Continental Commercial Products

Executive Summary 

Continental Commercial Products began in 1939 when Wilen introduced its first line of yacht mops to the commercial cleaning industry. Continental, which is now under the umbrella of the Katy Industries corporate group, is currently a highly respected manufacturer, importer and distributor of commercial cleaning products. Continental caters to delivering manufacturing excellence for a wide range of products, but they specialize in injection and structural foam plastic items, as well as floor care textiles. 

Continental needed to streamline their accounts payable (AP) department functions to reduce document processing costs. They also wanted to increase controls in payables and minimize the manual labor costs that accrued each month processing AP documents. Continental looked to DataServ’s comprehensive Software as a Service (SaaS) Purchase to Pay (P2P) solution with workflow to assist with this initiative.

Business Challenge

Continental began as a DataServ Quote to Cash client in  2000, but their AP processing needs changed over time. By 2011, the company realized they needed to increase efficiencies in their AP document processing, and they had the following goals: 

  • Increase visibility into their payables process
  • Improve financial controls 
  • Remove lower value processes like data entry
  • Lower costs through optical character recognition  (OCR) data capture 
  • Reduce overall departmental processing errors
  • Maintain a leaner staff balance

How DataServ Helped

DataServ provided a SaaS P2P document and process automation solution with the following capabilities: 

  • SaaS OCR document capture from AP invoices 
  • Digital Mailroom workflow processing 
  • Management of retention and storage of AP documents 


This new solution began with Continental’s AP invoices being sent to DataServ’s Digital Mailroom. These invoices arrive via mail, email, or dedicated fax, and once received, they are prepped, scanned and imported and are then available online. 

With a 24-hour turnaround, DataServ’s Digital Mailroom  captures various data from 12 different fields on each  document, such as: 

  • Invoice Number 
  • Invoice Date 
  • Invoice Total 
  • Purchase Order (PO) Number 
  • Vendor Name and Number 
  • Buyer 
  • Warehouse 

This capture and fast turnaround time allows Continental’s  AP team to get quick visibility and tracking of all their documents and is possible because of the integrated operations of DataServ’s St. Louis-based Digital Mailroom and offshore data processing resources.

“We have a high percentage of PO-based invoices, so we knew DataServ’s AP workflow would help. These enhancements have made our process much more efficient.”

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