BUSINESS AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS FOR A FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS IN BROOKLYN

  • Digitization of customer specs requiring zero paper based record keeping and minimal human intervention
  • Comprehensive application to generate invoices, track payments and automate reminders.
  • Integrated dashboard for the business and its clients to communicate seamlessly.
  • TECH STACK:
    .NET MS SQL Server
  • EXPERTISE:
    Custom Software DevelopmentLegacy MigrationBusiness Process Automation
  • VERTICAL:
    ManufacturingRetail
  • ENGAGEMENT MODEL:
    Fixed Cost Fixed Scope

BACKGROUND

Established in 1958, Nu-Tone Kitchen Cabinet Co. Inc. (Nu Tone) is a family-owned and operated business based in Brooklyn, NY. They design, build, deliver, and replace kitchen countertops for homes and commercial establishments.

The company was looking to develop a new invoicing application since its previous application was lost due to a hard disk failure. With no backups or documentation, the Client had no way of knowing who owed payments and how much. To ensure the situation does not happen again, the Client sought to build a robust and reliable invoicing application that could be accessed anytime and anywhere.

  • Lack of customer domain expertise - The Client wanted to transition from a paper-based process to a fully automated procurement system. Having very little knowledge of how the technology works, the Client didn't have a formal requirements document, nor did they know how to develop one.
  • Lengthy manual process - Before automation, Nu-Tone's method for quoting and invoicing a client was a heavily manual process:
  • a.
    To get a quote, their clients would send their kitchen countertop specifications via fax, after scribbling them down on a piece of paper.
  • b.
    To collect the necessary information to prepare a quote, a customer service representative would contact their Client either by phone, email, or fax.
  • c.
    The quote would be sent over to their Client for signature and returned via email or fax.
  • d.
    Once the purchase order was received, Nu-Tone would create an invoice and send it to the customer for billing.
  • e.
    Clients were not always prompt to pay, and without an organized and automated system, payments would fall through the cracks. As a result, Nu-Tone kitchen had to keep track of unpaid invoices and send different kinds of emails to their clients to request payments depending on the age of the invoice.

SOLUTION

Initially, we sat down with the Client to understand and document the precise customer-purchasing journey and translated the business requirements into software specifications.

To eliminate the manual processes, we first created an online form on the Client's website where customers could enter their personal information and kitchen countertop specification. Our team also integrated a 'Fax to Document' application ("efax"), which can receive faxes via email and save them as PDF files.

Once the online form was received, the new application would automatically:

  • 1.
    Generate a quote in a PDF file format
  • 2.
    Send a notification to Nu-Tone sales team on the upcoming order
  • 3.
    Create a new client record; digitizing the customer's specs which now required zero human effort.

After all the information is recorded, the Client can access their order and either approve the quote and generate a purchase order or propose changes to it.

Post-implementation, we provided training for the Client and their team on how to use the application. After that, the Client received prompt remote support when needed, at no extra cost.

RESULTS

With the new dashboard we created, Nu-Tone can generate invoices, track payments, and respond to queries on the fly. The application allows them to send automated reminders to customers and attach designs and sketches of kitchen countertops with the process order. The application is hosted on a reliable hosting platform recommended by our team, with frequent backups, thereby ensuring that the client data is well protected and readily available.

The invoicing application revolutionized the invoicing process for Nu-tone. It simplified the invoicing process enormously, thereby allowing them to focus on their core business.

BENEFITS

With the new web application installed, the Client:

  • Saved more than 10% of their payroll costs on bookkeeping expenses
  • Increased their cash flow position by more than 50% as there were no longer missed unpaid invoices. Also, due to the newly added system reminders, they were able to receive payments faster than ever before
  • Saved an additional 10% of the operating costs with the removal of manual and paper-based processes (labor, printers, filing, etc.)
  • Provides easy and quick portal access for their staff and clients (including view statements and payment due dates)
  • Has better visibility into the process starting from purchase all the way to invoicing
  • Can track payments on multiple invoices quickly and effectively
  • Receives prompt lapsed payment indications to escalate payments after certain periods

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