derbyshire county council
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DESCRIPTIONOpenText helps reduce physical paper storage, eliminate duplication, provide management reporting, and streamline end-to-end “invoice-to-settle” process times
- 1. CUSTOMER S U C C E S S S T O RY Taking Control: 250,000 Vendor Invoices at Derbyshire County Council OpenText helps reduce physical paper storage, eliminate duplication, provide management reporting, and streamline end-to-end invoice-to-settle process timesIndustry Derbyshire County Council serves a population of 750,000 and employs around 37,000 staff. The Council is responsible for providing many services, including education, roads, and socialPublic Sector: UK Local Government care services. Some of the day-to-day finance activities of the Council produce a staggeringCustomer volume of information with some 20,000 vendors, resulting in 250,000 invoices per year being handled by the Accounts Payable team. In late 2008, Derbyshire made the decision to implement an SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This would form the basis for a significant programme of change, replacing an ageing mainframe system that was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.Business ChallengesWith the mainframe IT workforce reaching retirement age and no sign of being able to keepA Ageing mainframe system, difficult topace with current, let alone future regulations, it was time to start the process of moving awayintegrate and maintain from their bespoke, in-house-developed mainframe system.E Efficiency drivers and cost-reductiontargetsHandling vendor invoices: The old wayS Skilled knowledge workers reaching With vendor invoices arriving at numerous locations throughout the county, and a manualretirement age process to approve and match invoices to purchase orders, it was possible for invoices to beI Increasing difficulty in meeting new and lost before reaching the Accounts Payable team. When invoices arrived, details were manuallyemerging regulations entered into the system, further increasing the likelihood of errors.Business SolutionAll this led to an inability to meet prompt payment targets. A downside was that early or even prompt settlement discounts could not be claimed. Gaining a clear picture of the CouncilsI OpenText Vendor Invoice Managementfor SAP Solutions (sold by SAP as financial liability at any point in time was an almost insurmountable task. Change was definitelySAP Invoice Management by OpenText)needed, says Chris Woodhouse, Finance Lead Officer (SAP), Derbyshire County Council.Business BenefitsSelecting the right solutionI Greater efficiency in vendor invoice In early 2009, Derbyshire looked at the feasibility of adding the capability of SAP to handleprocessing vendor invoices in a more efficient way. Business requirements were scoped, along with aI Reduction in processing timesstated objective of using a commercially available, out-of-the-box solution that didnt requireI More flexible, detailed reporting andcustomisation or significant configuration. This was the basis of their SAP ERP project and anyanalysis now possibleadditional capability had to follow this model. They also wanted the comfort that any solutionI Ability to identify bottlenecks in selected was proven and well supported. They took up the chance to visit an existingprocesses and take remedial action OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions customer and were impressedI Full audit trail, retention, and with what they saw.disposition scheduling We selected OpenText, then set about the project in April 2009 with the objective of going live with not only SAP but also OpenText in April 2010; an aggressive timeframe, Woodhouse says.
2. Introducing a new way of working Recognising the business benefitsAn intrinsic part of the project, key to its success, was gettingWith the solution going live in April 2010, the full benefits haventthe right people involved. With around 1,000 staff involved in yet been realised. But already some elements are becoming visiblethe invoice to settle process, a lot of people would be affected with others expected in the future. For a fully-matched invoice (i.e.by change. Gathering requirements from the business, keeping one with a full purchase order cover and a full match of metadata)people informed along the way, and having what would be thethe time from scan to being sent for payment is now a matter ofeventual users of the system involved in testing all paid dividendsminutes, with no paper being sent around the Council.with the implementation. Reporting capabilities of the solution are already providingOpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions nowsignificant improvements over the old system. Queries can becentrally captures incoming invoices and performs initial checks made and feedback is instantaneous, for example, identifyingon the documents. Standard metadata is extracted and, wherewhere bottlenecks exist and enabling staff to take remedialappropriate, is matched to a purchase order within SAP ERP. If action to address any issues. The Council is now able to reporta full match is found, the invoice is sent for payment. If no exacton its vendor liability, something that was effectively impossiblematch is found or some other discrepancy is highlighted, the before due to the length of time the preparation took. Reportinginvoice is automatically routed to an exceptions work queue whichfunctionality is also being used to analyse multiple low-valueappears in the users standard work list within SAP ERP. A membertransactions with vendors as a basis to support migration toof the Accounts Payable team is then able to view the scannedconsolidated invoices.invoice and make any necessary updates and then route theDerbyshire, like all other Councils, are continuously under pressureinvoice for approval as normal.to do more with the same or less budget. During their analysisWith Accounts Payable staff utilising the solution throughout theirphase, they calculated that the cost to process each vendor invoiceworking day and up to 1,000 staff in total interacting in some way was significant. Derbyshire fully expects that OpenText Vendorwith the solution, user adoption is a critical factor for success. Invoice Management for SAP Solutions will significantly reduceTraining of staff was delivered in one of two waysfor power users,these costs. Added to the potential savings in space resulting fromformal classroom training was provided, and for other users, a storing less paper and the ability to take advantage of early andseries of mini guides with step-by-step instructions and screenshotprompt payment discounts, overall, the solution is on its way toillustrations were utilised. Both methods have been well receivedproviding the return on investment Derbyshire set out to achieve.and user acceptance of the solution has been high. Paving the way for the future Even though the solution has been viewed as an overall success to datebeing on budget, on time, and meeting requirementsits not to say that lessons havent been learnt along the way. For example, the chart of authority is now viewed as overly complex and therefore requires a large amount of time to maintain. This is now under review and will be simplified. Further areas are being looked at in detail to see where processes can be further streamlined, reducing costs and providing additional cashable benefits. Overall were very happy with the solution and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with OpenText, as together we explore other avenues, concludes Woodhouse.www.opentext.com email@example.com +44(0)1189 848 080Visit online.opentext.com for more information about OpenText solutions. OpenText is a publicly traded company on both NASDAQ (OTEX) and the TSX (OTC).Copyright 2011 by Open Text Corporation. Trademarks or registered trademarks of Open Text Corporation. This list is not exhaustive. All other trademarks orregistered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 11MACU0179EN