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Lacklands Case Study

Lacklands Case Study

Lacklands is a one-stop shop for photographic supplies in New Zealand (NZ). As the business has grown, it has evolved and expanded into other electronics. Lacklands is now the largest independent accessory supplier in NZ with an inventory list including anything from home security systems to aerial imaging equipment to weather stations. Always trailblazers, Lacklands was one of the first companies in NZ to implement MYOB Exo to manage its accounting.

The debtor management challenges

Lacklands’ fast growth brought new challenges to the business, including a mounting list of debtors. At the beginning of 2016 they started to look for solutions that would help them become more efficient in debtor management.

Abhishek Sood is Lacklands’ Assistant Accountant and is responsible for managing collections and keeping credit management on track.

“Managing our debtors was quite time-consuming. We have about 1,000 small debtors and it can be difficult to keep track of each of them and remember when to call them back individually,” explains Abhishek.

“Back in 2016, about 30 percent of our debtors didn’t pay on time and that’s a lot of people to call,” explains Abhishek. “We also have to report to the Board regularly about how many debtors haven’t paid and that gave the accounting team extra incentive to find new ways to improve our debtor management.”

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What Lacklands looked for in a debtor management solution

  • Integration: As one of the first companies to adopt MYOB Exo in NZ, Lacklands was open to new technology but they wanted to make sure it complemented their accounting system. They looked for a solution that could integrate and sync seamlessly with MYOB Exo
  • Automation: With so many debtors to manage, Lacklands wanted a solution that automatically reminded their customers when invoices were due. By automating this process their accounting team could then focus on specific debtors who needed a high-touch approach.
  • Workflow managementKeeping track of when to call overdue debtors was challenging. It was difficult to manage this process using spreadsheets, so Lacklands wanted a solution that reminded them who to call and when.
  • Save time: Managing debtors was a full-time job. Lacklands wanted to reduce the workload of its accounting team by letting automation do part of a person’s work. This would let their accountants spend more time on other value-adding tasks.
  • Customisation: While Lacklands has many small debtors, it also has several large customers who have different payment terms and relationship management processes. They wanted to make sure that these larger customers didn’t receive any collection emails, so it was important that their collections system could be customised to suit each debtor relationship.

 

The results with ezyCollect

Abhishek reports that ezyCollect is now an important tool in the business and the results speak for themselves:

With ezyCollect, 80 percent of our accounts team’s work is done,” explains Abhishek.

  • Reduced workload: ezyCollect has reduced the accountant’s personal workload by 60 percent. “Debt collection used to be almost a full-time job, but now it’s only about 40 percent of my role,” explains Abhishek.
  • On-time payments: Lacklands has also seen a big improvement in how many of its debtors now pay on time – this has gone from 70 percent to almost 95 percent. The automatic emails from ezyCollect remind people that we’re going to call them and they’re prompted to pay. It’s great!” explains Abhishek.

    95 percent of debtors now pay on time.

  • Efficiency: Abhishek doesn’t need to maintain a spreadsheet to keep track of his debtors anymore. There’s a feature on ezyCollect that gives me a call list based on communication rules that I’ve set up in the system. This tells me who I have to call and when, or who we have to stop giving credit to. This automation makes my job so much easier.”
  • Cash flow: Lacklands’ financial position has also benefited from its improved collections process. “Our balance sheet has improved considerably, our debtors are down, and the Board has given me positive feedback about this,” says Abhishek.

 

Abhishek’s top tip for using ezyCollect

“Make sure that you sync ezyCollect with your accounting software before you send any emails. You don’t want to irritate any customers who have actually paid,” explains Abhishek. “By syncing before we send emails we can make sure that our systems are all on the same page.”
(N.b. Myob Exo users can set the system to automatically sync with their software as often as every hour and users can also manually sync at any time.)


Who can benefit from ezyCollect

Abhishek believes many types of businesses can benefit from using ezyCollect. “It’s good for medium to large scale businesses that have a lot of debtors. Any business that has more than 500 debtors will benefit from this software. It will make sure your accounts team doesn’t spend the whole day sending emails to debtors,” says Abhishek.

