High-growth leader in imports and spirits distribution and modernizes payments and scales operations with Paystand.
Automate same-day payment processes required by federal regulations while reducing the number of keystrokes performed by staff and increasing self-service for customers.
Paystand’s SuiteApp provides Elenteny Imports powerful features within NetSuite that increase payment speed, reduce data entry, and offer self-service options to customers.
“Paystand has been a great tool for us. The reduction in manual effort has freed us up to provide a higher level of customer service and to be more diligent with collections.”
Elenteny Imports is a multifaceted company that provides logistical and administrative support to importers of wine, beer, and spirits.
Tim Elenteny and Alexi Cashen launched Elenteny Imports in 2010 to share their deep industry experience with importers, suppliers, and wine brokers seeking to manage their U.S. market operations. Due to federal import regulations, the company had to use a labor-intensive process for same-day payments. The problem only intensified as the business grew.
Since inception, Elenteny Imports has grown into a multifaceted company that provides logistical and administrative support to importers of wine, beer, and spirits. With offices in New York City and San Francisco, Elenteny Imports’ services include international importing, national compliance and direct-to-trade distribution sales.
Given that Elenteny Imports works primarily with non-U.S. businesses, federal import regulations play a major part in the company’s’ day-to-day operations. No one knows this better than Will Jex, Financial Controller for Elenteny Imports.
“We deal with a lot of time-sensitive payments, Because there’s a regulatory consequence if an account is delinquent, we have to offer a same-day processing option. That means creating a physical check for the customer (with their permission),” said Will.
For customers interested in making same-day payments, Elenteny Imports’ accounting team went through a cumbersome, labor-intensive process. Each customer would provide a photo of a check, along with written permission for A/R staff to generate a paper copy of the check using a check writer program. All checks would then be included in the deposit for the day.
In addition, Will and the A/R team spent a great deal of time just keying in customer payments. There was no option for customers to self-serve, so all payments had to be keyed in manually by an A/R team member. That meant keying in the amount on the invoice and marking it as closed in 2 different platforms.
"We wanted to reduce the number of touches we have to apply to any given transaction. Our customer base is always growing, and we needed a solution that would allow us to keep pace without continually adding manpower.”
Will initially approached Alexi Cashen, CEO and Co-founder of Elenteny Imports, with a proposal to set up an ACH processor, as ACH payments would eliminate the same-day printing and depositing of checks. Alexi responded with a question: how can we eliminate excessive keying with something that integrates with our existing systems?
After evaluating Paystand and one other provider, the decision was clear. Will and the A/R team could continue their current efforts and hire incremental staff as the company grew, or they could launch Paystand and eliminate their burgeoning manual tasks.
Over the course of the implementation, Paystand connected the Paystand for NetSuite SuiteApp to Elenteny Imports’ NetSuite account. With the launch of Paystand, Will and the A/R team can now take advantage of the following features:
Today, invoices are created in NetSuite and sent with an accompanying Paystand “Pay Now” link. Customers can choose from a variety of digital payment methods, thus eliminating the need for Elenteny Imports’ lengthy same-day paper check process. And the online payment process is available to customers at their convenience, thus reducing the need to call in and interact with A/R staff.
Once payment is rendered through Paystand’s “Pay Now” link, both Paystand and Netsuite receive automatic updates to reconcile the account. Will and the A/R team can continue using the NetSuite interface to manage the process without having to log into Paystand separately.
Since the launch of Paystand’s SuiteApp, Elenteny Imports has experienced significant growth in sales year-over-year while maintaining an increase in team capacity.
“Our invoice processing volume doubled in a year without generating a need for increased headcount,” said Will. And, between payments made through Paystand and external banking apps, Elenteny Imports now processes over one-third of payments online.