Most restaurant owners dream of one day growing from a single location to many. When Elephants Delicatessen opened their doors over thirty years ago, they had a similar goal. Thanks to their focus on ensuring that the pleasure of eating is an all-encompassing sensory experience, they’ve become Portland’s favorite specialty foods & catering company. Elephants Deli has also grown from just one location to eleven.
Although the business has many reasons to be proud of what they’ve accomplished over the course of three decades, their growth hasn’t been without some very significant pains. This pain was directly felt by Elephants Deli’s Controller Becca Peters. Becca is responsible for processing around 2,000 invoices a month for the business. Not long ago, a significant percentage of those invoices were delivered by mail or printed out after being emailed.
Elephants Deli’s reliance on paper invoices meant that Becca was also manually writing over 700 checks a month. These inefficiencies in the way the payment process was handled cost the business over 8 hours a week of Becca’s very valuable time. Being stuck with repetitive but necessary administrative work every week instead of being able to focus on helping the business continue its growth caused Becca to hit a breaking point.
Realizing the inefficient and unsustainable nature of their manual payment processing, Becca set out in search of a better solution for Elephants Deli. It didn’t take her long to find multiple options for automating the payment process. The only problem with those solutions is they weren’t designed with the specific nuances of the food service industry in mind.
After digging a little deeper, she came across a platform named Sourcery. Unlike the other accounts payable solutions she had reviewed, Sourcery was specifically built for the foodservice industry. Features that include invoice storage, analytics and multiple integrations persuaded Becca to give the platform a try.
With help from Sourcery’s implementation team, it took less than two weeks for Elephants Deli to fully transition to the platform. That transition has resulted in the business cutting their payment processing time in half. According to Becca, the switch from manual to automated processing has also increased the efficiency of store-level team members. And instead of feeling like an operational bottleneck, Becca can now leave the office for strategic meetings and be confident that payables will still get out on time.