And a final word from Abhishek: “ezyCollect is a really nice feature to have in place and the team at ezyCollect are also great to work with. I know if I have an issue I can always speak to a real person through live chat and tell them what’s happening. Sometimes they might need to take a closer look at the issue, but they always come back with a solution quickly.”

To test drive the difference ezyCollect can make in your business, try it for free.

See how AR automation works to get your accounts receivables under control

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Sheffield Group Case Study

Sheffield Group Case Study

Sheffield Group has stood the test of time, delivering an extensive range of cutting tools and accessories to large and small businesses for over 40 years. The Australian company is continually working on improving processes and technology, while retaining customer satisfaction as their top priority. Finding ways to do things better is ingrained in how they do business.

The debtor management challenge

When Kimberley Allbut joined the company five years ago, her main task was following up the hundreds of  customers with small-value invoices that became overdue each month. While regular customers would eventually pay, she often needed to phone them first with a polite reminder.  “I would spend at least an hour each day on debt chasing,” says Kimberley. “I could see that if we could automate that process of contacting the smaller accounts that needed a reminder each month, then we could save the company a lot of time.”

“I would spend at least an hour each day on debt chasing.”

What Sheffield Group looked for in a solution

During her free trial period, Kimberley was keen to test out the personalisation features on the automated payment reminders. It was vital to Sheffield Group that they maintain the close personal touch they’ve built with their customers over the past four decades.
Being a goal-driven company, Kimberley also had some accounts receivables goals she was hoping to achieve with the aid of ezyCollect.

The results with ezyCollect

  • Overdue customers still receive a friendly reminder from the company; it’s now in the form of email reminders, saving Kimberley the time she used to spend on phone calls.

    “We can contact a lot more customers than we ever could previously.”

  • Sheffield Group achieved the 2016 goal they set for their business of reducing debtor days by 10%.  The business maintained the improvement throughout 2017.

“Achieving fewer debtor days has improved our cash flow a lot.”

  • The most valuable improvements have been in accounts in the danger zone i.e. 60 days overdue. These aged debtors have been reduced by 36%.

“We learned that a lot of our customers actually rely on us to remind them; now we help them by being the reminder system they need.”

Who do you recommend can use ezyCollect?

“Any business with a high volume of  invoices and accounts can benefit from a program like this,” says Kimberley.

Kimberley’s top tip for using ezyCollect

Use the ‘Exclude Customers’ feature to remove good payers from the automated reminder schedule. While they may be late to pay sometimes, they generally won’t need to receive  invoice reminders.

ezyCollect is an integral tool in Sheffield Group’s management of accounts receivables. It’s hard to think about doing business without the automation now, ” says Kimberley.

To see how ezyCollect can reverse your late payments problem, book a 1:1 consultation today.

See how AR automation works to get your accounts receivables under control

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Knight BPO Case Study

Knight BPO Case Study

Shaun Bist is a strong advocate for small-to-medium enterprises. His firm, Knight BPO, specialises in simplifying, streamlining and structuring accounts management systems using methodology typically seen in large enterprises. “Reports, information and processes are just as relevant for SMEs–they need to be on top of that, too,” says Shaun.

The debtor management challenge

Knight BPO manages the books and processes of a variety of organisations across a number of industries. Though diverse, a few of them share a common challenge: how to improve cash flow by reducing overdue debt. With some industries predictably slower to pay than others, Shaun needed a solution to bump his SME clients to the top of the ‘to-be-paid’ list.

What Knight BPO looked for in its debtor management solution

> Automation: Not many SMEs are well-resourced with staff to manage debtors, explains Shaun.“They will only have a part-time, possibly one full-time bookkeeper.”
> Visibility: When dealing with bigger businesses or even not-for-profits, clients’ invoices were sometimes overlooked, lost in the system, or simply ignored.
>Systematic communication: In Shaun’s experience, an overdue invoice requires up to two reminders to get some sort of response.
> Tracking and reporting: Knight BPO needed accurate information and tracking of debtors in order to report payment progress back to their clients.
> Customisation: Knight BPO’s clients want to decided on escalating actions (like referral to a debt collection agency) on a case-by-case basis.
> Scheduling of tasks: The Knight team needed clarity around debtor management tasks allocated to each of them.

