Now 5 years ago, we first invoiced automatically.

29/06/2018 2:25:39 PM

founder_nic_vincent

Today I was asked to recall 3 “key memories” in CartonCloud’s journey.

I was filling out a document for the Telstra Business Awards (we made the shortlisted).
It’s an interesting question and something I actually have not been asked before. Most people tend to focus on two things, the start and the now:
“How did CartonCloud begin”? and “Where are you at today?” are by far the two most common queries we get when explaining our business. The middle, it seems, while ever-growing - often gets overlooked, yet that’s where everything happens.

I remembered a moment which interestingly enough was the only post I ever wrote on Facebook containing the word “Roving”:

facebook

It sounds really basic, click a button - have the system calculate all of your Transport and Warehouse Rates in one go, but this had literally taken us 13 months of solid work, and an enormous organisation change. To get to this point we’d had to:

  1. Build a complete warehouse management system which could automatically pull in our 3PL clients orders, train all our clients on how and where to send their purchase orders and sale orders, train our staff on how to use the system and then shift all of our existing clients onto the system
  2. Build a transport management system which could also pull in our clients orders automatically, train all our clients on how and where to send their manifests
  3. Build a mobile app for Android (no iOS support back then!) which we could use to capture all the PODs
  4. Modify our organisation so that CartonCloud (or “RMS” as it was known then) was the source of truth, not all the random bits of paperwork flying everywhere.
  5. Simplify our pricing structure - in many cases we had far too many variants of our rates that we provided to clients (they were inherited when we purchased the business), to automate we needed to make this more consistent between our clients.
  6. Probably hundreds if not thousands of other small incremental steps to make the whole process work…

However, from the moment we clicked that button and had our invoicing complete in about 4 minutes we knew we had just:

  1. Removed the need for two full-time admin staff (who were just focused on invoicing) - saving us around $100k
  2. Increased the speed at which we could invoice from being “several weeks behind” to done every Monday by 10am
  3. Increased our cash-flow by about 30 days due to faster invoicing and shorter payment terms (we dropped to 7 day terms) - putting over $100k back into our account
  4. Cut about $200/wk worth of stamps posting PODs back to our clients (all available online)

I remember leaving the office that night, riding home on my mountain bike and thinking about how we could automate the next step - getting the invoices into Xero!

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