DocOrganiz Eliminates Manual Processes with Quickbase Sync for CSV
DocOrganiz is in the business of helping clients manage information — from paper documents to accounts payable and other processes. When one of its larger clients needed a better way to track vendor pricing changes, DocOrganiz found a solution with Quickbase that automated the process entirely using the Quickbase Sync for CSV integration capability. The result is that DocOrganiz's customer enjoys peace of mind that its key business data is up to date, and can protect the profitability of its orders by reducing the risk of using outdated information.
- Errors introduced by manually updating pricing lists
- Impact on profitability and customer satisfaction due to outdated pricing information
- Manual data entry costs time and effort better spent elsewhere
- Quickbase for managing consolidated vendor pricing database
- Quickbase Sync for CSV for automatic updates of pricing data via Box integration
- Up-to-date pricing information prevents against profitability loss
- Time savings of up to 60 hours per year in manual data collection and uploading
- Reduced management time spent reviewing purchase orders for approval
As a document management and accounts payable software and service provider, DocOrganiz knows the value of a single source of truth. Helping clients manage invoices, purchase orders, and other related documents has given the company a wealth of experience in building systems to ensure that key client data stays up-to-date and easy to access.
Recently, one client came to DocOrganiz with a challenge. The client has multiple vendors who update their prices sporadically, making it difficult for the client to stay on top of pricing changes. Working from inaccurate information on over 2,000 list prices could impact profitability and customer satisfaction, as the client places orders based on outdated information and is forced to either eat the extra cost or pass it along to customers.
Because each vendor has a different accounting system and method for sending pricing lists, the client's only option was to periodically assign someone to gather the most up-to-date information in a spreadsheet. Next, the person would either enter the updated information manually into the client's Quickbase app or receive a spreadsheet from the vendor to upload into the app and track pricing information. This kind of manual effort was prone to errors and difficult to plan.
So the client asked DocOrganiz, which had built the Quickbase app, to help automate the process. DocOrganiz president Orin Merrill says the effort needed to start with changing the way pricing information was updated in Quickbase.
"Sometimes pricing changes would languish for months, so they needed to change from a manual process to an automated one immediately," he says.
Quickbase Sync for CSV — part of the Quickbase Sync family of code-free Quickbase integration tools — gave DocOrganiz the right tool to automate more of the process and protect its client from outdated or erroneous information. Because Quickbase Sync for CSV can access and retrieve data from any CSV file stored in Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive, DocOrganiz was able to remove manual efforts from the process.
Now, the client's vendors send an email, with a CSV file attached, to a folder in a Box account managed by DocOrganiz. From there, Quickbase Sync for CSV reads the file and imports updated information into the appropriate Quickbase app. DocOrganiz also created an online approval process in the Quickbase app, so the client could approve new vendor products, unit price changes, and changes to non-price attributes (e.g. sales tax or product category) before updating the price list. The scheduling feature in Quickbase Sync ensures that data in the Quickbase app is refreshed according to the client's needs.
"Our vendors were already accustomed to using the CSV file format for invoices, so it wasn't a challenge to get them to send pricing information in the same format," says Merrill. "Quickbase Sync for CSV is very straightforward. It delivers updated information every day, regardless of vacation days, sick days, or fire drills."
The result is better price predictability, less human error, less time spent updating and reviewing pricing changes, and the assurance that DocOrganiz's client is always making decisions based on the latest information. All with minimal effort from the vendor or client.
"Our vision is that the price update process is seamless and untouched by human hand, and Quickbase Sync for CSV made that possible," says Merrill. "Having access to up-to-date pricing information on a daily basis has enabled our client to detect price increases prior to placing orders so they can adhere to budgets and drive profitability and customer satisfaction."
Exploring New Use Cases for Quickbase Sync for CSV
While getting pricing changes and updates under control was a victory for DocOrganiz and its client, Quickbase Sync has opened a new world of opportunities beyond that one process. When a file as universal as a CSV file can be used to update Quickbase automatically, there are almost no limits to the data accessible to Quickbase.
For example, Merrill plans to use Quickbase Sync for CSV to fully automate the invoice upload process. With some tweaks to a Quickbase app, vendors could email invoices as CSV attachments to a Box folder. From there, Quickbase Sync for CSV will import invoice data automatically into Quickbase, associating the invoices with their corresponding purchase orders and invoice PDFs to create a complete invoice record automatically.
The Quickbase app would then take over, performing a line-by-line match of invoices and associated purchase orders and running the invoices through a management approval process.
The result of this process would be a dramatic reduction of the time required to process invoices and a more accurate accounts payable practice — and more satisfied customers.