Galliford Try is a leading construction group that employs 3,300 people across the UK. As a major player in building, highways, and environment markets, they are intent on pursuing new and better ways of working. That is why digital transformation is at the heart of what they do.
As one of the UK’s largest construction businesses, Galliford Try felt the paper invoice pain more than most. Over 200,000 invoices landed in their offices each year and managing them took time, resources, and lots of patience.
Here, Peter Rose, Shared Service Centre Director at Galliford Try, explains the journey from paper to a generic e-invoicing solution to, finally, Causeway Tradex.
Customer Name: Galliford Try
Causeway Tradex, Causeway Community Management
invoices paid within 60 days
eligible suppliers onboarded
fall in paper invoices
End the paperchase & strengthen supplier relationships
Before moving to e-invoicing, Galliford Try assessed its invoice backlog by building a pile and measuring the height with a ruler. Space issues aside, managing this volume was almost impossible to do effectively. If the Galliford Try Finance Team worked 365 days a year, they would need to process 548 invoices every day to keep up – and that relies on the invoices being mistake-free and good to go.
Galliford Try saw first-hand the difficulties with convincing their supply chain to join them on their e-invoicing journey with a number of suppliers hesitant to go digital.
After trying a generic e-invoicing platform, progress was too slow to be effective. Only 25% of suppliers were onboarded in the first three years.
For these reasons, Galliford Try sought to source a solution that was 'built for construction.'
Automated e-Invoicing with Causeway Tradex
Causeway Tradex has 'ended the paperchase' and solved the adoption problem. Galliford Try rapidly sees all the costs in the pipeline that need paying. Validated invoices are available in their accounting system the day after they are submitted by the supplier and suppliers have good visibility of rejected invoices (and rejection reasons), normally rapidly correcting and resubmitting them.
The Causeway Tradex Community Management Team used its mix of construction expertise and experience to drive adoption.
Suppliers found many of their customers already using Causeway Tradex, making the transition an easy choice as they can handle payments with other companies too.
Increased invoice processing speed and efficiency
Ending the paperchase
Causeway Tradex has drastically reduced the volume of paper invoices received each year. At the same time, it has automated validation and significantly improved straight through processing rates. Only validated invoices land in Galliford Try’s ERP system.
“Causeway Tradex captures everything on the system and validates invoices for us,” Peter said. “Any mistakes get picked up and returned to suppliers that day. We don’t even see them. That’s massive for us and it means our Accounts Payable team don’t start working on invoices that cannot be processed, making them much more efficient.”
Before Causeway Tradex, the relentless pile of invoices made tracing and tracking a challenge. How do you confirm an invoice receipt when it is buried in a mountain of paper? Once found, there was every chance it needed to be returned due to errors or missing information.
Peter said: “Causeway Tradex has helped drive compliance with our ‘Supplier Golden Rules’ which help us process efficiently but more importantly allow us to pay on time, supporting our compliance with the Prompt Payment Code.”
“Causeway Tradex ends the paperchase. We see everything in the pipeline that needs paying. Whereas before, you could easily lose sight of what you have and what needs dealing with.”
Community and benefits outweigh the resistance to change
The Causeway Community Management Team were crucial to this deployment with their unique blend of expertise and experience helping suppliers to see the benefits of e-invoicing, while also supporting the Galliford Try through their internal changes.
Peter said: “Our Causeway Tradex Project Manager was a shining star. We credit him and the Community Management team with the speed of our mobilisation, which made a huge difference to us.”
“We were impressed with the flexibility shown during the implementation stage. We gave Causeway a headache in terms of validation rules and changes in business structure, and they always responded very well.”
Causeway Tradex has the largest online trading network of UK construction suppliers onboarded onto the platform. Contractors and suppliers get instant access to thousands of other businesses trading on the platform.
“Once the supplier joins Causeway Tradex, the penny quickly drops about one of its biggest advantages. They join a large community of customers and suppliers already on the platform,” says Peter.
Construction-specific and prompt payment speed up onboarding
Galliford Try did try e-invoicing before Causeway Tradex and chose a generic solution to do the job.
But progress was too slow to be effective. Only 25% of suppliers were onboarded in the first three years. For this reason, they decided to invest in a proven ‘built for construction’ solution – and progress sped up rapidly.
Galliford Try and Causeway agreed on an initial onboarding goal of 65% of eligible invoices in the first months. Since hitting that target with relative ease, the number of onboarded suppliers has grown to 85% and is still climbing.
For Peter, there are many reasons for this big jump in adoption, like the Community Management team, but Prompt Payment stands out too.
“Galliford Try paying on time is a strong incentive for suppliers to join Causeway Tradex. We endeavor to pay promptly, but processing invoices manually uses too much time and resources.”
Causeway Tradex is a true e-invoicing solution that uses Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to bring the risks of mistakes down to almost zero.
“It’s fair to say that Causeway Tradex has been instrumental in substantially improving our PPC Compliance,” said Peter. “Now, we pay more than 95% of invoices within 60 days of receipt – it was a fraction of that 5 years ago.”
Strengthening supplier relationships
Chasing paper has more downsides than ineffective invoice management and wasted resources.
Supplier relationships suffer when invoices are constantly sent back due to missing information and mistakes – delaying payments. Galliford Try wanted to pay on time, but manual processes were a stumbling block.
Peter said: “Causeway Tradex has improved our supplier relationships significantly due to the additional controls over the returns process that it provides. If the supplier submits an invoice that doesn’t meet our business rules, it’s instantly rejected back to the supplier explaining to them, what is missing.
They can easily make the corrections and resubmit for processing. It gives greater visibility on both sides - before the supplier may even have missed that we’d returned the invoice for correction. Now everyone can quickly and easily see where the invoice is in the approval and payment process.
Our Head of Procurement has also spoken about how little supplier debt is on the purchase ledger
We have one large plant supplier account which runs with overdue debt < 1% of total debt, at one stage it had no overdue debt and that’s unheard of in this industry. They were very pleased.
The other added benefit it that we can instantly identify when we receive a valid invoice as the information that comes from Causeway Tradex is time stamped. This gives us a digital, accurate way to record receipt of an invoice for PPC purposes.”