Exela FAO

The Future of Finance & Accounting

Procure to Pay Automation  for Grocery Retailer

Procure to Pay Automation for Grocery Retailer


At the time of this engagement, the customer was one of the largest grocery store chains in the US with more than 300,000 employees and annual revenues of roughly $90 billion. The customer operates more than 3,600 stores in 31 states, including supermarkets, multi-department, convenience, and fine jewelry stores, fuel centers, food processing plants, bakeries, and dairies.

Prior to partnering with Exela, the business model faced challenges related to its large network of national locations, company acquisitions and mergers, and in-house manufacturing operations. This led to a complicated AP process due to the high volume of direct and indirect purchases, capital equipment expenditures, and trucking logistics challenges.


The customer’s existing procure to pay process involved more than 250 associates, approximately 4.4 million products for resale, and annual invoice volumes of nearly $5.5 million. Daily challenges also included the risk of store closures due to utilities suspension, simply because of a missing invoice that was not processed.

Other specifics

  • Over 800k annual expense payables invoices
  • Over 8k annual advertising and repair invoices
  • Over 120k utilities, telephones & telecommunications invoices
  • Warehouse and distribution center bills of lading
  • Direct store delivery invoices

The primary goals of the engagement with Exela were:

  1. Eliminate in-house keying into ERP
  2. Enabled automated direct purchases through Direct Store Delivery (DSD)
  3. Outsource PO matching
  4. Implement workflow for exception processing
  5. Identify, capture, and report key utility metrics


Exela was chosen as the right partner to assist with this transition due to its understanding of existing corporate culture and values, ability to mirror the legacy process where it was essential to do so, Exela’s already proven web-based tools, commitment to meeting and exceeding SLA’s, and flexibility to address evolving circumstances.

Exela implemented an end-to-end invoice capture, matching, and utility processing system to consolidate the customer’s AP workflows, simplify procurement and payments, institute exception management protocols, and automate the P2P life cycle.

The solution included the launch of an integrated vendor selfservice portal that allows for easy invoice submission, two-way communication, greater processing automation, and more.

Other solution specifics:

  • Mailroom management services
  • Invoice imaging
  • Data capture (OCR)
  • Data validation
  • Tax decision and calculation workflow
  • Exception handling workflow
  • 1099 services (including statement processing, printing, and mailing)
  • IRS reporting
  • SaaS model with bulk IRS TIN match and validation
  • Outreach program
  • Utility bill processing
  • Early-pay discounts
  • Credit hold risk
  • Electronic check requests
  • G/L coding interface