To provide to UNFI Canada and its suppliers a way to manage supplier invoices efficiently with full line-level visibility.
Automated match rates have increased, and the foundations have been laid to implement EDI 810 with all inventory suppliers. In addition, Accounts Payable staff have had time freed up to better manage more important aspects of accounts payable and supplier engagement.
UNFI have been sourcing the highest-quality products – locally and around the globe – for 40 years. UNFI’s expertise, combined with UNFI’s 10,000 SKU natural, organic and specialty grocery selection, gives their customers more ways to stand out from the competition. UNFI helps provide the shopping experience their customers want.
UNFI Canada, as the leading distributor of organic and natural products into the Canadian market, has a diverse number of domestic and international suppliers. This meant that UNFI Canada needs to deal with multi-currency suppliers with different allowances, discounts, freight methodologies and customs clearance requirements, which makes for complex supplier invoices within its Accounts Payable environment.
UNFI Canada was looking to increase the automation of its current Inventory AP environment to provide UNFI personnel and suppliers with greater levels of visibility, automation and auditability while improving AP efficiency.
UNFI Canada’s AP system didn’t easily allow for matching at a line level so invoices were matched at header level. Where matching at a header level wasn’t possible, the process became highly manual with AP personnel having to work with Procurement and the supplier to resolve issues. This also negated the ability to automate any debit or credit request processes and relied heavily again on the AP team to manage the process.
Further, within the UNFI Canada Accounts Payable environment process there was a lack of document visibility to be able to efficiently answer queries and respond to suppliers.
B2BE delivered to UNFI Canada the Accounts Payable solution to replace the current ERP-based module that would enable line level matching, an automated ‘one-hit’ invoice matching process with an automated debit process.
Linked to this was the B2BE hosted UNFI Canada Web Portal which will not only provide application access for the Accounts Payable team but provide visibility to all documents associated with the invoice transaction (purchase orders, debit notes, debit note cancellations, etc.)
The UNFI Canada Web Portal will also provide historical access to archived documents to all parties within the supply chain as well as workflows to manage invoice processing.
UNFI Canada is also implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), so that suppliers who are EDI-capable can send invoices electronically, thus further enhancing the automation of UNFI Canada’s AP environment.
The journey provided UNFI Canada and B2BE teams the ability to not only improve on the current payables processes but to also further improve many of the adjacent areas such as Procurement and Finance.
Since the Accounts Payable system has gone live, UNFI Canada has been able to manage complex supplier invoices automatically, even cross-border invoices, and is now able to line-level match invoices. B2BE has also provided to UNFI Canada an automated debit process so that invoices can be rectified quickly ensuring prompt supplier payments.
The UNFI Canada Web Portal will, when implemented, also provide their suppliers access to all the documents in the procure-to-pay process which helps with visibility, control, archiving and ultimately leads to fewer supplier queries and claims.
UNFI Canada, with B2BE, has also started onboarding a number of their supplier’s invoices via EDI which has also reduced the number of paper or email-based invoices further enhancing the automation processes.
everal functions to facilitate the extraction of the purchase order data from any type of document and from any source, as well as identifying and sorting purchase orders using machine learning. This way, the solutions can detect whether an incoming document is a purchase order, a request for a quote, an invoice, or any other type of document that will require specific processing.