Download 8 Free Reminder Templates

The results with ezyCollect

Consistent system-generated communications have been key to getting clients’ invoices paid and cash flow improving. Even if an invoice has been ‘lost’ somewhere between being issued and being paid, the second and third follow-up reminders put the invoice back on the debtor’s radar.

  • Within three months, one Knight BPO client stopped using credit financing to cover cash flow shortfalls, paid back its financing loans plus interest, and became cash flow positive.
  • Knight BPO saves an estimated 5 hours of debt management duties per week for each client using ezyCollect.
  • Within three months, one Knight BPO client has slashed its overdue debts by as much as 75%, with only 10% of debts now overdue.
  • Follow-up tasks like making phone calls are automatically allocated to Knight BPO staff–no more confusion about who’s doing what.
  • The complete history of debtor management  tasks per customer is logged in ezyCollect, so Knight can update its clients with accurate information.

    Within three months, one Knight BPO client had slashed its overdue debts by as much as 75%.

Automation and systematic methodology has been key to leveling the playing field between Knight’s SMEs and their big business customers.  And Knight BPO is not afraid to politely jostle its SME clients to the head of the creditor queue.

Shaun’s top tip for using ezyCollect:
The language of reminders is important so personalise the reminder templates to suit your business. Sometimes invoices get ‘lost’ so a gentle first reminder is often appreciated by the debtor.

Shaun’s tip for who can benefit from using ezyCollect:
A business with high volume, low value invoices will benefit; and businesses that need to send a few reminders before payment occurs.

Download Free 5 Tips To Boost Accounts Receivable

To see how ezyCollect can benefit your bookkeeping clients why not see ezyCollect in action? 

See how AR automation works to get your accounts receivables under control

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Rural Directions Case Study

Rural Directions Case Study

For the past 20 years, Rural Directions has been helping to grow a strong agricultural industry in South Australia—from providing farmers with advice on how to grow and sell their crops, and manage their small family-run businesses, to advising government organizations and large corporates on investment and capacity building in the sector. “We have our own farm as well…so we understand the challenges of farming,” says Sarah Heinjus, Business Support Team Leader.

The debtor management challenge

 

Past due invoices were a challenge to manage. The company bills around 2000 farmers for consultancy services and subscriptions to their independent agribusiness resources. Despite 14-day credit terms, invoices were ageing up to 120 days, says Sarah: “We would let them linger because you never like to ask people for money even though you’ve provided the service.”

“You never like to ask people for money even though you’ve provided the service.”

What Rural Directions looked for in its debtor management solution

 

  • Email reminders
    The company recently changed from posting invoices to emailing them. (Internet reliability and coverage was a problem in some rural areas.) Sarah soon learned that her customers were very accepting of the increasing use of technology and email became the norm.

    Download ezyCollect’s toolkit of AR resources

  • A set-and-forget system
    Rural Directions issues hundreds of sometimes low dollar-value invoices per month. It was taking too much time to follow up the vast majority of these that became overdue. “Taking two hours to chase up a $400 invoice was not a good use of time.”
  • Ability to exclude some customers
    Large government-funded clients still require individual management due to their billing cycle, so Rural Directions wanted to exclude them from automated reminders.
  • Personalisation
    Being polite and respectful to their customers is a high priority for the business. “We know exactly what the feeling is like when things are tough,” says Sarah.  Being able to express their understanding in their payment reminders was important to Rural Directions.
  • Make it easy for clients to pay
    “We know they’re busy and forget,” says Sarah. She looked for features that presented past due amounts neatly to her customers, didn’t overwhelm them with too many emails, and allowed them to make a payment easily.

The results with ezyCollect

 

Sarah started seeing results during her free  trial. “Once I finished the trial I knew I would continue because it just saves so much time,” says Sarah.

Once I finished the trial I knew I would continue because it just saves so much time.

