The AI Advantage: Fuel, Convenience Store, and Pharmacy Chain Gains Financial Visibility Using Square 9

Industry: Fuel, Retail, Pharmacy

Company: The Dutch Group

Departments Impacted: Accounting, Pharmacy, Clinics

Featured Products: GlobalSearch, GlobalCapture, TransformAI

Objective: Automate accounts payable processes, reduce invoice capture effort using AI, and eliminate data silos by integrating with the company’s ERP solution, PDI.

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Meet The Dutch Group

Founded in 1972 as the Dutch Oil Company, the Dutch Group pioneered many firsts in their local market, such as a free car wash with a fuel up, 24-hour service, and same-day dry cleaning within a convenience store. Expanding into industries such as family clinics, medspas, and pharmacies, the Dutch Group now serves customers in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana while staying committed to their core values; honesty, service, vision, trust, quality, teamwork, joy, respect, and potential.  


Despite expansion into multiple states and locations, the Dutch Group’s invoice processing remained very manual, with paper invoices being hand-delivered from service locations to local offices.“We have four clinics, and the invoices would either be sent to the corporate office or to the clinics,” explains the Dutch Group’s Corporate Controller, Lily Setiawan. “When they were sent to the clinics, the Office Managers reviewed them, signed them, and put them in an envelope to be delivered to the office, said Setiwan.”

This process led to frequent bottlenecks and confusion, often resulting in missed payments and office discord. “The invoices would get lost or misplaced, and then we’d find out when the Office Managers were trying to place an order that an account was blocked due to nonpayments,” Setiawan continues. “Then they would blame us, we would say we never received the invoice, and we would go back and forth for some time.”

The manual nature of the Dutch Group’s former invoice process also consumed additional time. When questioning an expense in PDI, the company’s financial system, for example, accounting staff, needed to visit the warehouse in the building next door to retrieve the invoices. “When the Office Managers questioned why an expense was so high, they’d ask for a copy of the invoice, and we’d have to go to the file cabinet in the warehouse to scan it,” mentioned Setiawan.


The Dutch Group learned about Square 9 and its invoice automation solutions at a study group for the fuel and convenience store industry. “Every year, I attend a study group with several CFOs and Controllers from the convenience store industry. We discuss best practices, challenges, what we can do better, and what’s out there, and several members mentioned Square 9,” Setiawan explained.

The Dutch Group quickly decided to implement a Square 9 solution to capture, index, and archive their invoices. This solution would also route the invoices throughout the approval process and share captured data with the company’s ERP system, PDI. Implementing in phases across different branches of the company, the Dutch Group first started with their family clinics. Once happy with that system, they began implementation for their Pharmacies, during which several challenges regarding internal controls were addressed and met. “We have 11 stores, and we didn’t want them to see each other’s invoices and get confused,” explains Setiawan. “With Square 9, you just see your store’s invoices. That’s all the stores need to know, and that’s all they need to be responsible for.”

Additional concerns about internal controls and security were addressed with the solution’s document capture component. “I kept stressing that because the solution is so automatic, I have to make sure that our internal controls are still in place,” explained Setiawan. “We didn’t want just anybody to be able to scan in an asset.”


Despite these initial concerns, the final solution provided the exact combination of controls and efficiency that the Dutch Group was looking for, which according to Setiawan, was in no small part thanks to the service Square 9 provided. “We had a good project implementor,” Setiawan stated. He did a really good job helping us figure out a process with multiple approvers. He also helped with security, so the stores can’t see each other’s documents, but the Director can see everything.”

The Dutch Group quickly made great use of Square 9’s Enterprise Content Management solution’s visibility into the accounts payable process, gaining full oversight of the status of invoices, payments, and more. “With Square 9, all the information is in there. You can see whether an invoice was sent or not,” stated Setiawan. “That really speeds up the payment process, and we haven’t heard about any accounts being shut down because of non-payment.”

The Dutch Group is also fully taking advantage of Square 9’s integration with its ERP system, PDI. “If someone wants to know the status of an invoice, Square 9 can also capture the check number from PDI and update the invoice,” states Setiawan. “That really helps the office manager know if it’s been paid.” The component of their solution that the Dutch Group values most, though, is TransformAI, an AI-assisted, unstructured document capture system that provides increased accuracy and efficiency.

This powerful form of invoice capture saves the Dutch Group tremendous amounts of paid hours and allows its employees to focus on the tasks that they do best. “When the AI was implemented, the system just captured the vendor information and made things very easy,” states Setiawan. Now, pharmacists don’t have to work in the document capture tool anymore because the AI already handles it. They search for the invoice, approve it, make sure it looks good, and send it off because they’re pharmacists, and that’s what they do.


The Dutch Group’s staff had a very positive reaction to the solution with the introduction of TransformAI and the ease of use and efficiency it provided. “And I had really good feedback from my Pharmacists,” Setiawan adds. They are not accountants who know how to deal with invoice information. If the pharmacists think it’s pretty simple, then it’s an accomplishment for us.” The Dutch Group’s Office Managers and Pharmacists are even using Square 9 to find the information they need for their financial reports.  

“Recently, I had this Pharmacy Tech Manager who wanted to know how much we spend on our IVR [interactive voice response] system for when you call for your prescriptions and submit your information,” mentioned Setiawan. We can tell them to search for the vendor, and the system pulls all the invoices and tells her how much we paid. That was really helpful.” 

When asked if the Dutch Group would recommend Square 9 to its peers, Setiawan mentioned that she already has. “I shared TransformAI with our study group members. They were pretty impressed, Setiawan explains. “I think I have one study group member who is currently trying to implement Square 9 for their AP side.”

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