Toymaster Ltd. is a national association of more than 350 locally owned specialist toy shops throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Toymaster enables small independent toy stores to have to the purchasing power of a large group, ensuring they can receive credit, and deal directly with large toy manufacturers. No two Toymaster stores are the same, so a highly versatile system is required to accommodate all invoices and accounting procedures Toymaster encounters.
Toymaster Ltd. is a national association of more than 350 locally owned specialist toy shops throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It began operations in 1977. • Toymaster is not-for-profit; its goal is to provide the best-possible future for the Independent Specialist Toy Retailer. • Each Toymaster member retains its right to buy the mix of toys appropriate to the locality and personality of its store
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Toymaster acts as the invoicing house for the network of suppliers, processing more than 160,000 transactions every year. Currently 40% of ToyMaster’s capacity is dedicated to processing hard copy transactions, which requires support from document management technology from ReadSoft.
Prior to using ReadSoft Invoices, Toymaster was required to manually key in references and totals, an inefficient approach that put strain on the financial team.
Matthew Dymock IT Systems Administrator ToyMaster Ltd.
Some have taken half a step to e-invoicing, emailing invoices as PDF attachments, but we then will print them to process.
IT Systems Administrator ToyMaster’s goal is to drive suppliers towards an e-invoicing solution using online form provision, collation and management. Matthew Dymock, IT Systems Administrator, says some of Toymaster’s suppliers have already embraced electronic data interchange (EDI) systems, but it still remains expensive for smaller suppliers to implement. Some suppliers have moved closer to the goal by emailing invoices as PDFs, but others must continue the traditional posting of paper invoices. For the short-term, Toymaster needs to rely on a hybrid approach to capture and process invoice data.
Faced with tight margins, Toymaster’s smaller-scale business partners in particular depend on continuity of service, so Toymaster demands the highest level of trust among its IT partners.
In 2004, ToyMaster approved the installation of ReadSoft Invoices software precisely because the software eliminates the need to deploy extra time and resources required by manual sorting and processing. Regardless of format, ReadSoft Invoices automatically processes any combination of documents, extracting, identifying and verifying invoice data.
As a follow up to the software installation, Toymaster upgraded its client PCs to Windows7 and Servers2008 In November 2010. This also included the installation of a new Hyper-V server on which all of its data is now held.
As part of the upgrading process, ReadSoft’s Professional Services came in to implement the migration of data from existing servers to the new virtual servers. The ReadSoft team also made sure Readsoft Invoices within the bespoke VMS system remained compatible with Windows7 on each individual PC.
“The ReadSoft team worked tirelessly in conjunction with our own IT team to ensure there was no downtime during the changeover to the new system,” says Colin Farrow, Finance & IT Director.
Matthew Dymock IT Systems Administrator ToyMaster Ltd
The improvements give individual stores the power to download what they need electronically via a portal from the ReadSoft system to produce their own invoices.
Today Toymaster is able to automatically extract line items—as well as totals—including tariff codes and descriptions. This has helped improve efficiency when importing and exporting between UK and the Republic of Ireland. It also helps to keep the company compliant with European Union (EU) regulations. Data is fed into the Intrastat system, which replaced customs declarations as a means for collecting information on the trade in goods between countries of the European Union (EU).
The company uses ReadSoft’s Invoices solution to automate its invoice processing through e-invoicing—some 60% of the160,000-plus invoice volume. The software has also helped speed up the processing of invoices that come in by other methods.
Toymaster also uses ReadSoft’s solution to help stay compliant with European Union (EU) regulations by collecting the information they need for reporting on the trade of goods between countries.
ReadSoft Professional Services also was able to contribute to the resulting hybrid solution. Consultancy and support throughout the design, implementation and maintenance phases of the project led to a unique solution for Toymaster that was delivered on budget, on time and according to its specifications.The company uses ReadSoft’s Invoices solution to automate its invoice processing through e-invoicing—some 60% of the160,000-plus invoice volume. The software has also helped speed up the processing of invoices that come in by other methods.
Matthew Dymock IT Systems Administrator ToyMaster Ltd.
With paper invoices still accounting for 40% of the business we simply wouldn’t be able to function without ReadSoft.
In 2014, Lexmark International, a global technology leader, acquired ReadSoft, a leading provider of applications for automating business processes. Together, they become an unmatched solution for financial process automation. Lexmark enterprise software, hardware and services remove the inefficiencies of information silos and disconnected processes, connecting people to the information they need at the moment they need it. This case study reflects ReadSoft products and positioning at the time of acquisition and has been approved for use.