  • Aged receivables declined from 47 percent to 15 percent in the first month.
  • Customers appreciate being reminded. “Once a first reminder goes out I get a flurry of payments and customers ringing up to say: ‘I thought I’d paid but I’ve made a mistake. Thanks for the reminder’,” says Sarah.
  • Since starting ezyCollect at the end of November 2016, ageing receivables have been trending downwards compared to the same time last year. “The trend is pretty obvious,” says Sarah.
  • Rural Directions no longer allocates half a day per week of staff time to follow-up unpaid subscriptions. Instead, automated payment reminders prompt renewals.“That’s a huge saving of time for just one service area of our business,” says Sarah.Rural Directions ezyCollect ageing receivables Since starting ezyCollect, ageing receivables are consistently lower than the previous year.

Sarah’s top tips for using ezyCollect:

 

  • Customise the templates to suit you. “Ours is just a friendly reminder to say ‘I know you’re busy, here’s a reminder.’”
  • Attach a copy of the overdue invoice or a statement of all overdue invoices to your reminder. “No one has time to go hunting for previous emails or invoices.”
  • Add a link in your reminder emails to your online payments gateway.
  • Invest some time in initial setup so you get the most out of the system.
  • Use the online support to send queries or feedback at any time.

Sarah recommends ezyCollect for any business that offers credit terms and doesn’t have the time to manually follow-up when they become past due, particularly if they are small dollar-value. “It’s good for businesses that prefer a soft approach instead of having to make a reminder phone call. I hardly need to make a phone call anymore.”

Rural Directions has been backing farmers for over 20 years. Backing themselves means more time and resources are available to do what they do best. And that’s good for everybody.

 

See how AR automation works to get your accounts receivables under control

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Axsys Case Study

Axsys Case Study

Award-winning ERP business solutions provider, Axsys —they’re MYOB Exo Partner of the Year  2015 and 2014–has been implementing software solutions in leading organisations across Australia for over 20 years. Their Diamond Partner status from MYOB stamps them as the best of the best. So when Axsys needed a debtor management solution to slash overdue debts within its own business, ezyCollect’s automation software made the grade. Director, Karyn Bennett, explains:

The debtor management challenge

“It’s common for clients to need a reminder to pay,” says Karyn. By the time our invoice was finally paid, it could “well and truly be 60 days or more overdue.” With Axsys issuing hundreds of invoices per month, at least 50 were creeping into the 60 and 90 day overdue columns in the Aged Analysis Report that Karyn checks weekly. “Our office manager is very good at following up with our clients, but chasing debtors takes a lot of time, phone calls and emails.”

“…chasing debtors takes a lot of time, phone calls and emails.”

Download 5 Steps To Triple Collections This Week

What Axsys IT looked for in an automation solution

>  Maintaining the personal touch and client relationship: Axsys maintains close and regular contact with its clients so the software solution needed to back Axsys’ commitment to providing the best client care.
>  Consistently reaching every overdue debtor: A large amount of invoices were not receiving consistent follow-ups due to time constraints.
>  Customised reminders: Credit terms are not standard for all clients and some are on project-based payment plans so Axsys needed to customise reminders for each client, including pausing and excluding some clients from receiving reminders.
>  Up-to-date data: Both Karyn and her office manager monitor ageing invoices, so they needed to be able to share accurate up-to-date data on accounts receivables.

Axsys simply needed its invoices to be paid, faster.

The results

Just three months after integrating ezyCollect with its MYOB Exo platform, Axsys can report great results across its accounts receivables management process:

  • Reminders go out predictably, and now reach every overdue debtor.
  • Debts over 90 days overdue have been slashed by around 60%.
  • Debts over 60 days overdue have been slashed by around 40%.
  • Consistent ‘rules’ are established so debtors are followed up within a shorter time frame.
  • Axsys is communicating with debtors even when its staff are on holidays.
  • Reports from the system keep staff updated on each debtor’s status.

    “The time I spend on debtor management now is next to nothing.”  — Karyn Bennett

Axsys’ commitment to the highest standards of professional service hasn’t changed. It’s just the books that look different.

Karyn’s top tip for using ezyCollect:

Invest the time during setup to customise the reminder templates with your own wording and tone, so your communications sound like they come from a person in your business.

