CloudTrade Clears Invoice Mountain for is a leading online-only source of control products for HVAC, building automation and lighting control. It buys from hundreds of vendors and there are often multiple invoices for each purchase order.

As the business has grown the number of invoices has become unmanageable for their team to deal l with and a backlog of invoices built up. And despite working overtime, the backlog continued to grow and with the company coming in to the peak summer months there was an urgent need to find a solution.

A traditional e-invoicing solution wasn’t an option for as many of their suppliers are unable to provide XML or EDI invoices so they send PDF invoices instead. They needed to find a way to remove the manual process of taking the data out of these PDFs and re-typing the information in to their finance system.

The solution

To begin with considered implementing an in-house OCR solution. However the substantial initial outlay combined with ongoing maintenance costs made this approach prohibitive. They then heard about CloudTrade, who provide an e-invoicing service that specialises in allowing suppliers to simply email PDF invoices.

CloudTrade’s patent-pending platform maps the invoice data carried in the PDF to an e-invoice structure. No OCR, with 100% data accuracy guaranteed. Due to the ubiquitous nature of PDF invoicing, there was no impact on’s suppliers and high adoption is guaranteed. In addition, as the whole process is fully automated there would be no need to hire any extra labour. CloudTrade was a solution that would prove both time AND cost efficient.

Implementation of the system was simple, quick, and very smooth. followed the process recommended by CloudTrade in order to prioritise the vendors targeted for e-invoicing, ensuring the greatest benefit is felt by the business in the shortest time frame.

David Mine,, reported, “We have never experienced such good response times as we get with CloudTrade. Despite the different time zones, we receive an immediate response to any queries. We have felt very taken care of”.

The results

Within just three weeks of implementation the backlog of invoices was gone. The ease of using CloudTrade has meant that suppliers have been very responsive to the new system. They have not needed to make any changes to their processes – suppliers continue to send their invoices in PDF format, but the automation of processing means there are no processing errors and they can get their invoices settled more quickly.

For, incoming invoices enter their finance application within 2 to 3 minutes of the supplier sending the invoice. Further, PO invoices are now automatically matched within their finance system. No human intervention is required in this instance to process, the operator merely gives the final approve to pay.

“As a specialist e-commerce vendor we are always looking to automate processes, move online, and remove paper where possible. 90% of’s suppliers are now dealt with through XML or PDF invoicing automation. CloudTrade has enabled this to happen – quickly, efficiently and accurately” David Mine,

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