Crescent Crown Distributing
Crescent Crown Distributing is one of the ten largest beverage distributors in the United States, distributing 34 million cases of beverages from seven different warehouses in Arizona and Louisiana. The company was established in 2001 and currently employs over 1,500 workers.
Prior to Epicor [formerly called DocStar] AP Automation, tens of thousands of invoices and related documents were scanned and entered manually into Microsoft Dynamics GP every year, which led to delays and clerical errors from manual processes. “Before DocStar [now Epicor], we had to manually deliver invoices to execs for approval,” recalled Jessica Balteras, accounting specialist, Crescent Crown Distributing.
“This would cause a lot of missing invoices, a lot of late payments, [and] a lot of losing track of what was due and when it was due.”
“Our accounts payable process used to literally be people running around our office with colored envelopes, trying to get people to sign invoices, which made it pretty complicated— considering we have seven locations across two states,” said Neil Baier, vice president of finance, Crescent Crown Distributing. “Our executives are always traveling, and it became challenging to manage this process. We spent a lot on late fees and tracking down people trying to get things signed.”
The Perfect Six-Pack and Epicor
The company approaches business by following a mission statement they describe as the perfect six-pack. “Two of the bottles of the perfect six-pack are, ‘using tools and technology’ to ‘drive efficiency in all that we do,’” explained Baier. “We knew there had to be a better way to do accounts payable through technology, so we began looking for a system.”
The company evaluated several different solutions and selected Epicor for two main reasons— ease of use and the company’s customer-first attitude. “A lot of times when you deal with software companies in general, after you start a project, it becomes a lot more complicated, and the process is a lot longer than you expect, but DocStar [now Epicor] pretty much underpromised and over-delivered,” said Baier.
Epicor AP Automation was one of the first add-ons Crescent Crown acquired once it installed its Microsoft Dynamics GP environment. By fully integrating Epicor AP Automation with Microsoft Dynamics GP, they now have insight into every invoice and check in the system and have improved productivity through workflow automation.
Accurate Information for Better Business Decisions
With the powerful GOOGLE™ search engine search feature in Epicor AP Automation, finding documents is fast and easy. “At least once a week, we receive inquiries from executives trying to determine how much we’ve spent with a certain vendor in order to analyze our spends,” said Baier. “By using the search functionality, we are able to offer much more accurate business information for our stakeholders to make well-informed decisions for the business.”
“There are hundreds of miles between our facilities, and we require a VP at each location to approve the invoices,” explained Baier. “Now that it’s all electronic, we’ve streamlined our approval process and reduced errors, documents are no longer misplaced, and our late fees have gone down to almost zero. And we save tens of thousands of dollars each year just by paying our invoices on time.”
Eliminating late fees was just the beginning of cost savings for Crescent Crown. The company has also increased productivity, saving at least four to five hours per week of work that included manual entry of invoices. “That’s about 250 hours of labor a year we can use on something more productive,” Baier surmised. “Given the fact Crescent Crown has seen its work force grow from 1,100 to 1,500 over the last five years to support increased sales, we also needed to increase productivity
and efficiency to manage that growth.”
“When we take customer reference calls, I have to tell people I don’t know how their customer service is, because we have never really had to call,” said Baier. “The solution has worked the way it should from the very beginning. The software is reliable, and the few times we have to ask them a question or get their feedback on an issue, there wasn’t a problem they couldn’t quickly solve.”