GRITIT has grown rapidly since inception, and in doing so, increased both the load and the complexity on the administration function. With over 170 customers and conducting more than 165,000 jobs last season, GRITIT found its manual invoicing processes needed to become automated.
GRITIT had adopted cloud accounting solution Xero, and Dynamics CRM to handle invoicing and job management respectively. Both systems added significant value, but manual exporting of data was required from CRM to spreadsheets. The data was then manipulated to handle multi-party relationships, invoices split by services provided, and then imported into Xero.
The management team therefore sought a solution that would eliminate the manual processes and improve billing accuracy and timeliness. They also needed the solution to handle multiple sources of data (e.g. drivers PDA provided time on site, jobs triggered by weather forecasts) and provide one single source of all customer information.
Seeking ways to improve integration between Xero and Dynamics CRM, GRITIT’s research led them to Magnetism’s listing for a CRM connector on the Xero website.
Magnetism was engaged initially to implement the connector to streamline the flow of data between CRM and Xero, but both GRITIT and Magnetism quickly saw the opportunity to further automate the billing process. In the initial phase, Magnetism created a custom (.NET) application to automate the complex billing logic required to generate GRITIT customer invoices. The new application draws information directly from CRM, applies variables such as service types, discount rates, gritting factors and billing packages to calculate the appropriate rates; validates to ensure completeness and accuracy , and then posts the information to Xero. This information is then also posted back to CRM via Magnetism’s connector to provide a 360 degree view of the customer.
The success of this first phase led a second project to extend the billing application to manage the payments to GRITIT’s team of operators. As with client billing, operator payments are calculated based on multiple variables (job numbers, types, deductions etc.) requiring Magnetism to build new logic into the application, and create additional reporting functionality that would give operators visibility of their payments and how they were calculated. This data is then posted directly to Xero AP for payment.
Looking for further ways to improve customer experience, GRITIT then commissioned the development of a new client portal and quoting module. The portal, custom-developed by Magnetism, gives clients secure access to real-time job information, gritting plans and job and billing history, allows invoices to be downloaded from Xero and integrated with MS SharePoint to access contract information.
GRITIT’s growth trajectory has been steep and the pace of internal change has been rapid. With the jobs invoiced per month passing 30,000 in the recent season, the mission-critical job management and billing systems have needed to scale to ensure this growth was sustainable.
The automation put in place by Magnetism has therefore been paying dividends for GRITIT from day one. The monthly customer billing processes has decreased from six to seven days to three to four hours per month and with a near 100% invoice accuracy, rework has been reduced to effectively zero.
The corresponding uplift in the experience delivered to GRITIT’s 170+ customers, coupled with the improvements delivered by the customer portal has meant very positive results of the annual customer survey and have seen GRITIT rewarded with numerous awards and accolades. Together Magnetism and GRITIT have developed systems that give GRITIT the platform for growth.