud-based accounts payable solution and integrated this solution with Infor M3 ERP, to take back control of their accounts payable process.

victaulic logo

Project background

Victaulic is a global manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining, flow control and fire protection systems and is the inventor of the grooved pipe coupling. As part of their plans to grow and expand their business, Victaulic identified improving their accounts payable process as a key area to boost their opportunities for growth. 

Before working with Medius, most invoices were processed manually. Victaulic accounts payable (AP) staff would print a paper-based copy of the invoice, stamp it, and place it in a paper-based folder. Only a relatively small portion could be processed automatically through EDI. Even the invoices that were received electronically, PDFs for example, were printed and manually entered into the Infor M3 ERP.

This way of handling and archiving invoices made it challenging and time-consuming to look up invoices, for instance when a supplier called to verify the status of their invoice. Malgorzata Zenka, Finance Director Victaulic Poland explains:

“It was really tricky to first find, but then report on the status of an invoice. We’d have to rummage through reams of paper-based systems, which prevented us from answering basic questions such as: Had it already been approved and if not, where was it ‘stuck’?’”

Zenka continues: “The accounts payable solution that we previously used didn’t tell us the level of insights and automation that we needed, and therefore, we weren’t able to measure how long it took to get an invoice through the entire process.

“We quickly realized that improving our accounts payable and invoice automation process was a requirement to improve business processes. So, we decided to replace the existing solution and start the selection and implementation of a new invoice automation solution.”

Why Victaulic chose Medius

After significant time studying the market - including several pitches from accounts payable solution providers - Victaulic picked Medius.

Kathleen Van Aerde, Global M3 ERP Manager at Victaulic talks about why they chose Medius over other solution providers:

"There are many reasons why we went with Medius to provide its AP automation software, but by far the most important is the integration work with Infor M3 ERP. It’s helped to tie together all our key back office functions."

“In addition, we wanted a cloud-based solution because we clearly understood the benefits of cloud software. Medius AP Automation is a highly respectable and reliable solution – and our software is always up to date with the latest version.”

Kathleen also made a point of praising the Medius AP Automation user-friendly interface: “Our employees don’t have to switch from one screen to another saving us precious time.”

“Overall, Medius AP Automation strikes a balance between competitively priced, and delivered quick results; reinforcing that we feel we made the right choice”

Flexible configuration allows tailoring the solution for Victaulic

Medius AP Automation empowers employees of Victaulic with automation capabilities to streamline operations and accelerate invoice processing. Workflows can be highly automated using configuration of rules in the system, for example when it comes to different VAT processes.

For purchase order based invoices, Victaulic leverages three-way automatic matching (goods received, invoice and purchase order) that enables fully touchless processing.

“We’re at about 80% automation rate in our European HQ. This is a tremendous achievement given the short time we’ve been working with Medius and their product suite. With the new process handled by Medius AP Automation, it takes less than five days to complete an invoice workflow. This is a huge time-saver for our AP team, and frees up precious time for more value-added tasks.” - Sam Van Wiemeersch, AP Accountant at Victaulic Europe.

Van Wiemeersch adds: “Regarding general expense invoices, we build our own workflows and business rules. We’ve got the approval flow the way we want it to be and our AP users work in exactly the same way."  

“Since our AP-solution is cloud-based, the team can work remotely which has proven to be invaluable, especially now theat we work from home because of COVID-19.”  

Empowering Victaulic insights and analytics to help them make decisions

Another advantage of Medius AP Automation is complete visibility into outstanding invoices, process bottlenecks and performance indicators.

When a logistics manager has an agreement with a transportation provider, they can access the invoice and payment data in detail, and if necessary, they can take measures to pay this organization on time and secure crucial shipments. Using this approach, every manager can get a status report with real time status of the affected invoices.  

Victaulic worked together with Columbus Sweden when implementing Medius AP Automation. The two businesses have completed multiple IT-projects in the past, with the Infor M3 ERP system.

Columbus offers solutions for a seamless digital transformation and has customer satisfaction as its main priority. There were some technological challenges at the start of the project, but they were quickly solved after the two organizations worked together and thrashed out the specific details.

In the first stage, Victaulic focused on the offices in Poland and Belgium with the latter considered the European headquarters. Now, Victaulic is enjoying the results of the new automated processes in other regions as well, in territories such as Mexico and China.

One thing is absolutely sure: Victaulic has total control of their AP process.

 

About Victaulic

Victaulic is a global manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining, flow control and fire protection systems and is the inventor of the grooved pipe coupling. The worldwide company builds innovative technologies and provides engineering services that address complex piping challenges. The products of Victaulic are used in some of the world’s most demanding markets and for some of the most challenging piping applications. The more than 100 years old company is built on innovation. Today, Victaulic is known as the leading innovator in piping solutions and services with offices and productions sites around the world. HQ is situated in Pennsylvania, US.