Case Study: Mobile Invoicing Helps Santa Cruz Pasta Save Big

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The Client. Santa Cruz Pasta Factory originally established as an Italian deli and small restaurant specializing in organic fresh pasta and sauces. The company since has transformed into a manufacturing and production operation, distributing to Bay Area grocery stores such as Whole Foods.

The Challenge. After becoming a distributor, Santa Cruz Pasta Factory started running into problems with its manual back-office processes. For example, drivers making weekly deliveries took inventory and created invoices by hand at each store. But because each grocery store has its own unique order of Santa Cruz Pasta's 26 product lines – all at varying prices – the manual invoicing could take up to 40 minutes per location. And if drivers made a mistake on the hand-written invoices, it was hard to go back to each store to request additional funds. This caused owner Steve Simonovich to lose hundreds of dollars each month simply from hand-written errors.

The Solution. Santa Cruz Pasta Factory needed software to manage its invoicing processes. So, the company turned to MSA Systems Inc., an Intermec reseller. MSA Systems specializes in software for distributors, as well as field mobility products such as mobile computers and printers. Intermec manufactures the hand-held devices.

The Result. First, MSA Systems created a simple software system to replace Santa Cruz Pasta Factory's paper-based, carbon-copy invoices. Given the small size of his company, Simonovich asked that the technology be intuitive, easy to deploy and cost-effective. “We looked to make a basic technology implementation that would help us move forward with our business operations without causing a major headache in terms of daily use," said Simonovich. “But, not only were we looking for those criteria, we were also looking for something that would offer a much easier invoicing system and decrease some of the dollars we were spending on our paper processes."

So, MSA Systems further recommended Santa Cruz Pasta Factory use Intermec's CN50 mobile computers and PB51 mobile printers, all made to take the abuse inherent in warehouse and delivery-truck settings. The new system enables drivers to scan products to automatically produce invoices. Once invoices are created, the Intermec PB51s print the invoices and automatically sync with the company’s accounting system.

As a result, drivers spend about half the time at each store than they used to – down to about 20 minutes from 40 or more. Invoicing itself now takes five minutes at the most. “This enables us to do even more stores in a given day than we were able to before, and we don’t have to worry about errors or closing each day with manual invoice entry," Simonovich said. In fact, the time savings lets drivers stop at up to four more stores on their routes, which has helped Simonovich to grow his business without adding another driver and van.

Finally, not only is Santa Cruz Pasta saving money on accounting, but it's spending far less money on paper. Paper used to run the company hundreds of dollars each month. But now the cost of an invoice is fractions of a cent, compared to 18 cents per invoice.

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