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Karyn’s top tip for potential users: Any business with a significant client base (e.g. issuing over 100 invoices with credit terms each month) will benefit from using ezyCollect.

For a guided demo on how ezyCollect can specifically help your debtor management challenges. Book a Demo here.

See how AR automation works to get your accounts receivables under control

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ALX Group Case Study

ALX Group Case Study

ALX Group has spent the last 20 years helping Australian businesses systemise and automate their financial processes. While the first step to streamlining processes often starts with moving the books to the right accounting software, it’s not the end of the line, says Amber Guirguis, founder of ALX Group. “Implementing a specific software is not the fix-all solution. Our expertise is in integrating the added tools that we know can help businesses save time, so they can do high-end value work.”

One of ALX Group’s larger clients, a leading member association in its industry, hosts a major trade event each year. It fills four halls with as many as 400 exhibition stands, some large stands selling for as much as $100,000. Their sales team is responsible for both selling the space and collecting payments from exhibitors.

The debtor management challenge

Because the sales team’s priority is to sell the exhibition space, collecting payment can sometimes be overlooked. Deposits are due in September and final payments due before the event 11 months later, with some exhibitors on payment plans. When the accounts team from ALX Group came on board, they found an entirely manual process, with sales staff communicating ineffectively with debtors due to inaccurate information. “They were spending a lot of time chasing debts that had already been paid or letting some invoices age over 90 days,” explains Amber. With some invoices worth tens of thousands of dollars, the business’s cash cycle was suffering as a result.

“They were wasting a lot of time chasing debts that had already been paid, or letting some invoices age over 90 days.”


What ALX Group looked for in a debtor management solution

ALX Group looked for a solution to help its client simplify debtor management and save time:

  • Single source of information:
    The business needed a single source of data to track every invoice so sales staff could have up-to-date information about outstanding debts.
  • Save time
    ALX Group’s client was chasing debts and losing time from their core job of selling. 
  • Online payments
    The business had tried an online payments solution but found it too costly: the credit card fees were too high to absorb or pass on to their exhibitors.
  • Simple integration
    ALX Group had already streamlined the business with MYOB AccountRight – they needed a tool to work with the existing data.
  • Customisable
    With some debtors on payment plans and some debtors needing amended invoices as they upgraded their initial stand space, ALX Group looked for a solution that could handle the unique agreement with every debtor.

The results with ezyCollect

snip alx

ALX Group’s client has been using ezyCollect for one year. The tool has supported them through their last trade fair and the results speak for themselves:

  • Record-breaking sales
    ALX Group’s client sold its exhibition space in record-breaking time: half the time it has taken in the previous 27 years. Staff were no longer wasting time on chasing payments and dedicated it to customer relationships instead.
  • Paid 84% faster
    Invoices are now seldom paid later than 90 days overdue, with debtor days reduced by as much as 84 percent. The percentage of  debts outstanding by 31-60 days has come down from 91 percent to 65 percent. 
  • Improved profitability
    With cash returning to the business faster, it was able to take advantage of early bird discounts for hall hire and other expenses, improving its profit margin.
  • Online payments
    The low credit card fees available with ezyCollect’s online payments solution, Simplypaid, allowed ALX Group’s client to absorb the fees and pass on the convenience to their debtors. Debtors pay faster now because they simply click to pay with a credit card from their invoices and reminders, and automatically receive a receipt.
  • Saves a day a week
    After automating payment reminders, ALX Group’s client reports that their sales team now saves one day per week as they spend less time reminding debtors to pay.
  • More professional
    ALX Group sees an improvement in their client’s professionalism: reminders to debtors are branded with the client’s logo, and the automation software generates consistent communication with real-time information. “We feel the reminders keep our client’s business top of mind for their clients and offers a professional CRM touch point,” says Amber.

“Our client is very happy with their accounts receivables now. They have more time to talk to their clients about the logistics of the event and offer valuable insights. There’s so much you can do with ezyCollect which we haven’t even utilised yet!”  – Amber Guirguis, ALX Group.

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ALX Group Case Study