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KEY POINTS

  • Full integration with Infor SunSystems (a key corporate goal).
  • End of manual accounting intervention to cope with multiple
    small accounts.
  • Greater visibility into not just subsidiary but cross-group finance.
  • Improved credit control, tracking, and greater invoice security.
  • Possibility of enhancements including import of sales figures into CSB.
  • Multiple benefits from modernising and standardising of accounting workflow across the whole company.

THE COMPANY

Successful Isle of Man local shipping and logistics company Mezeron, part of Döhle Limited, has been providing businesses on the Island itself, as well as Ireland and the UK. Part of maritime services leader Peter Döhle Group since 2008, Mezeron prides itself on a reliable, cost effective shipping service to anyone on the island who wants any goods or household items shipped, acting as a trusted middleman for clients who don’t want to pay expensive charges.

Key to doing that: efficient financial control. The problem, however, is that by the nature of its business, the company has a large number of constantly changing, one-off customers, which, in the words of Elaine Darlow, Manager of Group Accounts for Döhle as a whole, can makes efficient invoicing and credit management somewhat complicated.

“With Mezeron it’s not standard week-in, week out billing. We need to service whoever wants to put goods on the vessel and get it transported,” she says. “You do have regular customers but a lot of it is small orders.” To handle all these small invoice amounts and transactions historically meant extra manual input and on a recurring monthly basis.

In addition, authorisations were not well managed, with Darlow pointing out that issuing credit notes was a process with little or any controls or proper authorisation, meaning needless errors could occur, such as inadvertent duplication of payments. Finally, the finance team also needed to group lots of transactions into one account, a less than satisfactory way of working from the Group perspective.

THE NEED

Clearly Mezeron needed a good sales invoicing and credit management technology to best support the large number of ad hoc small invoices it raises to help its creditor customers, as well as deal with these inefficiencies. To resolve the situation and help Mezeron work better, on the advice of Sapphire Systems, Darlow and her team replaced an older Mezeron Sage accounting system with Infor SunSystems, the main finance engine for the company as a whole.

To help with the business unit’s specific challenges, and after a combination of extensive market evaluation and guidance from trusted partner Sapphire Systems, Darlow says it found only Contract and Service Billing (CSB) and Collect Credit Management from Professional Advantage fit the bill.

Why? Because CSB offers Döhle’s finance team the ideal way for Mezeron to handle ad hoc invoicing in a streamlined way that both does the job but also integrates with Infor SunSystems and in a costeffective way. That monthly extra work could not only be eliminated, even better the software can be linked directly to the Infor SunSystems ledger, and data can be imported into CSB directly, ensuring the integrity of the data further by introducing extra control steps.

OBJECTIVE

Döhle went to market for a solution to better manage its invoicing and credit control, as well as tighten up on debtor days arising from manual approaches. Another desired end result was greater security and visibility into the business at group level, as well as being a solution that fully integrated with its core Infor SunSystems finance platform.

CHALLENGES

Because of the specific nature of its business, Mezeron has a large number of small customers who work with it in a seasonal, unpredictable way. That creates a complicated invoicing and credit management workflow that needed a lot of manual support to manage.

BETTER UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER STATUS

Along with CSB, Mezeron has introduced Collect to help with debt collection, which, as a direct result of Mezeron’s high-volume ad-hoc invoicing, can get complicated. The good news here is that Collect has immediately started to reduce long term overdue amounts through the automation of the sending of regular statements and reminder letters. The seamless link from Collect, through to CSB, and then SunSystems made the process easy.

“When you’ve got a combination of lots of customers and a small finance team like in Mezeron, information can get lost or become hard to find unless you store things like payment agreements automatically and digitally,” she points out. “Since Collect came on-stream, the team has a much better understanding of the status of any customer’s account and can quickly access all the relevant notes.”

Mezeron’s finance team say that a big benefit of the implementation of the Professional Advantage solutions into its business processes, was its fast and efficient implementation. “Working with Sapphire, the Professional Advantage team arrived in October and we went live in February, which really helped us a lot, and we managed to get invoicing out within the first week of going live.”

Darlow also praises the improved internal consistency that’s been achieved since all parts of Döhle are now on the same platform, supported by the Professional Advantage add-ons. “On management reporting, because it is all in Infor SunSystems, everything is linked and all goes the same way,” she says. “Right across the group, everything is now in the same workflow at last.”

Clearly, implementation of CSB and Collect at this busy shipping firm has delivered efficiencies at Mezeron and secured more secure invoicing processes and much better credit management. Important for a company that does such a valued job for a lot of Manx business and consumers.

THE SOLUTION

Infor SunSystems Collect and Contract & Services Billing (CSB) from Professional Advantage were selected, through partners Sapphire. The modules are providing the desired full integration with Infor SunSystems at a low cost, as well as automating and improving a complicated internal business accounting process.