Making ERP Work for Accounts Payable: The Story of Central Maintenance and Welding

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I’ve written at length about the value of integrating ERP systems with accounts payable (AP) automation solutions to drive powerful return on investment – for technology, productivity, efficiency, and more.

But just how powerful is that return on investment, and how are organizations of all industries leveraging the combination of ERP solutions with AP automation technology to extract it? Consider the story of Metafile customer Central Maintenance and Welding (CMW).

Central Maintenance and Welding, Inc. (CMW) was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Lithia, Fla.  CMW’s 375 employees provide customized welding, construction, fabrication, and maintenance services in the plants and facilities of chemical, mining, power generation, and other companies in Florida and internationally.

CMW’s accounts payable, order processing, and customer service processes are largely rooted in materials used and time spent in conjunction with customers’ projects. Once materials are purchased, the resulting invoices and supporting documentation are provided to the customer. A CMW invoice is also provided that includes billing for employees’ time on the project. The CMW invoice is designed to bring together all vendor invoices – from time sheets, to equipment logs, to stock transfers, and more – to facilitate prompt payment. CMW’s AP and accounts receivable (AR) departments were entirely paper-based, operating without standardized procedures. Piles of paper-based vendor and customer invoices, purchase orders, time sheets, and supporting documentation prevented CMW from providing and receiving accurate payments from suppliers and customers for services rendered.

The role and value of paperless technology in creating efficiency, transparency, and cost savings was very new to CMW leaders and employees. The organization needed an AP and AR document management solutions provider that could leverage existing technology as a means to create operational standards ahead of automation, and whose knowledge of and integration with the Microsoft Dynamics environment could generate near-immediate return on its ERP investment.

Consider these ROI-driven results:

Seamless integration with the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution.  Metafile facilitated data sharing, indexing, and search between its MetaViewer AP and AR document management solution and CMW’s Microsoft Dynamics system.

Standardization of AP and AR processes.  Metafile experts and the company’s MetaViewer solution successfully transitioned CMW’s AP and AR functions from 100 percent paper-based to 100 percent paperless, laying the foundation for immediate and measurable return on investment.

Empowering future decision making.  As CMW continues to expand and grow, the MetaViewer solution will offer the organization’s leaders a real-time, active view of information they can use to bolster confidence in future financial decision making.

CMW’s story is just one example of how organizations of all kinds considering integrated paperless ERP can – and do – achieve powerful short- and long-term ROI for their technology investments every day and how these benefits can be realized by nearly every department.

By Nick Sprau, Metafile Information Systems

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