Much like any other business our files contain a variety of documents (membership applications, financial statements, loan agreements, vendor invoices and credit memos, Vendor Adjustment Requests (VAR), Vendor Information Agreements, Insurance papers, legal documents, tax documents, etc.) that need to be received, routed, processed, recorded and filed. This paper-based filing process has always been labor intensive, creates challenges when responding to the needs of both member stores and vendors and presents a problem of finding space to store the growing number of files.

In 2010, Wheatbelt began a search for a document management solution to streamline the process of managing the more than 300,000 business documents we process on an annual basis. The solution not only had to provide an easy means for scanning, storing and retrieving information, but it also had to fit with our budget. Ultimately, we selected FileBound Document Management System to store digital copies of all documents we process, implement workflow processes to route these documents to their final destinations, and integrate the data with our accounting software for a complete solution.

Our first FileBound project effort was initiated in February of 2013 to get a handle on the daunting task of managing and cross verifying Vendor Adjustment Request (VAR) forms sent in from the member store to credit memos sent in from our vendors. Our manual based system bogged down the process and made it virtually impossible to meet established deadlines and maintain credible levels of accuracy. With the implementation of FileBound we have in a relatively short period of time greatly enhanced this process and are now meeting daily deadlines.

The big result is information has become immediately accessible and the process is now much more streamlined. With the document management's user friendly search capabilities allowing us to instantly source documents and its feature-rich security module safeguarding access to information on user and/or group level the limited number of employees we exposed to FileBound are deriving higher levels of efficiency and time savings when sourcing VAR and credit memo information. All database records and images are backed up to our network to ensure the information will always be available to our staff and member stores. In a very short time FileBound has saved us time, money and ultimately will open up valuable office space by eliminating rows of file cabinets and boxes we use to store documents.

The introduction of FileBound technology has cut our VAR and credit memo processing cycle from 60 days to one day. VARs and credit memos are now captured the day after receipt and entered into the billing system within 24 hours. The job that required eight labor hours per day to manually manage a process that ran days behind has been cut dramatically. As such, we have been able to deploy further our focuses in other areas of the company.

Our next projects in the mix are the VAR e-Form, which will allow member stores to enter and submit VARs online via the internet and to bring all incoming vendor invoices into the document management system from which we will be able to derive the same benefits we have recognized with the VARs and credit memos. Our goal is to have the VAR e-Form online by October 1, 2013 and provide member stores online access to search for and download all their Wheatbelt vendor invoices by January 1 ,2014.