Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) was processing nearly 9,000 invoices per month with four full-time employees in their Accounts Payable Department of six employees. 80% of these invoices have a purchase order and 20% do not. 90% of the invoices are received in paper form. Invoices are normally processed the day they are received however, non-PO invoices, invoices requiring approval or research may take several weeks to process.
Westinghouse recognized that the current process was time consuming and inefficient and expressed an interest in reducing the manual effort required to process an invoice. It was pointed out that these "touch points" throughout the AP process expose the organization to human error in addition to the high cost to process a single invoice. Additionally, they were planning to move their HQ location and didn't want to allocate as much space for filing cabinets in the new space.
Systems Imaging recommended the deployment of a data capture and document management solution to scan and retrieve the paper invoices. After careful analysis, Systems Imaging recommended the OnBase AnyDoc Capture software coupled with ApplicationXtender from EMC document scanning solution be deployed for this A/P project.
AnyDoc Capture can be easily customized to create a highly integrated content capture solution meeting Westinghouse's specific business and technical requirements. It facilitated the scanning of both PO and non-PO invoices. The invoices processed through AnyDoc utilize an advanced data capture engine, which automatically recognizes the information contained within the various documents.
Once the documents are prepared, they are recognized according to the pre-built logic in the AnyDoc Capture software. Once scanned, AnyDoc reads a separator page and adds batch header data to each invoice. After the capture process is complete, the document images are uploaded into the ApplicationXtender Document Imaging solution. ApplicationXtender will allow Westinghouse to store and retrieve AP documents from a central repository. Authorized users will be able to search, view, print and email documents from their desktop PCs.
Additionally, Systems Imaging created several custom programs to further enhance and automate the A/P workflow: "PO Processor" updates fields in ApplicationXtender from data in Westinghouse’s SAP system. PO Processor assigns and routes batches of invoices to specific AP staff for further processing in their SAP system; "AP Processor" is an invoice document routing front-end for ApplicationXtender that allows the user to select invoices by type or status and create a result set to enable the addition of other index values (payment fields) for the invoice; "Pending Invoice Payment" added a button to AX to enable AP users to automatically retrieve and display invoices with the earliest pay dates.
Westinghouse's AP department went from a very paper intensive to an essentially paperless work environment in less than sixty days. Employees can easily search, find, route and process invoices from their PC desktop. By efficiently digitizing and indexing the company's invoices within 48 hours of receipt, WEC saves time and manpower required to manage the process manually. It also provides a new level of access, control, and visibility into the AP process.
Westinghouse recently moved into their new headquarters in Cranberry, PA. This solution eliminated the need for Westinghouse to move dozens of filing cabinets of paper invoices to their new location. Shortly thereafter, Westinghouse deployed this solution to two of their European offices.