WNS Casestudy - Centrica: High Visibility E-Invoicing Within an SAP Shared Services Environment


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This case study showcases the requirements of Centrica along with the solutions and benefits provided in order to meet the company’s stringent operating requirements.

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WNS Casestudy - Centrica: High Visibility E-Invoicing Within an SAP Shared Services Environment

  1. 1. Centrica: High Visibility E-Invoicing Within an SAP Shared Services Environment“The BizAps team demonstrated excellent business process knowledge togetherwith an in-depth understanding of SAP. This coupled with the products theyoffered, really impressed us.”Finance Transformation Manager, CentricaAbout Centrica The SolutionWell-known utilities supplier Centrica Plc was formed following The diagram below demonstrates how the automated processthe demerger of British Gas Plc in February 1997. Through its now operates. When an invoice is scanned in the UK, it is sentbrand British Gas, Centrica is one of the largest residential to a number of inboxes for processing by the offshore AP team.suppliers of gas and electricity in the UK. The group operates They then access each invoice image through the workbench inon a global scale, including operations in Europe and North order to manually enter the data and process the document.America. Centrica uses SAP ERP to support its back-officefunctions and recognises it as a key tool for driving operational If there is insufficient information on the invoice to process it,excellence across the organisation. The energy market is the operative can return the invoice to the vendor. The vendorconstantly changing; therefore, Centrica is continually looking will be informed of the rejected invoice by whatever means isfor new efficiencies to meet the company’s evermore stringent most appropriate for that vendor, for example, fax, e-mail oroperating requirements. letter. They will be advised of the reason for the rejection within the notification text.The Requirement Where invoices get blocked because they require approval fromHaving operated a successful shared services business model within the business, a workflow is invoked by the operatives.since 2000 and re-implemented SAP in 2005, Centrica was This will initiate an e-mail being sent to the relevant businesslooking for new ways to make savings. The spotlight fell on user who can then log in and resolve the issues surroundingAccounts Payable as an area where intensive manual the invoice. For PO invoices, workflow can be automaticallyprocesses could be sent offshore to reduce costs. The strategy initiated; for non-PO or FI invoices, an operative mustfor AP optimisation comprised using scanning technology to manually create a query.capture vendor invoice information in the UK, which wouldthen be presented onscreen for offshore operatives to enter The AP workbench provides a central area for managing allmanually and process. It was recognised that to give visibility document processing. The offshore operatives can view whatof documents within the process and to provide workflow with documents are awaiting processing, which are awaitingwhich to deal with those that blocked, further management approval and where there are delays in the process.tools would need to be employed. Based on research within The pool of reports available in the workbench also allows thethe marketplace and also advice from SAP UK, the BizAps AP Centrica management team to view how its AP team isWorkbench solution with the Web Invoice Approval module was performing. It also allows the Finance team to view whatidentified as a solution to meet these requirements. invoices are in the system at any given time, giving an up-to-Following several workshops to understand exactly what the date financial position.challenges were, a new process was designed (based on theAccounts Payable Workbench) to manage the processing ofscanned invoice documents. A blueprint was produced and thesolution was implemented in just two months.Copyright © 2012 WNS Global Services | wns.com Industry: Utilities | 01
  2. 2. Return non-compliant invoices to vendor Email invoices for issue resolution within business Web invoice approval BizAps AccountsScan invoices Invoices image Post Payment in UK inbox Payable Workbench Metrics Enter and Manage Invoice DocumentsThe BenefitsThe greatest benefit delivered by this solution is the visibility “BizAps speed of response coupledof exactly what documents are where at any given time. This with flexibility helped to ensure wevisibility applies across both the offshore AP team and theonshore management and financial teams. Each can gain an went live successfully and in line withoverview of what is going on at a given time. Given that theorganisation receives in excess of 1,000,000 invoices per year, our ambitious time-scales.”this is a significant benefit. Finance Transformation Manager, CentricaFor the offshore AP operatives, it means they can review thestatus of documents awaiting processing from the overviewscreen. For the onshore management team, there is the ability returned prior to the payment deadline. An additionalto monitor how the AP processes are performing and particular unforeseen benefit is the record of invoices returned to thepatterns identified and challenged. The finance team now also vendors. If a particular vendor is having a large proportion ofhas the visibility of liabilities across the organisation; under its invoices rejected, this suggests that follow-up is needed tothe paper-based process, this was very difficult to ascertain. educate the vendor on necessary data formats.The solution enables Centrica to enforce compliance with its The solution is easy to use ensuring buy-in from within thedesignated processes, for example, with MM invoices a organisation took place very quickly. The user-friendly nature ofpurchase order has to be linked to a GRN before an invoice the system meant that user training was carried out bycan be paid. This may not have happened under the previous Centrica personnel following some initial knowledge transferarrangement where a completed document may not have been from the BizAps team. “These tools give us high visibility of our processes and really help us to maintain control in an offshore environment.”Finance Transformation Manager, Centrica To learn how we can help extend your enterprise, write to us at marketing@wns.comCopyright © 2012 WNS Global Services | wns.com Industry: Utilities | 02