The American giant Scotts, one of the largest global producers of garden treatment and nutrition products, also operates in France through Scotts France. The company designs, manufactures and distributes fertiliser and treatment products to protect house and garden plants, and trades under the Scotts brand names (Fertiligène, KB, Substral and Miracle-Gro).
Background and issues
Before, expenses claims were processed using Excel. This manual processing resulted in numerous entry errors, calculation formulae were sometimes wrong, and the approval period was much too long. Receipts sent by post got lost. From an accounting point of view, it was difficult to correct amounts. This long, tedious and boring re-entry work was also a source of errors in terms of amounts or individuals.
With this in mind, the accounting department launched the Notilus project in 2005. ‘The Notilus solution provided by DIMO Software was chosen over the American solution already used at our United States head office, which we thought was too expensive and less user-friendly. We found Notilus to be the solution best suited to our needs’.
Implementation of the project
The specifications were written by the accounts manager and Marlène Camus with the help of DIMO Software consultants. ‘The DIMO Software team supported us in our reflection and guided us through the process’. ‘It’s essential to anticipate all needs and really reflect on the workflow before the project begins. The current travel policy is integrated within the tool itself, which manages the various limits according to the position and profile of employees.
‘The software is so simple that all we had to do was provide general information to the whole company by email to inform them of the new organisation and implementation of an expenses claims management tool’.
‘The employees were quite sceptical to start with, but now they couldn’t go back to the old system, which they consider outdated’.
Benefits of implementing Notilus
There are clear benefits on several levels:
- Accounting department
Implementing Notilus has saved us time, increased our efficiency and simplified the process of entering expenses claims: ‘All I have to do is click to import the expenses claims file, which is entered automatically, quickly and with no errors. The status of the claim is known and can be tracked at all times: approval or rejection of the claim (with a comment field in case of rejection), reimbursement status, etc. The time saved allows us to carry out other tasks with greater added value’.
- The employees
Submitting expenses claims is much easier, quicker and more user-friendly. ‘Each employee has a corporate card with which they make all payments for business expenses (purchase of train or plane tickets, car hire, hotel bookings, etc.). The cards belong to the company, and expenses are charged to the employee’s account. The employee can view all expenses paid in this way in Notilus, avoiding the need to enter the date and amount. All they have to do is fill in the type of the expense (pre-filled in the tool using OCR). ‘Combining our solution with our business (or corporate) card increases the added value of such a tool’.
- The approvers
A large majority of the superiors who are responsible for approving expenses claims are abroad most of the time. Access to Notilus allows them to approve their employees’ claims wherever they are. In addition, Notilus provides approvers with an overview of receipts.
- The company
The financial savings made by the company are significant. Errors are avoided, reimbursement rules are followed, and receipts are no longer misplaced. Employees and the accounting department have improved their productivity. Implementing an automation tool for expenses claims management is a key strategic decision for businesses.
‘I’ve really benefited from a transfer of skills from the DIMO Software team, which I can illustrate with two specific examples:
- Full independence in configuring the Notilus solution allowed me to successfully implement the tool myself in our subsidiary in Belgium.
- Familiarity with the Notilus reporting tool allows me to carry out all analyses required by management very quickly and easily. Thanks to these reports, we are able to track all data relating to employees’ travel: expenses categories by employee, department, project, etc. And to make changes if necessary’.
User club/DIMO FORUM
‘I regularly participate in the 2 key annual DIMO Software events. The User Club provides me with information on Notilus developments and new products. It’s also a chance for me to meet the DIMO Software team and have conversations with other Notilus administrators and users to take inspiration from their ideas. As for the DIMO Forum, it has become an unmissable event in the Rhône Alpes region. I find out about new market trends and attend interesting conferences in a very friendly atmosphere’.