Streamlined, Paperless Accounts Payable Process at a High-tech Manufacturing Firm


Published on

As a world wide leader in sign, graphic arts, fine art, vehicle graphics, UV,
photography, engraving and 3D modeling industries, Roland DGA relies on a network of more than 1000 domestic and international vendors to supply them with the goods and services needed to service their customers. The Accounting Department at Roland DGA is tasked with ensuring that vendor invoices are paid promptly and accurately, by verifying the data against
internal records and seeking approval from managers.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Streamlined, Paperless Accounts Payable Process at a High-tech Manufacturing Firm

  1. 1. C A S E S T U DY Streamlined, Paperless Accounts Payable Process at a High-tech Manufacturing Firm OVERVIEW LOCATION: North and South America INDUSTRY: Manufacturing, High Technology As a world-wide leader in sign, graphic arts, fine art, vehicle graphics, UV, PRODUCT: Skelta BPM, Skelta Accounts Payable photography, engraving and 3D modeling industries, Roland DGA relies on a network of more than 1000 domestic and international vendors to supply them with the goods and services CUSTOMER PROFILE Roland DGA is a world-wide leader in sign, needed to service their customers. The Accounting Department at Roland DGA is tasked with graphic arts and allied industries and relies on ensuring that vendor invoices are paid promptly and accurately, by verifying the data against more than 1000 vendors to supply them with internal records and seeking approval from managers. the goods and services needed to service its customers. THE CHALLENGE CHALLENGE Roland DGA needed to automate its manual Roland DGA had a manual Accounts Payable process in which vendor invoices were routed to managers Accounts Payable process to ensure prompt in folders for physical signatures. Accounting teams were unable to track folders once they left the vendor payments, compliance with quality Accounting Department which led to misplaced documents, approval delays and time wasted searching standards and increased visibility for for and reproducing paper documents. In some cases, a single invoice could take weeks to get approved. Roland DGA kept approximately 30 file drawers for document storage on site, and used a storage facility Accountants and Managers. to archive documents. As a certified ISO 9001:2008 corporation and given its parent company’s compliance with Japanese Sarbanes Oxley (JSOx), Roland DGA subscribes to a high standard of quality and is subject to audits several times a year by external auditors to ensure that Roland DGA’s Accounts SOLUTION Payable approval policies are followed. Roland DGA chose Skelta BPM to build a new Accounts Payable process that interfaces with Roland DGA saw an urgent need to automate, simplify and better manage their Accounts Payable process, and identified these critical requirements: Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft SharePoint. ! Improve information accuracy and processes. ! Reduce processing cycle time, errors and cost. ! Complete audit trail of approvals for compliance. BENEFITS ! Manage documents electronically for paperless processing. n Compliance needs met ! Dynamically change approval steps and document flow. n Streamlined processes n Improved visibility and management Roland DGA’s Information Systems invests primarily in Microsoft based products and solutions for n Existing technologies leveraged productivity and IT infrastructure. Therefore, it was critical that any technology platform used to create n Less paper usage and manage the Accounts Payable process would leverage Microsoft technologies, by closely integrating n Complied with eco-friendly initiatives with existing IT systems like their accounting system - Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (Dynamics GP) and their intranet platform - Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).
  2. 2. WHY SKELTA BPM Roland DGA analyzed more than 70 solutions for capabilities related to workflow, document management, ease of use, Dynamics GP integration, MOSS integration, technical architecture, notification alerts, reporting & data access, support capabilities, total cost of ownership and vendor’s overall vision. After a rigorous evaluation, Roland DGA narrowed its final selection down to Skelta BPM. While Skelta BPM was rated highly on all expectations, specific capabilities which helped in taking the final decision were: ! Extensive customization features to develop interfaces & functionality to suit their needs. For example, it was important to generate simple, user friendly interfaces for non-technical users, like the Accounting Department or Business Managers. ! Powerful group tasking and notification capabilities, especially the ability to send consolidated notifications, tasks & routing work via multiple channels like the web, email or SMS. ! Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) capabilities with detailed process audit trails, for It is truly an incredible system that traceability & compliance. Skelta built in terms of the details ! Integration capabilities based on open standards like XML & Web Services that easily worked and richness of functionality. The with a range of systems like Dynamics GP 9.0 and higher, MOSS 2007 and the Microsoft workflow, user interface, and .NET Framework 3.0. document library is a significant Most importantly, there was synergy between Skelta BPM and the overall Information Systems vision at Roland DGA. improvement over the existing manual process and has the potential to be of great business RESULTS value to Roland DGA. Roland DGA worked closely with Skelta Professional Services to design and deploy an entirely new Accounts Payable application on Skelta BPM integrated closely with Dynamics GP 9.0 (as the system of Diane Bullock record for all transactions) and with MOSS 2007 (as the repository for documents, workflows and Business Systems Manager, privileges). The solution has streamlined the order-to-pay cycle for both Inventory (Purchase Order (PO)) Roland DGA Corp. and Non Inventory (Non-PO) payments. The Accounting Department is able to undertake 3-way matching between the original purchase order, the receipt and the invoice, for PO payment cycles. The Accounting Department can also view current legacy data, like vendor and line item details from Dynamics GP within the Skelta BPM interface for integrated processing. Managers receive consolidated email or web notifications of requests for payment approvals. Complex, multiple step approval of a payment is possible, with means for escalations and repetitive back and forth collaboration between approving managers and the Accounting Department, until completion of the payment cycle. All users have the means to annotate, highlight, version and search documents in process. Extensive role based views of accounts payable data & documents are available, ensuring that only users with appropriate privileges view the data. Approving managers are presented with simplified, highly usable interfaces with relevant data recorded by Business Activity Monitoring. Skelta BPM works effectively with Dynamics GP to enable payment approval. For example Dynamics GP is used to access purchase orders, receipts and vendor information. Final invoice documents created at the end of a payment cycle are stored in Dynamics GP as the system of record. Skelta BPM has enabled one button access from within Dynamics GP to the audit trail, and to related document images on MOSS. Finally, status changes made in Dynamics GP are then updated back to MOSS. The solution gives Roland DGA the ability to successfully scale system operations to process up to 1600 invoices in a month.
