The decision to automate Accounts Payable _ Their Accounts Payable (AP) department consisted of 13 people processing in the region of 180ꯠ invoices per year from suppliers across Europe. Invoices need to be approved by 250 individuals from 3 offices in the UK, 11 depots and 2 manufacturing plants, in addition to users in mainland Europe.
Extending the solution _ Now that the solution is fully implemented, they are already looking at the next steps. An obvious move is to capture invoices that originate electronically, either as EDI or that are sent by email. Although the data entry problems may not exist with these invoices, they still need to be approved in the same way as paper invoices so the workflow will be of benefit. IMS also includes a Management Information module with full reporting capabilities which is also being investigated.
Another outcome is an increase in efficiency; the AP department can instantly find an invoice without having to waste time chasing the business users. With approximately 70% of the invoices now matching the PO immediately, a considerable amount of invoices only require scanning, after which the process is entirely automated. This efficiency has directly resulted in a reduction in the number of people required in the Accounts Payable department; before the system was installed the team consisted of 13 people and there have been reductions in headcount, as the AP manager substantiates: "The IMS system has increased efficiency in our Accounts Payable department to such an extent that on full implementation we expect to reduce our headcount by 4."