Recently, we caught up with Pedemonts Moving and Storage to see how they’re tackling getting paid.
Established in the late 1800’s by Joe Pedemont, Pedemonts Furniture Moving And Storage has been a family business ever since and is currently into its fifth generation.
The business moves furniture from manufacturers and importers to the outlets of Australia’s leading retail chains, and provides delivery services for several major online stores.
They also do some storage and warehousing goods for manufacturers, and deliver straight to customers and distribution networks too. With around 65 staff members, administration manager Peter Rowland is busy attending to the admin, invoicing and staffing side of things, dealing with about 3,000 to 3,500 invoices each month.
“We do daily invoicing. As we load, we email an invoice to the client and they pay as soon as they receive their goods,” Rowland says.
“Account customers are on a 30 day account and we tend to run at about 45 days.”
“Due to the nature of our work we have a high number of invoices, as well as 500 individual payments each week. A large amount of people don’t put reference numbers in so we spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was making the payment.”
Rowland says that in May this year, they changed banks and decided to introduce BPAY as a payment option for customers.
“For businesses, we’ve traditionally had an account set up so they can pay by cheque or cash. A few years ago we started taking credit card payments via email and phone. Recently, we moved to BPAY, so those four are the main payment options now.”
“BPAY means we can pinpoint exactly what invoice we are looking for or which customer is making the payment.”
Previously, the administration manager found picking entries off the bank statement to reconcile was time consuming and meant money would just sit there, rather than get filed and accepted.
“We don’t need to spend any time on it now because it’s all sorted. So we’ve probably saved about 90 per cent of the effort we were making.”
Now, Pedemonts accepts a mix of the four payment options, and says BPAY accounts for about 20 per cent of invoices.
“BPAY has been taken on by quite a few clients and the numbers are increasing on a weekly basis. It’s convenient for customers as well, because they don’t have to write a cheque or post it. They can pay 24/7, after hours, or whenever they want, so it’s been positive for them too.”
Rowland says BPAY was easy to set up, too.
“We got the forms, and had to fill out some paperwork and get ourselves registered. Once that was done we had to send some payment samples off to BPAY and get verified.”
“I think we should have introduced BPAY years ago, but just didn’t have the awareness of it. We were with one financial institution and we got comfortable. The move between banks alerted us to new options, and they were proactive and pushed us to do it.”
Rowland says today’s administrative challenge is trying to move to a paperless office.
“That will reduce the workload of staff even more. It’s such an old industry, it can be hard to progress technologically at the rate more office-based businesses do.”
As for the business side of things, “we’re expanding which is a good thing, and we’re building a new depot adjacent to our existing office. Then I think we have one more state we haven’t covered yet so I’d say we’d go there next!”
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