  3. 3. BENEFITS Roland DGA has been able to meet most of the critical requirements set out for the Accounts Payable process and has benefitted immensely from the new solution: COMPLIANCE NEEDS MET Efficiently automating business A complete audit trail is recorded for every document and stored for easy retrieval so Roland DGA’s compliance needs for quality standards like ISO and JSOx are being met. Audit trails and related processes is a key strategic initiative documents can be easily accessed from within the financial system. for Roland DGA that allows us to stay STREAMLINED PROCESSES ahead of our competitors. The Skelta BPM system provides Roland DGA The Accounts Payable process is streamlined and has shown several results: with a great platform to automate all Ÿ The time to approve an invoice has improved significantly from weeks to 2-3 days. types of business processes. Roland DGA can increase vendor discounts taken for on-time and early payment by up to 40%. Bob Castle VP Operations & CIO, Ÿ Roland DGA has been able to reduce the resources of its Accounts Payable staff by half. The simpler and streamlined automated process ensures that invoices once scanned and Roland DGA Corp. processed are routed as soft copies. Ÿ Managers approve invoices quickly, often in just one click, with minimal to no training required. Ÿ Managers can approve from anywhere using web based access. The consolidation of notification requests for approvals allows managers to plan their work better without being bombarded by emails. PAPERLESS PROCESSING The key reason we invested in the Roland DGA now has a centralized online repository of invoices and related documents, which can Accounts Payable project was to have easily be accessed and searched. By requesting that vendors send documents by email and electronic fax they are able to significantly reduce the amount of paper. Documents stored online no a solution that is paperless, cost longer need to be saved in traditional file cabinets and storage facilities. conscious and efficient. Bruce Lauper IMPROVED VISIBILITY AND MANAGEMENT EVP Finance & CFO, Managers have complete visibility into the process and can quickly identify and remove bottlenecks. Roland DGA Corp. Automated escalations, delegations and reassignments ensure that the process is not held up due to the absence or attrition of approving managers. The Accounting Department has complete visibility into the status and location of all documents at all times. EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES LEVERAGED By getting its new Accounts Payable process to work closely with existing Microsoft technologies, Roland DGA has been able to leverage its prior investments. Roland DGA now has a common BPM platform that can be used by all stakeholders to roll-out additional process based solutions that can leverage existing technologies.
  4. 4. ABOUT ROLAND ABOUT SKELTA ACCOUNTS PAYABLE SOLUTION Roland DGA (Digital Group America) Corporation Skelta Accounts Payable is a completely is the U.S. based marketing, distribution and web-based vendor invoice processing solution sales arm of Roland DG Corporation of that stream-lines the order-to-pay cycle for PO Hamamatsu, Japan, a worldwide leader in the and non-PO transactions. The solution includes out sign, graphic arts, fine art, vehicle graphics, UV, of the box processes for automated invoice photography, engraving and 3D modeling verifications & approvals against purchase orders industries. Roland DG, listed on the Tokyo stock & other expense instruments and maintains audit- exchange, is the world’s number one provider of trails for compliance with internal controls and wide-format inkjet printers for the durable procedures. Skelta Accounts Payable integrates graphics market. Roland DG is also affiliated with with Document Management Systems to enable Roland Corporation, renowned in the music world paperless processing and works alongside for developing MIDI technology and for producing systems of record applications like Microsoft sophisticated digital music equipment including Dynamics Great Plains, SAP and Oracle Financials. keyboard synthesizers, recording equipment and related technologies. Roland DGA employs approximately 100 individuals and generates approximately $100 million of annual revenue. For more information about Roland DGA go to : ABOUT SKELTA BPM ABOUT SKELTA PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Skelta BPM is an enterprise class Business The Skelta Professional Services division is an Process Management (BPM) platform that extension of Skelta BPM and has been designed eliminates the risk of process initiatives, enables to meet all offshore or onsite, post sales needs for communication amongst all process stakeholders optimal support on software that run our clients’ Innovation Center: and drives innovation by fostering business mission critical functions. Skelta’s suite of Salarpuria Touchstone ownership. Skelta BPM empowers business services include Consultation, Application Sarjapur Outer Ring Road, analysts to quickly build end-to-end, feature rich, Development, Application Integration, Bangalore - 560087, India process centric, composite business applications Customization, Implementation Services & Tel (India): +91 80 4060 2600 using a web interface. Skelta BPM enables quick Product Training. Tel (USA): +1 678 306 4110 automation and improvement of processes Email: without any coding. Skelta BPM components These services can be tailored to suit customer’s Web: support every step in the lifecycle of a process specific requirements. based application, namely – Envision & Model, Execute & Deploy and Optimize & Analyze. For more information about Skelta BPM go to : Skelta is a ‘Gartner - Cool Vendor’ for BPM, 2009 © 2002 - 2009 Skelta Software. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.