Howarth Timber Group | eInvoicing

Improving accuracy and efficiency with eInvoicing 

The Howarth Timber Group has significantly streamlined the way it processes and validates supplier invoices through the implementation of an automated e-invoicing system.

The Business: Howarth Timber Group

With over 175 years’ trading experience, the Howarth Timber Group is the UK’s largest privately-owned timber company. Over the years the Howarth Timber Group has expanded from a one man company to an employer of more than 1,000 specialists who know the industry inside out.

Operating a network of 33 timber and builders’ merchant branches across the country, Howarth Timber Group made the investment to increase invoice processing efficiency and streamline supplier payments. 

The Solution: eInvoicing

Open ECX, the fastest growing electronic trading community in the construction supply chain, provided Howarth Timber with their ‘easy e-invoice solution’; an e-invoicing system that automatically converts and validates PDF invoices received from suppliers into XML files, integrating seamlessly with the business’ back office system, in Howarth Timber’s case, the Kerridge K8 system.

Paul Cornford, Group Information Systems Manager at Howarth Timber, said: “As a business, we want to move towards EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) wherever possible. Approximately 15 per cent of our major suppliers already use conventional EDI.

The bulk of the remaining 85 per cent – which equates to around a half of all of our invoices received for stock – are the ones we wanted to reach with Open ECX’s e-invoicing system. We were looking for a quick win, with high rates of supplier onboarding and noticeable results in terms of invoicing processing speeds.

I am pleased to say that the system is delivering everything we wanted from it. We’ve rolled it out on a phased basis and so far more than 90 suppliers have taken it onboard. For these suppliers, the process has become pretty slick, with their invoices processed and validated very quickly and reliably.”

Matthew Jones, CEO at Open ECX, added: “We’re delighted that our e-invoicing system is working so well for Howarth Timber. Our automated e-invoicing solution provides a third path for suppliers that were previously given the options of either submitting paper invoices of going for full EDI invoices.

All they need is the ability to create a pdf invoice. Our system can do the rest, automatically generating, validating and emailing PDF invoices. From Howarth Timber’s perspective, these documents are received and processed as if they were conventional EDI data files and processed directly into their core Financial System – Kerridge K8.”

To find out how eInvoicing could help your business, please contact us on 0161 543 5300 or email

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