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Avanto Brings New Productivity and Efficiency to Insidesource

“We’re always looking for new ways to improve our processes and work more efficiently and Avanto has become a critical partner for us in that effort,” Hansen says.

The job title on Kori Hansen’s business card at Insidesource, an HNI dealership headquartered in San Carolos, CA, reads Sales Operations Manager. Her actual responsibilities, however, extend far beyond just the sales function to include managing the technology side of the company, accounting, procurement and more.

Hansen joined Insidesource nearly ten years ago. Since then, she has played a key role in helping the dealership expand from a single location operation with about 30 employees to a mega-dealership with some 300 employees and offices in New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, San Jose and London, England.

Managing growth on that scale would be daunting enough but combine it with the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the stress on both the business and the people who work there moves to a whole new level.

Fortunately, though, since bringing in the Avanto consulting organization to provide support with strategic planning, process improvement and outsourcing services, Hansen and the rest of the Insidesource team have access to a proven resource that can take some of that stress away and provide invaluable tools and fresh perspectives to help keep the company strong and profitable.

“Avanto’s Matt Danyliw has so many years of furniture industry experience in so many different roles that I’m able to tap into his insights and industry knowledge on just about any aspect of what we’re doing or thinking about doing from an operations point of view,” she adds.

Case in point: managing accounts payables.

Before Avanto came on the scene, processing supplier invoices at Insidesource was largely a manual process, Hansen recalls.

“Back then,” she explains, “we were getting more than 1,500 invoices a month and processing them was a full-time job and then some for three and sometimes four people. Avanto automated much of what our A/P people were doing, allowing them to adopt far more of a ‘managing-by-exception’ approach and freeing up valuable time they could use to focus on what’s really important to them and to the company.”

Before Avanto came in, the A/P team and the dealership’s account coordinators would spend hours trying to resolve discrepancies such as mismatches between the PO amount and the invoice amount or missing PO numbers.

Not anymore. The process Avanto put in place to handle mismatches took at least six steps out of the process for the accounting team, Hansen reports, while a missing PO number now automatically triggers an email back to the vendor asking them to resubmit, with no manual intervention required.

In addition, the dealership has outsourced some of the invoice vouchering and processing invoices from non-product or project-related suppliers such as technology partners or equipment providers to Avanto, further freeing up time for the dealership’s accounting staff to use more productively.

Avanto automated much of what our A/P people were doing...freeing up valuable time to focus on what's really important

Avanto’s impact has been just as positive on procurement operations at Insidesource, says Hansen.

“Before Avanto, handling vendor acknowledgements was a tremendous drain on our people’s time.” says Hansen. “The acknowledgements all went into the same email inbox and our procurement team would have to constantly be checking manually throughout the day for new acknowledgements and basically just hope they didn’t miss any. Avanto took that process and automated it to the point where they were able to save each procurement team member at least three hours a day.” says Hansen.

“Working with Avanto has made our people so much more productive and efficient,” she says. “Avanto has taken so many of the mundane, repetitive tasks off their desks so that they’ve been able to find new growth opportunities personally and add far more value to the company overall.”

“Implementing change on any level within an organization can often be a high-stress undertaking that generates anxiety and resistance. Not so with Avanto, though,” says Hansen.

Many of the new systems and processes Avanto put in place were based on their own experience with other dealers, so they not only had a high level of confidence in the changes they were making but they also were able to draw on that experience to do a good job of preparing us for change,” she says.

“At Insidesource, we put a lot of emphasis on serving as collaborative partners for our clients and Avanto brings a similar mindset to what they do,” adds Hansen.

“The one thing I never feel with Avanto is that I’m in it alone. When you partner with a company, particularly on technology or operations, it’s really important that you feel not only that they care but that they have your company’s best interests at heart. I have never felt anything less from Avanto.”

“Avanto is truly a collborative partner for us and constantly looking for new ways and different things we can do to become better and stronger as an organization.”

With Avanto, you build a relationship that only makes you want to work with them more.

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