The Russell Group, a UK logistics and warehousing firm, is achieving efficiency savings of over £100,000 per year after automating its purchase-to-pay (P2P) process using m-hance’s electronic invoice (e-invoicing) solution, Invoice Approvals and Accruals (IA&A).
Before implementing IA&A, the Russell Group’s P2P processes were extremely time-consuming and costly as a result of handling paper. Purchase invoices would arrive into its head office in Glasgow and then have to be circulated to its 15 different sites across the UK where they would require signatory approval. Invoices would often get lost or mislaid, resulting in further delays to the approval process.
Ronnie Johnstone, group information and communication technology (ICT) manager, from the Russell Group, said: “Previously it took approximately four weeks from distributing an invoice to the relevant person to manually authorise it and then return the approved invoice to the finance department to process. As the organisation grew this became extremely inefficient as we used to spend inordinate amounts of time chasing people for approval.
“The lack of visibility as to where invoices were in the approval chain also impacted the control we had over our finances and our supplier relationships who are very important to us.”
Using m-hance’s IA&A solution tightly integrated into its finance system, the 75,000 invoices that the Russell Group receives each year are now electronically scanned or emailed directly to its head office. IA&A accurately tracks the status and location of all unapproved invoices using its finance system’s query tool, speeding-up its entire approval process and significantly reducing the amount of wasted time associated with lost or missing documents.
The solution’s invoice matching workflow provides added functionality for users to approve, reject or query scanned invoices via a web browser. This functionality also incorporates enquiries for entering and approving requisitions in addition to checking and approving invoices that have been marked as requiring approval, improving financial visibility and accounts payable (A/P) reporting.
Johnstone said: “By automating a range of paper-based processes m-hance’s solution is saving us in excess of £100,000 each year and has given us much greater financial control. IA&A is easy-to-use and has given us remarkable time savings by reducing our invoice approval times from four weeks to just ten minutes, transforming staff productivity levels. Furthermore, paying our invoices in a timelier manner has enhanced our supplier relationships, and will place us in a stronger position to negotiate early payment discounts in the future.”
To further streamline its accounts payable processes, the Russell Group is considering implementing eInvoicing, m-hance’s new cloud-based invoice processing solution. eInvoicing, which interfaces with IA&A, enables users to easily process text PDF invoices received via email, further cutting the costs associated with manual processing and eliminating the need to ever print, scan and circulate paper invoices.
Johnstone added: “As a leading supply chain and logistics company we take our responsibilities to the environment extremely seriously. By dramatically cutting paper consumption we anticipate that eInvoicing will support our green agenda and deliver us additional significant efficiency savings by reducing our processing costs by up to 80%, further improving our bottom line.”
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