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Exela Streamlines Accounts Payable System for Hospital Network

A large not-for-profit health system with five hospitals in-network and approximately $2.1 billion in annual net revenue was in need of replacing their complex procurement and payment process


A large not-for-profit health system with five hospitals in-network was in need of significant process improvements to its Accounts Payable (AP) system. 

The customer needed to replace their complex procurement and payment process, involving multiple partners and highly manual workflows, with an AP system that would better serve their needs and the needs of their suppliers.

The health system worked with over 5,000 suppliers and a large portion of their spend was through non-PO purchases.

For these non-PO purchases, there were no pre-approved budget checks and the entire approval workflow occurred after ordering and procurement took place. This challenge was compounded by the fact that the existing approval matrix was very complex.

A lack of purchase controls and visibility into purchases made order consolidation and contract negotiations nearly impossible. This led to there being existing supplier contracts that went underutilized or entirely unutilized and the entire purchasing process was non-optimal as a result.


In order to effectively retool the health system’s procure-to-pay workflow, Exela began by taking over mailroom services in order to manage AP operations from the invoice entry point.

Exela’s in-house, multi-function, high-speed scanning platform, with integrated optical character recognition and intelligent character recognition technology, was used to digitize paper invoices and capture invoice data.

The data was then routed downstream to Exela’s P2P platform, and specifically the AP automation module, where the majority of the approval workflows could be done without human intervention. Exceptions and non-PO invoices were able to be auto-routed to the appropriate approvers.

To address the supplier side of the procurement process, Exela implemented a self-service vendor portal that the health system’s more than 5,000 suppliers could use to more easily submit their invoices for payment and manage inquiries with the health system.

In order to help both sides smoothly transition to the new system, Exela also provided customer and vendor training, and ongoing IT support.

  • Identification of key suppliers causing the largest amounts of non-PO expenditures and exceptions
  • Integrated solution with automated routing for non-PO invoices
  • On-line expense report solution with over 15,000 users
  • Unified communication channels (physical and digital)
  • Downstream process efficiencies and improvements