An upgrade to SAP ERP provided both EDI and imaging capabilities, so the company elected to transition to paperless processing.
The company’s move to a paperless AP environment would affect PO and non-PO invoice processing. The company turned to Exela to deploy a solution that would automate invoice processing through a digital vendor portal meeting the following objectives:
- Improve supplier satisfaction by providing easy access for self-service
- Reduce staff and operating expense
- Reduce paper submissions
- Transition all vendors to the new web portal
Due to the complex nature of the customer’s environment, Exela recommended a transition plan divided into multiple phases, with the first two phases focusing on the most critical aspects of the solutions, PO invoices and non-PO invoices.
Once the first phase was underway, invoice mail and supported documents, faxes, and emails were routed to Exela’s Troy, Michigan facility for processing. Exela provided the scanning, data capture, validation, and processing of imaged data for use in the new environment.
One of the key challenges of the launch was getting vendors to transition to the self-service portal. In addition to sending out notices and adding portal information to internal documents, AP analysts were tasked with encouraging widespread adoption. The customer set recruiting goals for analysts, offering prizes to top recruiters who hit major milestones, such as being first to get 100 vendors signed on. As the numbers increased, an intern was hired to call lagging vendors and encourage them to join in.
Saving time for both internal customers and suppliers was a primary goal in developing the digital vendor portal. A snapshot dashboard was developed, displaying the status of multiple invoices on a single screen, which made it easy to track payments by vendor ID, invoice date, amount, clearing information, and other data. All data was made available for export to PDF, Excel, and Word file formats. The dashboard enables suppliers to easily view status as well as confirmation of what invoices were in the system.