Bon Secours Eliminates Data Entry in Accounts Payable
Bon Secours strengthened and continued its partnership with RPI Consultants to centralize Accounts Payable with intelligent data capture to replace data entry for PO Invoices.
Bon Secours Health System, Inc. operates nineteen hospitals with 21,000 employees and over $3.8 billion in revenue. In 2004, Bon Secours centralized their Accounts Payable department, reducing the number of staff required to process payables and standardizing how over 700,000 annual invoices were paid across the healthcare system.
In 2010, the Director of the centralized AP department, Joel Stafford, was searching for opportunities to reduce the manual labor required to complete daily tasks. This would allow the department to refocus staff on more value-added activities such as improving customer service and increasing vendor compliance.
Background & Challenge
With document imaging and workflow solutions already in place to automate the expense invoice process, Mr. Stafford turned his attention to purchase order invoices, which represented a majority of the transactions processed by accounts payable. The hope was to further reduce Accounts Payable processing costs for those vendors that were not a good fit for EDI, or where EDI was not possible.
“We found that after we had brought our major vendors onto EDI, there were diminishing returns in bringing new vendors onto the service. Kofax Intelligent Data Capture was already working well for us in streamlining data entry for expense invoices, so we thought it could be expanded to purchase order invoices as well,” explains Mr. Stafford. “When we decided to get serious, we called RPI.”
Bon Secours Health System, Inc. is a $3.8 billion not-for-profit Catholic health system based in Maryland that owns, manages, or joint ventures 19 acute care hospitals, one psychiatric hospital, five nursing care facilities, four assisted living facilities and 14 home care and hospice programs in seven US states.
“RPI challenged us to think outside the box and to believe that an organization with our resources and capabilities could design a best-practice solution that would have minimal on-going costs.”
– Joel Stafford, Accounts Payable Director, Bon Secours
Minimizing Invoice Entry
RPI Consultants already had a long history of working with Bon Secours. The company had assisted with the original implementation of Infor Lawson, the centralization of Accounts Payable, and the deployment of Perceptive Content (ImageNow). Based on this extensive working relationship and valuable institutional and process knowledge, as well as core competencies related to the products and technologies involved, RPI Consultants was a natural choice to help Bon Secours expand their intelligent data capture solution and further automate the Accounts Payable department.
To get started, RPI and Bon Secours worked together to design a future-state model that would allow all purchase order invoices to be processed electronically without having to work through a third party exchange. RPI built a solution leveraging Kofax Transformation that extracted invoice data from scanned paper invoices and automatically matched it to purchase order information from Lawson’s Procurement module, allowing for an automated three-way match to occur. AP staff would only have to address exceptions.
Mr. Stafford explains, “This was the natural next step for us in the ongoing automation of our department. Doing away with the entry process for the PO invoices that are not on EDI was the final step in eliminating data entry altogether.”
Working with RPI, Bon Secours was able to complete the development of a custom solution in only three months. The new process captures invoice information, including line item detail, and compares it to Lawson purchase order tables. An AP representative validates the matched and captured invoice details, working any exceptions, before the files are uploaded into Lawson.
The results were far beyond Mr. Stafford’s expectations. “The work that previously required five processors can now be completed by one. A single staff member is now able to complete this task for all purchase order invoices for the entire healthcare system.” This efficiency has created additional benefits for the Accounts Payable department which can now assign team members and resources to work on value-add activities.
“Doing away with the entry process for the PO invoices that are not on EDI was the final step in eliminating data entry altogether. The work that previously required five processors can now be completed by one. A single staff member is now able to complete this task for all purchase order invoices for the entire healthcare system.”
– Joel Stafford, Accounts Payable Director, Bon Secours
Benefits of a True Partnership
Prior to deploying this solution, Mr. Stafford considered using a third party exchange that would be charging an on-going fee to convert invoices into an electronic format. “RPI challenged us to think outside the box and to believe that an organization with our resources and capabilities could design a best-practice solution that would have minimal on-going cost.”
“RPI helped us in every stage of the project, from design and development through delivery,” indicates Mr. Stafford. “Their vast experience building integrated solutions with both Lawson and Kofax was instrumental to our success. They were the perfect partner for this project.”
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About RPI Consultants
RPI Consultants is an industry leader in Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Content Management, and Business Process Automation technical consulting services. RPI has extensive experience designing, implementing, and supporting Infor Lawson, Perceptive Content (ImageNow), Kofax, OnBase by Hyland, and Brainware by Hyland (formerly Perceptive Intelligent Capture).
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