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Clas Ohlson Automates AP with Palette

The retail chain Clas Ohlson struggled with more and more invoices and manual matching between purchases, delivery and invoices for several years. In connection with the change of financial system, they saw the possibility of implementing an electronic invoice management solution with automatic matching. The choice fell on Palette as a complement to Microsoft AX, which meant the start of an automation trip

One of Sweden’s best-known retailers, Clas Ohlson, operates around 200 physical stores in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, and England. The company is showing impressive growth due in part to increased online sales.

When the 30-year-old finance system was replaced, some improved, but still good functionality for invoice processing was lacking. Clas Ohlson searched for a really good invoice management solution with the possibility to automate more processes as per the same platform. After careful evaluation work, the choice fell on Palette.

Incremental rollout for the best possible results

In 2016, Clas Ohlson began with a small-scale rollout of Palette in England. Lessons could be applied for even smoother implementation when Norway, Finland and Germany followed in 2017. The largest and most comprehensive part was done in May 2018 when Clas Ohlson linked to the Swedish company as well. Jan Skarner, Head of Business Navigation at Clas Ohlson comments:

“Palette is an incredibly simple and user-friendly system, both to work in and to operate. You become ‘superuser’ in no time. We started the project and planning together with Palette’s staff the first two months before we went live in England. The rest we have been able to handle on our own because the system is so easy to understand and user-friendly”.

“The automation with Palette means a good time gain for us and in the integration with AX we know with certainty that everything will be quite right all the way.”

Jan Skarner, Head of Business Navigation at Clas Ohlson

Successful 3-way integration between Palette, purchasing and finance systems

Clas Ohlson uses Microsoft AX to purchase the products that are directly linked to the business. To this system, an integration has been made that includes Palette to send and receive data between systems. One of the biggest advantages of this whole journey is, according to Jan Skarner, the waterproof flow between the systems.

Further streamlining through matching of contracts and indirect purchases

During the spring of 2019, Clas Ohlson plans to expand its Palette functionality by beginning to systematize the process also for internal purchases. Jan Skarner said:

“The biggest gain we know we will achieve is that even these flows become automated, which gives better structure and order and order among the indirect purchases and agreements. Our highest priority is better control, that we will also be able to match agreements and purchases with each other will be like ‘the cream of the cake’.”

“For the purchase invoices we have been given an integration solution that is completely phenomenal, where it is impossible today to pay to the wrong supplier or the wrong amount. It was much, much better than we could have imagined.”

Jan Skarner, Head of Business Navigation at Clas Ohlson

Client Information

Customer:  Clas Ohlson

Branch:  Retail

Area:  Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, and England

Business system:  Microsoft Dynamics AX

Invoices/year:  100 000

Employees:  5000

Process automated:  Invoice Management

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