Home News & Insights Rural Livestock Reaps the Benefits of Going Paperless

Rural Livestock Reaps the Benefits of Going Paperless

"I investigated six or seven providers and their solutions, but in the end, what it came down to was how Sharp understood what Rural Livestock required and the solution they proposed was better than other providers". 

- Stephen McCormick, Finance Controller - Rural Livestock

Rural Livestock is a 100% New Zealand owned and operated company based in the South Island.  They build powerful networks that link farmers with other farmers and meat processors in the trading of livestock.  Since consulting with Sharp, Rural Livestock have implemented an M-Files document and information management solution, with tremendous benefit.

Key Challenges before M-Files

"When I started working at Rural Livestock, all of our documents were hand-written and paper based.  Our Agents were writing sales notes, including the names and contact details of the buyers, sellers, prices and commission amounts for livestock trading transactions.  Due to the rural location of business activities, these sales notes were often posted, faxed, or emailed to head office for further processing by the accounts team." - Stephen McCormick, Finance Controller, Rural Livestock

Over and above the transactions on Auction Days, Rural Livestock were processing up to 100 hand-written Sales Notes per day, which were then manually data captured by admin staff.  The end result is that vendors and buyers were not receiving invoices or payments on time and the information was not always correct, causing further delays in processing.

"Accuracy and delays were the main problems we faced with paper-based transactions."

The time inefficiency also affected Rural Livestock's Accounts Team, who struggled to process invoices within the company's mandated five-day processing period.

In order to scale the business and stay on top of the numerous transactions being processed on a weekly basis, the company knew they required a digital solution.

"Using paper-based documents was not sustainable for current requirements or future growth".  Stephen started looking for solutions and found Sharp, a certified M-Files delivery partner.

Selecting and Implementing M-Files

"I investigated six or seven providers and their solutions, but in the end, what it came down to was how Sharp understood what Rural Livestock required and the solution they proposed was better than other providers".

How well did Sharp understand your needs?

With user adoption and efficiency improvement at the forefront of Sharp' strategic M-Files implementation plan, discovery meetings began, to discuss the needs and objectives of Rural Livestock.

"Sharp's skills and knowledge in the solution space are phenomenal and Zane and Erik's ability to adapt to our needs was what really made us choose to partner with Sharp".

Rural Livestock Agents are located in many rural parts of the South Island and the ability to work off mobile devices is key in assisting the business to work more efficiently.  "The M-Files platform is accessible from any electronic device, be it a laptop, a phone or tablet, which was a huge selling point for us.  Furthermore, the ability to work and capture transactions in real time meant that Agents did not have to do this after hours and had much more time to engage with their clients".

Implementation Process

"Our strategy was to get our head office staff up to speed with M-Files, while they ran the old system as a backup.  Now all of our Agents are using M-Files with great success and seeing that, actively encourages our remaining staff to unlock its potential, but it's a process of learning and development."

Four years into their partnership with Sharp, Rural Livestock continue to mould their solution to maximise efficiency in a scalable and phased development process, explains McCormick; "Our initial specifications for M-Files looked a lot different from the end result now.  We had a lot of expectations around getting the Agents to adopt the new technology immediately.  In reality we had to work with Sharp ,M-Files and our Agents so that they could sell and process payments in a way that worked for them".

"Their payment cycle has now gone from days to hours and their reporting and information gathering capabilities have increased significantly.  Transactions are processed instantly, accounts are updated automatically and all information is accurate and easy to find.  This all adds real value to Rural Livestock customers and is instrumental in attracting new ones."

Is it time to upgrade your document management system?  Do you want to look into how Sharp's suite of smart software solutions can transform your business for the better?  Helping kiwi businesses improve business efficiencies is our bread and butter.  Get in touch with one of our friendly specialists today to organise a free no-obligation consultation. 

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