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Leading logistics firm improves reporting with Advanced hosted solutions

04/06/2015 minute read Mark Dewell

SMH Fleet Solutions streamlines the processing of 50,000 purchase invoices each year

SMH Fleet Solutions (SMH Fleet), a leading provider of vehicle management and logistics services to the motor industry, has transformed efficiency by implementing a financial management software with integrated electronic workflow and document management functionality from Advanced.

The firm went live with the software, which has already improved management reporting, boosted cash flow and cut paper-based administration, in January 2015. It is being hosted in dedicated data centre facilities by Advanced. The managed service includes 24/7 performance monitoring to ensure the resiliency and security of the system. 

SMH Fleet has grown year-on-year sales by 10% during the last five years which has seen its turnover surpass £30 million. The company employs 270 staff across four UK sites in Bolton, Worcester, Gloucester and Bedford.

Advanced’s systems have automated several manually intensive processes and improved the accessibility and reporting of financial information to improve productivity across the organisation.

Justyna Silcock, Finance Manager at SMH Fleet Solutions, explains, 

“We used our previous finance system for 11 years but it was inflexible and kept crashing and as the business expanded it couldn’t cope. It was a big step for us to seek a new solution but essential in order to improve efficiency.”

“We considered three systems but Advanced’s software offered vastly superior reporting and integration capabilities, along with the added flexibility and cost benefits of being hosted in the Cloud. The implementation project was also delivered under budget and ahead of schedule.”

The OpenAccounts finance solution has provided greater visibility of operational performance across each of SMH Fleet’s separate sites. The company’s finance team can now close its month-end accounts in a timelier manner and post payments in different financial periods which wasn’t possible before. In addition, the 50,000 purchase invoices it receives each year are now scanned centrally, tagged to the appropriate record in OpenAccounts and electronically stored using the document management technology (powered by V1).

To further streamline purchase-to-pay processes, Advanced’s integrated eBIS workflow system enables invoices and management expenses to be approved remotely. Approvers are alerted by email and can click a link to view the imaged document requiring their authorisation. In September 2015, eBIS will be rolled-out to SMH Fleet’s transporter drivers to enable them to submit expense claims and track their approval from anywhere using the system’s mobile app.

Silcock says, “eBIS has dramatically increased productivity and is regarded as being very easy to use by our employees  We no longer experience delays as a result of documents requiring signatory approval or going missing in the internal post. Reducing our reliance on paper has also freed-up vital on-site storage space and eliminated third party archiving costs.

“Our management reporting information is now far more accurate and provides an up-to-date picture of our financial position. Gaining the ability to make payments in different financial periods has also allowed us to spread our costs and increase cash flow.”

Further to the success that SMH Fleet has achieved, the company is considering implementing Advanced’s HR software, Cloud HR, to support its continued growth.