Orienge Case Study. Accounts Payable Automation
The client company is a fast growing full turnkey company specializing in the development and deployment of wireless networks (Cellular, Broadband and Microwave) throughout the United States.
Based in California, the company has several offices across the United States, having over 200 full time employees, as well as multiple independent contractors and sub-contractor resources. The company relies on over one hundred vendors and independent teams of engineers across the country.
Our case study company was experiencing a fast growing amount of payable invoices exceeding 30,000 invoices per year. Internally, managers kept throwing people at the invoice problem hoping for better control and transparency, but were losing that uphill battle and the requests for ‘additional people’ kept coming.
A four-person accounts payable department was overwhelmed with the manual processing of invoices. In some cases, a single invoice could take 2-4 weeks to get approved which led to frequent payment delays. With no centralized invoice management system, duplicate data entry was a normal occurrence. Each of the remote offices had their own invoice registers, and the data was not synchronized. As the approval and payment processes were far from being transparent, executives were unable to track key vendors credit limits.
This project was aimed at automating Accounts Payable, streamlining and accelerating the invoice process. The client was looking for a flexible solution whose business logic could be customized to the unique organizational rules. Expectations for the company also included integrating the new invoice management system with existing financial reporting and inventory control systems. All of these changes were aimed at gaining centralized control of the invoice process.
The customer was looking for a highly flexible solution that would meet its unique business and IT infrastructure requirements, including complete and seamless integration with their ERP system as well as quick and effective implementation in all the remote offices. After a rigorous evaluation, the company selected Conterra FIM.
A major challenge was presented by automatic recognition of incoming invoices. Conterra FIM was expected to consolidate all types of incoming invoices and transform them into a consistent electronic format, despite a wide variety of invoice types.
To meet this challenge, Orienge specialists analyzed thousands of invoices, adapted all vendor profile details, and thus improved the recognition accuracy. As a result, Conterra FIM was able to extract the required data from invoices, recognize it and match against the data in the system. Additionally, the Orienge team significantly improved the accuracy of vendor name recognition providing its extraction even by the logo. Consequently, the number of recognized invoices dramatically increased to over 90%.
Automated invoice matching within Conterra FIM helped eliminate duplicate data entry (invoices, vendor profile details, etc.).
To automate invoice processing and dramatically reduce the approval time, Conterra FIM processing routes were programmed according to the business rules of the company. Whenever an invoice was routed to relevant individuals, Conterra FIM provided them with a detailed instruction , and in some cases email notification.
Conterra FIM was remotely implemented in all the company offices at the same time. The web-based application provided a single point of entry for invoice processing at all of the offices and departments. All employees involved in the invoice approval process were trained to verify invoices in the new system.
Top executives gained the process visibility due to the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) dashboard that visually represents their invoices critical data. During the Conterra FIM implementation, key participants could keep track of invoice processing either online (real time) or through daily reporting.
Implementation included integration with the client’s accounting system (QuickBooks Enterprise) and inventory control system (WASP). As the customer had no in-house IT staff, these systems were implemented simultaneously by fully outsourced specialists supervised by the Orienge technical team.
The client’s employees now capture, validate, approve and provide payment advice of invoices using Conterra FIM. Thirty users located in different cities regularly process invoices using Conterra FIM with almost no manual intervention.
Invoice processing has been significantly streamlined, replacing the manual paper-based process with a robust solution. Since implementing the system, the invoice approval time has reduced from 3 weeks to just 3 days, and payment delays have been eliminated. Further benefits of installing Conterra FIM can be seen in reducing labor costs, as only one employee is necessary to verify invoices now.
With Conterra FIM, invoice processing has become predictable, smooth and transparent, providing unified and synchronized data across company departments. Managers estimate the efficiency of their business using the KPI dashboard and reporting and thus easily track the approval process and payments.
The Orienge team now maintains the implemented Conterra FIM software and improves it to better meet new customer’s needs.