Each day up to 300,000 items of freight are picked up and delivered, with an industry leading ~99% success rate.</li></li></ul><li>Core Services<br />
Star Track Express Locations<br /><ul><li>30 Strategically located facilities</li></li></ul><li>Star Track Express Agent Network<br /><ul><li>575 Authorised Agents</li></li></ul><li>Problems with the Old Process (2003)<br /><ul><li>Every invoice was manually checked, approved and physically moved across the company. Average of 23 days to get to Payables.
Invoices being lost and delayed caused friction between suppliers, branch employees and Payables.
Lack of compliance with process and policies, Purchase Orders often written up after the invoice was received. Hard to be sure who had approved.
Poor coding of invoices and subsequent errors in Financial Reports.
Payments made mainly by cheque (90%). More delays in paying vendors.
Invoices filed sometime after payment. Time consuming process. Hard to find, some lost and misplaced. Ran out of storage space.
Payables needed to be kept open for 2 weeks after month end, causing Financial Reports to be distributed 1 week before then next month started.
END RESULT: EVERYONE IS UNHAPPY !!</li></li></ul><li>What we wanted to achieve<br /><ul><li>The Question We Asked: “How come we move several hundred thousand pieces of freight every day from thousands of our customers to tens of thousands of their customers with a 99% success rate - yet we can't move 500 invoices a day from 30 locations to 1 in under 23 days, and with many being lost along the way.....PEOPLE, PROCESS AND TECHNOLOGY !!”</li></li></ul><li>Initial (non P2P) changes. <br /><ul><li>We needed to get some basics right first.
We aggressively moved payments from cheques to EFT (went from 90% Cheques to 90% EFT). This reduced the workload on Payables and increased the speed of payment to Vendors.
We aggressively moved away from printing and posting remittances (went from 100% mailed, to 10% mailed, 40% emailed and 50% faxed). Again this reduced workload on Payables and made our Vendors life a little easier.</li></ul>Hint – Get your ‘House in Order’ before moving forward. Remove the noise before the project starts !<br />
For us this was imaging, workflow, strong approval control, ability to deploy to hundreds of users economically, and an intuitive and user friendly UI.
Inventory integration, project costing, budgetary control were not important.
We then looked at market at found there was not much out there. The major ERP providers were very expensive, had UI which was not user friendly and did not have great imaging capabilities.
We were struggling to find something which ticked all the boxes, but then e-Flow (now Basware) popped out of nowhere.</li></ul>Hint – don’t think you need to purchase the EPP/P2P solution from your ERP provider. They do not need to be one and the same.<br />
Deployment Timetable<br />Hint: Pilots prove capability better then anything else. If a pilot can be built quickly and has a high percentage then subsequent development should be relatively pain free. P2P is a process which should lend well to quick Pilots as it should be a matter of configuration, not major development.<br />
Deployment Hints<br /><ul><li>Get in front of people to give them the vision and what is in it for them.
Stress that it isn’t really a big change (memo to email analogy).
Hands on training is great if you can afford the time.
Put in place monitoring very early to see where problems are (both in AP and users) – and make it visible.
Put in SLA’s around the key things like ‘receive to scan’ and ‘send to users’.
Pick the easy wins first (i.e. Invoice Processing for us). Don’t let the hard stuff slow you down.
OCR may not be all it is hyped to be. We don't use it and are happy to leave it that way.</li></li></ul><li>Deployment Hints<br /><ul><li>Get ready to deal with non-compliance of existing policy and process being a bigger issue then understanding how to use the system.
There are new tasks and job functions involved with P2P solutions, for example scanning. Don't try and simply put staff who used to do one function into a new one. Putting a person who was an AP Clerk into a scanning role may not work - get the right people for the right role. This may mean new people.
Put in manual workarounds if it means you can keep moving, but make sure you go back and remove them afterwards. </li></li></ul><li>The New Process – (2004)<br /><ul><li>Invoices mainly received at National Office (many electronically).
Reduction of headcount (gone from 8 FTE for < 100k Invoices to 7 FTE with >120k Invoices, plus have added other valuable tasks).
Enhanced reputation to the business (Finance) and our Vendors.
A platform to build a high performing AP team.</li></ul>Hint: be prepared to have high turnover in AP, but this could be a good thing ! We had 100% turnover in the first few years, but now have almost zero turnover and a very happy team.<br />
Unanticipated Benefits and Costs<br /><ul><li>Invoice lookup capability, image, approvals, audit trail – Auditors love it !
Automation of final checking, greater checking with less time.
Personal archives, has increased visibility and reduced paper.
Visibility for end users post their interaction (i.e. Approval/Payment Status).</li></li></ul><li>Continuous Improvement (2004 onwards)<br /><ul><li>Faster close (we now close AP same day which allows complete financial close 3 days later – 12 day + reduction from 2003).
Better clients (now all web based, also progressively more functionality like archive improvements, reporting, improved workflows, etc).</li></li></ul><li>Continuous Improvement (2004 onwards)<br /><ul><li>Integration with Reports and ERP.</li></li></ul><li>Continuous Improvement (2004 onwards)<br /><ul><li>End user coding - guided coding and validated on the fly.
External Shopping Basket Integration.</li></li></ul><li>Continuous Improvement (2004 onwards)<br /><ul><li>Business rule validations moved to client. Stoped problems at source.</li></ul>Hint - make sure you have a System Owner who can continually look for improvements and make them happen. Someone who can cross the IT and Finance boundary. <br />
What the future holds<br /><ul><li>Supplier Portal - Invoice Upload.
Automation to remove Clerk coding and distribution tasks.
Mobile access, iPads, iPhones. </li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>One of the most successful implementations done at Star Track Express, it is now part of our fabric.
Challenge, if you haven't gone down this path - why not ?? There are great, mature solutions out there which can be deployed relatively risk free with a quick ROI. Start a pilot as soon as you can, you won't regret it.
Challenge, if you have gone done the path make sure you put the time and effort in to enact continuous improvement. All the effort and cost goes into the initial selection and deployment - the tweaking is relatively simple but has high payback. </li></li></ul><li>What it’s all about.......<br />