Manufacturers and retailers rely on the expert services provided by Consumer Testing Laboratories, Inc. to help ensure the products they produce and sell are safe. From children’s clothing, to paint products, to small electronics, Consumer Testing Laboratories’ conscientious testing helps companies increase repeat sales, boost customer loyalty, and avoid bad publicity and lawsuits. To manage its busy billing operations, Consumer Testing Laboratories turns to CS3 Technology and Sage 500 ERP.
Old Software Fails the Test
The company has been on a steep growth track and as a result, it outgrew its two previous software systems. “We upgraded to MAS 200 ERP from Peachtree by Sage in 2004,” explains Nonie Griffith, accounting manager for Consumer Testing Laboratories. “It worked very well for us for several years, but when our billing volume escalated from 1,000 invoices a month to 5,000, we knew we needed more power.”
Consumer Testing Laboratories turned to its trusted business partner, CS3 Technology for help. “They didn’t hesitate to recommend Sage ERP,” recalls Griffith. “There’s a straightforward upgrade path from Sage MAS 200 to Sage 500 which made the transition easy. Sage 500 is highly scalable so it can accommodate all the growth we anticipate.” CS3 Technology accomplished the upgrade without disruption to Consumer Testing Laboratories’ operations. “It was a slam-dunk operation,” notes Griffith.
The company’s time-consuming invoice processing was the first issue CS3 Technology worked to streamline. “We email our invoices to customers and used to have to do that one invoice at a time,” explains Griffith. “It was cumbersome when we were doing 300 invoices at once, overwhelming when we were doing 1,000, and physically impossible when our volume reached 5,000.” CS3 Technology configured Sage 500 to automatically email customer invoices during the invoice update. “Our invoicing cycle used to take five full days. Now it’s complete within two hours. We definitely would have had to hire additional staff without the efficiencies we are enjoying now,” Griffith says.
Consumer Testing Laboratories uses a proprietary software system to record the details of its testing operation. CS3 Technology helped to design an import utility that brings data from that system into Sage 500, where invoices are created. “Once a month, we run the utility that consolidates data from our testing software and automatically creates a single invoice for each customer in Sage 500,” explains Griffith.
Boost Cash Flow
Many of Consumer Testing Laboratories’ customers prefer to pay by credit card. Sage 500 stores customers’ credit card information in a secure encrypted format. During the cash receipts update, credit card transactions are created and automatically sent for approval, directly from the software. “We have a healthier cashflow now,” says Griffith, “Without these tools, we couldn’t stay on top of the tremendous volume of transactions.
”CS3 Technology also implemented a routine that sends customeron- hold data to the testing software. "It allows our customer- facing staff to know the status of an account so that they can work to bring them current before engaging in more work,” explains Griffith. “This serves to keep more of our accounts current and in good standing.”
Facilitate Global Commerce
The company has many Canadian customers and Griffith praises the Sage 500 Multi-currency module for streamlining payment processing for these accounts. “We can bill them in Canadian dollars, and are able to easily accommodate their payments, whether they are in Canadian or U.S. dollars.”
A Quality Partner Gets Results
With help from CS3 Technology, Consumer Testing Laboratories has streamlined its operation, improved its cashflow, and eliminated the need to hire additional administrative staff “CS3 Technology helped us think all our processes through, and continually makes recommendations of ways we can accomplish things more efficiently,” says Griffith.
Consumer Testing Laboratories
Business Issues Driving Need For New System
Impact of Sage 500 ERP
Impact of Relationship with CS3 Technology
“Our invoicing cycle used to take five full days . Now it’s complete in less than two hours. We definitely would have had to hire additional staff without the efficiencies we are enjoying now.”
– Nonie Griffith
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