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PlaceMakers: Automated Accounts Payable

1st September 2020

PlaceMakers (trading under Fletcher Distribution Limited) is New Zealand’s leading and largest supplier of building materials and hardware, employing over 2,500 staff at more than 50 stores across the country.


The finance division at Fletcher Distribution receives over 100,000 invoices a month. Around half of these were being delivered via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) from major suppliers, with the rest arriving by post.

Steve Scott, Finance Manager of Fletcher Distribution recalls “a big mailbag would arrive each day, and envelopes were dumped on a desk. We had 15 staff that spent their day opening mail, checking the invoices and manually keying in data. It was very expensive”.

PlaceMakers asked Canon Business Services to provide an accounts payable workflow solution for their business.


Canon Business Services arranged for invoices to be delivered to a private box and dispatched daily to Canon Business Services' scanning facility. Invoices are scanned and a 2-way match is performed, using the header and purchase order number from each invoice. Line items are then checked on screen.


The Canon Business Services outsourced invoice processing solution lowered the demand on internal IT resources and reduced PlaceMakers’ full-time staff.

There has been significant improvement to accuracy and validation between Canon Business Services and the customer’s ERP system in Oracle, and the outsourced solution provided immediate operational cost savings with minimal CAPEX required. “It has created visibility into an area that was previously difficult to review”, says Scott.

Canon Business Services reporting allows monitoring of productivity and efficiency, including reporting on the time it takes to process an invoice. It also provides improved audit tracking and accountability through the use of history screen and management.

"The Canon Business Services solution has lowered the demand on internal IT resources and reduced our full time staff. The ability to destroy the original invoices after three months has reduced our storage requirements enormously."

Steve Scott - Finance Manager Fletcher Distribution, PlaceMakers
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