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Transforming a Costly Drop-Ship Process into a Money Machine

Updated: Oct 2, 2023


Forklift icon lifting a blue box, a beacon and a battery with the Swift Industrial Power Logo

INTRODUCTION


"Datahaven fit the sweet spot for our company for functionality and cost." - Mike Swift, President, Swift Industrial Power. Swift Industrial Power, a family-owned business established in 1965, is a prominent player in the stationary power, motive power, and wireless services markets.


With a customer-centric approach and a commitment to delivering personalized service, Swift Industrial has experienced remarkable growth, generating more than $120 million a year in revenue.


To sustain (and accelerate) its expansion and overcome operational challenges, Swift sought a strategic partnership with Torrential Data to implement Datahaven 365—a patented solution designed to standardize, centralize, and streamline AP processing and document management more broadly.


At the outset, Swift Industrial recognized the limitations of its existing processes. They realized that technology alone could not support inefficient practices.


One critical operation, the drop-ship process, presented challenges in terms of visibility, control, and timely procure-to-pay cycles. The organization's geographical sprawl across multiple states and offices only exacerbated inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and risk. A paper-intensive workflow hindered effective collaboration, impeded customer inquiries, and disrupted vendor payment timelines.


Swift's continuous growth necessitated the addition of staff and storage space. It became clear that a scalable, integrated, and paperless AP processing solution with a robust digital document management system was essential, along with improved workflow processes.


THE CHALLENGE


Datahaven is as important to us as our Business Central ERP system. We don't make any software decisions without thinking about the impact on Datahaven and Business Central.


APPROACH


You can’t have a bad process and expect a better outcome just because of technology.


"The Datahaven team helped us design better processes first." - Mike Swift, President, Swift Industrial Power Swift Industrial understood that enhancing processes before implementing technology was crucial for success.


The drop-ship process was a perfect example.


Before Datahaven, when the vendor invoice was received, it took as long as 17 days to realize there might be a disconnect between what the customer ordered and what was received from Swift’s vendor, research and resolve the issue, and send the sales invoice to the customer.


Now, with the comprehensive, real-time visibility afforded by Datahaven, Swift knows immediately that the sales invoice can go out when the vendor’s invoice comes in. Although the drop-ship process required specific attention, Swift had broader goals, including eliminating paper-based bottlenecks, fostering collaboration and visibility through sound processes and workflows, and reducing the need for additional administrative staff.


For example, the native file attachment capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central theoretically addressed some AP processes, but it proved insufficient for Swift's objectives.


The Datahaven 365 extension seamlessly complemented Business Central, providing organized communication, embedded folder structures, customizable workflows, and centralized document management accessible to all stakeholders, from AP to Sales to Leadership. Streamlined Processes.


Administrative tasks that previously took days were completed swiftly, reducing the time between PO submission and invoicing from up to 17 days to a mere 5 minutes for drop-ship transactions. Space and Cost Savings. Eliminating commercial office space previously dedicated to storing hard-copy documents and cabinets resulted in annual savings of $100,000. Increased Efficiency. Processing over 20,000 documents annually, Swift Industrial efficiently reduced 4,000 administrative hours—an equivalent of 30% in reduced administrative resources—allowing the reallocation of talented staff to more value-added activities. Enhanced Collaboration.


Datahaven provided accessibility and autonomy, enabling sales and financial leadership to access documents and data directly, improving internal communications and more streamlined workflows. Scalability and Flexibility. The virtual folder structure, automated tasks/alerts, and streamlined workflows offered by Datahaven facilitated self-service and provided visibility across Swift's operations ecosystem, regardless of location or state.


Datahaven is as important to us as our Business Central ERP system. We don't make any software decisions without thinking about the impact on Datahaven and Business Central.

RESULTS AND BENEFITS

  • Streamlined Processes. Administrative tasks that previously took days were completed swiftly, reducing the time between PO submission and invoicing from up to 17 days to a mere 5 minutes for drop-ship transactions.


  • Space and Cost Savings. Eliminating commercial office space previously dedicated to storing hard-copy documents and cabinets resulted in annual savings of $100,000. Increased Efficiency. Processing over 20,000 documents annually, Swift Industrial efficiently reduced 4,000 administrative hours—an equivalent of 30% in reduced administrative resources—allowing the reallocation of talented staff to more value-added activities.


  • Enhanced Collaboration. Datahaven provided accessibility and autonomy, enabling sales and financial leadership to access documents and data directly, improving internal communications and more streamlined workflows.


  • Scalability and Flexibility. The virtual folder structure, automated tasks/alerts, and streamlined workflows offered by Datahaven facilitated self-service and provided visibility across Swift's operations ecosystem, regardless of location or state.


CONCLUSION


Datahaven elevated our internal communications. We continued building workflows over the year; we started with simple ones initially – to collect all invoices and pull them out and post them.


"But now, we route them to different people for corrections." - Mike Swift, President, Swift Industrial Power.


THE DATAHAVEN SOLUTION


Developed by Torrential Data Solutions, the Datahaven solutions leverage a patented combination of Deep Data Linking™ technology and dynamic, virtual folders to provide instant, comprehensive visibility to every relevant document needed to make business decisions. We have seamlessly embedded these unique folder structures throughout Microsoft Dynamics Customer Engagement, Finance & Operations, and Business Central—not to mention Microsoft Outlook, Teams, and the Power Platform—and added hundreds of advanced document automation features ranging from scanning and OCR—with the latest artificial intelligence features--to workflow routing and approval.




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