Maines installed a back office payment and document management system from ACOM Solutions, Inc.
According to Business Systems Analyst Charles Gilmore at Maines, acquisition of the new solution was driven by continuing requests for electronic payment from large vendors within the company's pool of suppliers, which collectively furnish Maines with thousands of products ranging from fresh meats and produce to paper products and janitorial chemicals.
"The ACH requirement was the trigger for change," Gilmore said. "Our previous provider had a solution that was cost prohibitive. Our team identified several alternatives on the Internet, one of which was EZPayManager/400, and after a thorough evaluation we determined that ACOM offered the best price-performance trade-off."
Conversion to the new system occurred in June 2006, with four major vendors implemented for ACH immediately and several dozen more waiting to convert.
"We have not actively promoted ACH," Gilmore said. "Normally, vendors initiate the conversion and with ACOM's EZPayManager/400 we can make the change very quickly and easily. It is merely a matter of getting their banking information, setting up the process with their banks and putting the data and rules into the secure ACOM software."
Maines' ACOM back office solution is comprised of the EZPayManager/400 payment management system with MICR laser checks and ACH electronic payments output, and the EZeDocs/400 document output management system, The EZeMail/400, EZeFax/400 and EZPDF/400 modules that serve both the payments and the document solutions. The software runs native on an iSeries Model 825 under OS/400 v. 5.3, with data from Retalix, an enterprise software system for the retail food, foodservice distribution and fuel industries.
"The fact that we have multiple distribution centers in upstate New York, New York City, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, and Tennessee, each with its own bank accounts and routing numbers, could have made the implementation complicated, but ACOM's professional services staff handled the task easily," Gilmore said. "The entire payment process is smooth and seamless and we are moving additional vendors to ACH payments as quickly as we can."