Ted Baker is a global plc, fashion retailer and household name brand with stores and concessions worldwide.
The Project scope
Integration of web-based financial management with the company’s existing accounting system to manage purchasing, document management, scanning, invoice authorisation and invoice matching.
Customer Experience – Samantha Sellers, Senior Finance Manager, Ted Baker
As a business we needed to understand what employees were spending. There was no formal process to spend management and the purchase order system was paper-based. This made it difficult to see what payments were outstanding, making financial planning more difficult. In addition, we wanted to improve the process of invoice authorisation around the global business and enhance overall visibility.
Having attended a workshop run by Synantix where we were able to see a demonstration of the system. We invited them to recommend a solution for Ted Baker, they looked at our needs and presented the best solution from a number of options, so took a lot of the work out of the original scoping. They were able to develop a solution to exactly what we needed it to do, in other words, to make it fit with our business.
We looked at another system that integrated with our accounts but it was clunky. It was important that with a project of this scale, with multiple users at all levels, that it was easy to use. The solution offered us the opportunity to easily create a user profiled interface for each job function that only presented the user with the information that was relevant to their function. User-profiling the interface made it more intuitive and far easier for each user to learn.
We were able to map the system to our own finance configuration and processes, by defining our business requirements and rules and applying them to the system’s configuration model that was mapped specifically to our accounting system.
The implementation team worked closely with users across the Company, and in particular finance users, to agree the project specifications and definition user requirements. As the project progressed, we could see opportunities to solve further problems within the cost management process. We asked Synantix if they could build solutions for these opportunities into the project, they always responded to our requests and they never said ‘no we can’t do it’, all the functionality we requested was implemented; I have never experienced that before from a software project.
The system integrated well with our in-house accounting system, we were able to use pre-defined web forms to define how we wanted our integration to work. This made the job simple for our in-house team.
Synantix allowed us to transition from our paper-based system to a completely computerised solution that streamlined with our workflow rules, giving us more integrity in our accounts and complete visibility of spend – it has been amazing.
We have achieved significant improvements in efficiency and accuracy by streamlining processes. As they now automated, we save 15 – 20 hours a week on filing; automated invoice matching means we have also experienced a reduction in duplicate invoices and avoided double payments. It has allowed us to improve our relationship with suppliers as we can assess supplier-spend, we have an instant record of everything they’ve done. Invoice queries can be resolved swiftly as we can see what invoices have been authorised and if not, why. We can even monitor staff productivity.
More cost savings have been achieved from early payment discounts as invoices can be pushed through the system more quickly, they can be flagged to alert us for discounts. As we can now control authorisation limits for each member of staff, we can also tighten up on spend.
Overall Synantix gives us excellent reporting and process audit-trail; we love the system and have now taken it global, processing 30,000 to 40,000 invoices a year, from purchase orders to invoice automation through the entire company.