Office DepotORS Helps Office Depot Speed Up & Streamline Their Supplier Invoice Payments


Office Depot is the world’s leading supplier of office products, operating in 23
countries and employing over 50,000 people. The Office Depot goal is simple, “to
be the world’s best company in their industry”. To this end, Office Depot has set
industry-leading standards for customer service and supply chain reliability.

ORS has been providing document management services to Office Depot for over ten
years. As the Office Depot UK operation has rapidly evolved and grown, ORS have
developed and enhanced their document management solutions to keep in step with the
ever growing needs of Office Depot.

Business Issues

One key area where ORS document management solutions have helped Office Depot is
the Accounts Payable department. As Office Depot has grown, the number of supplier
invoices has increased significantly. This has placed a heavy demand on the accounts
payable staff. They have to manage the incoming invoices, log them onto the financial
system, distribute the documents around the UK depots for management approval and
sign off, and then pay the invoices and file the documents away pending future queries.

Due to the volume of paper, Office Depot was faced with having to devote staff time to
sorting and filing invoices into files. The number of filing cabinets needed to store the
files was taking up valuable and much needed office space. Sending out invoices to
managers to approve and sign off was a huge logistical exercise, with documents
becoming lost or misplaced; payment dates were often being missed, leading to the
deterioration in the supplier relationship.

ORS Solution

The initial ORS solution to help with the increasing burden was to move away from
microfilming the supplier invoices monthly, replacing it with a scanning service with a
weekly turnaround. Office Depot staff first logged the invoices onto the SAP financial
system, which provides a unique reference number, which is then written onto the
invoice. ORS collected the invoices weekly and scanned them, using the reference
number to index the document. On the return of the electronic images they were
uploaded onto the ORS ImageStream document management system to allow the
documents to be stored and retrieved when queried.

This simple solution saved Office Depot filing time, released back the much needed office
space and allow quick and easy retrieval of documents.

Through the merger with another company the requirement to provide greater document
management capabilities to other departments was recognised. The ORS ImageStream
system was expanded and the scanning service rolled out to Credit Control to cater for
their sales invoices, payment vouchers and banking documentation.

The next big step came with the integration of ORS ImageStream with the Office Depot
SAP financial system. The supplier invoices, once logged onto SAP and given their unique
reference number, are now sent daily to the dedicated Office Depot PO Box at ORS. The
documents are prepared, scanned, indexed and then the images and index database uplifted
to a secure Office Depot server by FTP connection. The server looks for new files at
1.00pm each day which are then download to the ORS ImageStream server.

Once onto the ORS ImageStream server the documents are available
to SAP users by hitting a “hot key” which allows the image to
be displayed without having to leave the SAP application. This
faster turnaround of images and easy retrieval and access to the
documents has had significant benefits to Office Depot with supplier
queries being handled immediately when they call by phone.


Over the past ten years ORS has delivered the following benefits to Office Depot:

• Office spaced freed up by removal of 28 filing cabinets
• Removal of manual filing tasks freeing up 6 staff for other tasks
• Improved speed of document access and retrieval
• Increased staff efficiencies
• Supplier invoices approved and signed off within 24 hours
• Staff no longer copying supplier invoices prior to distribution for internal authorisation
• Supplier invoices no longer misplaced or lost
• Inter-departmental relations and morale greatly enhanced
• Authorisation Managers can access invoices on-line for approval process
• Duplicate supplier invoice requests negated

The above benefits have had a profound impact on improving the relationship Office Depot
has with their suppliers. The ORS solution has been significant in reducing the number of
queries having to be handled and enabling Office Depot to be in a position to pay suppliers
within 48 hours of goods being delivered.

Faster payment has allowed Office depot to avail themselves of their suppliers’ early settlement
discount schemes. This has in turn increased bottom line profit, whilst at the same
time improving supplier relations, thus helping Office Depot achieve their mission, “to be
the world’s best company in their industry”.