"Moving to SmartVault has cut out at least 75% of on-premise paperwork. And in the restaurant industry, that’s a lot of paper."Kristy Hensle
Restaurant Chain Moves Documents to the Cloud and Experiences All-You-Can-Eat Convenience
McLoone’s IT Director describes the company’s journey from paper-heavy to digitally driven processes
In the quest to find the right paperless solution, Kristy Hensle, CFO for McLoone’s Restaurants, came out swinging in favor of SmartVault, “I can’t imagine working without SmartVault. It has saved us so much process time compared to handling all that paper manually.”
Prior to implementing SmartVault, Hensle’s did not have a document management platform in place. All processes were paper-based and the company was drowning in documents.
“I remember walking into the bookkeeper’s office one day,” Kristy recalled. “Literally, there was paper everywhere, on every surface. I told our bookkeeper that we had to find a new solution.”
In addition to the system supporting a paperless office, Kristy was also drawn to SmartVault’s integration with QuickBooks. “We were using QuickBooks when we first adopted SmartVault. I loved the ability to attach documents directly to a QuickBooks entry and then locate the file in either solution. It was so fast and so convenient.”
McLoone’s has since switched to a new accounting and inventory system, but continues to realize the immense value of QuickBooks document management and cloud storage.
“Moving to SmartVault has cut out at least 75% of on-premise paperwork. And in the restaurant industry, that’s a lot of paper,” said Kristy.
No Longer on the Menu: 86-ing Tedious Manual Processes
Once SmartVault was implemented across all McLoone’s locations (10 total), staff began the process of scanning in paper—including invoices, receipts, check stubs, employee information, deposit slips, and more.
“We just jumped in and started scanning from day one,” Kristy explained. “We are down to keeping very few paper files. Everything else, we scan and then shred.”
Since adopting SmartVault, the company has also done away with outmoded faxes, in favor of secure sharing through the SmartVault portal. Historically, sales journals from each restaurant had to be faxed in to McLoone’s headquarters every night. “The amount of fax paper used was ridiculous—about 10 sheets, per night, per restaurant,” Hensle stated. “And with ten stores, that’s an overwhelming amount of paper.”
Kristy was also quick to point out the time savings. The company’s pre-SmartVault invoice process was completely manual. Invoices were entered into QuickBooks and all supporting paperwork was packaged up and mailed in to headquarters.
“When I was a General Manager, I was responsible for this process. I would gather up all the paperwork, put it in an envelope, and then walk to the FedEx store to mail it. I took my FedEx receipt and then filed it back at the restaurant. I also remember being asked to drive around and pick up other locations’ paperwork. I spent a lot of time traveling to pick up and deliver paper,” Kristy explained.
For staff at headquarters, this also meant shuffling through volumes of paper to reconcile accounts. “Today, we simply run an activity log report and reconcile accounts on-screen. It’s so much faster.”
Random requests for paperwork also sucked up a lot of time according to Kristy. “We get inquires that require us to track down certain documents, like maybe an invoice. A complete exchange like this would take about two hours on average. Today, instead of manually searching, faxing over, and then re-filing paper, we locate the document in SmartVault in seconds.”
Implementation Goes Down Smoothly
As the CFO, Kristy took part in the SmartVault implementation across all 10 locations. “Installation was very easy. It took about 2-3 minutes to download and we were good to go.”
Of course, with change often comes resistance from staffers who are set in their ways. And while the actual technology side of implementation was smooth, it took staff some time to adjust.
“We implemented a whole new process around SmartVault. We eliminated paper copies, requiring that all paper be scanned in. Even though it saves us so much time, people don’t like change,” Kristy recalled. “But after I did a few one-on-one onsite training sessions and some webinars, staff adapted pretty quickly.”
At a high level, SmartVault has saved the company a great deal of time—allowing them to remove the majority of paper from their processes and the tedious manual tasks that go with it.
“The restaurant business is incredibly fast-paced. There’s not a lot of spare time during the day. Anywhere that we can find to save time is exceptionally helpful,” Kristy said. “SmartVault has been a huge help in the area of time savings!”