Hornady® Manufacturing Company Customer Story
Founded in 1949, Hornady® Manufacturing Company is a family-owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. Proudly manufacturing products made only in the US, Hornady is a worldwide leader in the production of ammunition, reloading tools and secure-storage products. In this Q&A with Director of Financial Operations Carla Nolan, you’ll discover the reasons behind the company’s decision to automate accounts payable (AP) with Esker, how it’s going so far, and how they plan to leverage automation in future.
As a global leader in firearms ammunition and accessory manufacturing, Hornady must process a large volume of invoices every month. The AP team at Hornady is overseen by Carla Nolan, Director of Financial Operations, and in addition to overseeing the AP department, she is also responsible for the company’s cash management operations — meaning she is the go-to person for any and all finance-related questions or issues at Hornady. As the number of incoming invoices started to increase, the team’s continued reliance on manual processes and inability to keep up with the growing workload made it clear to Carla that it was time for change. Hornady began its search for an automated AP solution to tackle their biggest invoicing challenges, and that led them to Esker.
What internal challenges made you realize it was time to automate your process?
Carla Nolan: Our AP simply wasn’t able to keep up with the number of invoices we were receiving. With all of the manual processes we had in place, it made it difficult for them to prioritize their work and ensure everything was getting done in a timely manner. It got to a point where we had to decide what the best path forward would be: increase our headcount or look at software that can help alleviate some of these pain points. Obviously, we went with Esker instead of increasing our headcount in the AP area.
How has the day-to-day improved for your staff?
Carla Nolan: What it's done the most for us is to organize all of the information. I'm able to jump into the dashboard and look and see if the team is caught up and if we have any past-due invoices. The great thing is that I can look at those in real time and see what my people are doing and what issues they're faced with. I can see which approvers are performing well and which vendors have the most exceptions. There is a ton of information to see, and it’s all clearly laid out right on the dashboard.
If you had to pick, what is one feature in Esker you couldn’t live without?
Carla Nolan: Definitely the automated workflows. We've established workflows that are set up within the system so that our AP specialists, or anybody for that matter, can jump into any vendor account and know where that invoice needs to go for approvals. Before Esker, only specific people could work on certain vendors or else they would have to go back and do research to figure out how those invoices need to be routed and who they need to talk to. But now, even when someone has been on vacation, we've been able to bring one of our AR people over and have them process invoices without missing a beat.
What overall benefits have you seen through Esker?
Carla Nolan: There has been a huge increase in efficiency overall. Instead of being behind and chasing after the work, we're now able to play offense. In that regard, we’ve been able to look at process improvements and focus on more important tasks within the department rather than feeling like we’re behind and having to play catch-up all day with our work.
How has your staff’s work-life balance changed since using Esker?
Carla Nolan: We’ve always talked about having a healthy work-life balance at our company, and my team is really able to live that out now. Our staff don’t have to plan as far in advance to take time off, and the workflow has been a lot steadier for them. They can sit down in the morning and know exactly what they have to do that day, which is very nice from a planning perspective.
Are you seeing an impact on key metrics since implementing Esker?
Carla Nolan: We’ve really seen a drop, which has now more so turned into “levelling off”, of our overall AP aging balance. This has provided a lot more stability for cash forecasting. The metrics also allow us to see average days to pay vendors, average days for approvers to approve, and of course average days for AP processors throughout the payment process.
Automate with Esker
Want to learn more about the benefits of automating your AP process? Check out what Esker Accounts Payable has to offer and discover more automation success stories at www.esker.com. In fact, here’s another AP automation success story that we recommend!
Subscribe to new posts