Quartzy is a leading life science product distributor, providing the ability to order 10 million products, including consumables, reagents, chemicals, and more, from more than 1,800 leading brands. Quartzy sells its products to more than 425,000 scientists in labs and research groups.
Such a business model means that Quartzy must rely on a high number of suppliers to source, purchase, and even dropship products and materials on its behalf. In order to do so—and keep suppliers happy—Quartzy must successfully process and pay an extremely high volume of invoices each month. Failure is simply not an option: Quartzy needs a smooth invoice-to-pay process to ensure consistent, reliable access to products and services in order to generate revenue and profits.
The Challenge: A Time-Consuming Approach Fails to Deliver Real-Time Visibility
Bheem Bhatia, Vice President of Finance at Quartzy, describes the challenges the company faced with its prior accounts payable (AP) automation system. “The system was not very intuitive or easy to use, which meant I wasted too much time trying to find information and make payments,” he explained.
For example, Bhatia might need to pay a certain supplier. Because of the high-volume nature of Quartzy’s business, there could be 100 invoices ready for payment at any given time, and Bhatia would need to sort through them page by page to find what he needed.
Another troubling scenario was when suppliers requested payment status. “It was surprisingly difficult to get this information from the past system,” said Bhatia. “Our accountants had to spend a lot of time pulling this information and compiling their own reports. We knew there had to be a better way.”
“MineralTree clearly demonstrated that it could integrate with NetSuite and stood out from some of the other solutions we looked at.”
Bheem Bhatia, Vice President of Finance, Quartzy
Partnering with MineralTree
The need to save time, work more productively, and gain real-time visibility into critical invoice and payment information ultimately drove Quartzy to look for a new AP automation solution. As Bhatia’s team took a closer look at MineralTree during a thorough evaluation phase, a number of factors helped put MineralTree at the top of the list.
First, MineralTree seamlessly integrated with NetSuite, Quartzy’s ERP system. “This two-way integration was so critical that it would have been a non-starter for any vendor that couldn’t offer it,” said Bhatia. “All of our invoices are entered in NetSuite, but we needed to approve and process payments in our AP system and then sync that information back to NetSuite.
Additionally, MineralTree offered much better reporting capabilities along with a powerful PO matching feature. “MineralTree’s Automated PO Matching is very beneficial for our team,” explained Bhatia. “If an invoice doesn’t match a PO, the system generates an alert so we don’t pay the invoice until we investigate and resolve the issue.” This ability to manage exceptions means that Bhatia’s team doesn’t have to manually approve hundreds, even thousands of invoices.
Finally, Bhatia’s team appreciated that MineralTree could be implemented with little to no help from IT. This would be a significant advantage in a startup environment like Quartzy where engineering cycles are limited—and accounting is usually not top priority. When it came time to implement MineralTree, the process took only a few weeks, and as soon as they were up and running, they never looked back.
“MineralTree helped us reduce the risk associated with our past process and protect our overall competitive advantage.”
An End-to-End AP Process that Delivers Business Results
MineralTree has given Quartzy a much better way to manage its entire accounts payable process. When invoices are sent to the company’s shared invoice email account, operations team members confirm that the order was shipped, and then the invoices are uploaded to NetSuite.
From there, the process is managed in MineralTree. Automated PO Matching confirms that the invoice matches the PO, and then Bhatia’s team approves and executes the payments. If suppliers have questions about invoices or payments, accountants can quickly find the information they need to resolve the issue or take the right action to get a payment back on track.
Contributing to the Bottom Line with SilverPay
MineralTree also gave Quartzy a way to earn cash-back rebates from its AP: MineralTree’s SilverPay virtual card payment option. By using SilverPay, Quartzy has gained a fast, easy way to pay suppliers while tracking to earn $100,000 in rebates—well exceeding the cost of MineralTree. “SilverPay allows us to contribute something to the company’s bottom line, which is not always an option in accounting,” said Bhatia.
Additionally, Quartzy realized that SilverPay was a better option than using a corporate credit card since it’s built into MineralTree, enabling fully automated payments and seamless reconciliation. “SilverPay eliminated the need to perform time-consuming credit card reconciliations each month,” said Bhatia. “Considering Quartzy’s payment volume, our time could be easily consumed reconciling massive credit card statements. Thanks to SilverPay, we can focus on higher-value initiatives.”
Quartzy initially started with a small subset of vendors willing to accept SilverPay payments. From there, the MineralTree payment operations team helped identify additional suppliers and developed a phased plan to approach them on Quartzy’s behalf. This partnership approach helped Quartzy increase its SilverPay spending volume, so the company could gain even bigger rebates.
Software that Solves Problems
While Bhatia credits MineralTree for helping his team save time, enhance process efficiency, and improve supplier relationships, he believes that one of the most significant benefits has been MineralTree’s ability to help Quartzy reduce its overall risk.
“Before MineralTree, it was hard for us to tell if an invoice was valid or not, which could subject us to risk if a company chose to put us on hold until we resolved their issue,” explained Bhatia. “It was too much risk to the business since this could restrict access to the goods and services we need for our revenue streams. MineralTree helped us reduce this risk to protect our overall competitive advantage.”
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