November 12, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EMPLOYERS is a provider of workers compensation insurance for small business- es. The company has been serving businesses for over a century, and operates in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
EMPLOYERS is a large company with a highly manual Accounts Payables (AP) department. Because of its business structure and AP environment, EMPLOYERS’ AP department was facing several challenges in their invoice management pro- cesses. They had a complex invoice approval workflow which required continual staff intervention to manage, leading to lengthy invoice approvals and frequent manual reprocessing.
A primary pain point for EMPLOYERS’ AP department was reprocessing incor- rectly approved invoices. Approximately 75 percent of the invoices processed needed manual intervention at some point during the approval workflow. These invoices often had to be taken out of the workflow, manually scanned, reap- proved, and then reprocessed. EMPLOYERS estimates that AP staff were man- ually scanning 600 invoices on average each month, and that the entire invoice lifecycle entailed close to 2,000 touches across these invoices. In all, processing invoices from the initial receipt to issuing payment was a 40-step process.
EMPLOYERS sought an AP automation solution to try and help eradicate some of these issues. The company’s main goals were to find a solution that would reduce the need for AP staff to constantly intervene on incorrect invoices, and would also give other business units visibility into invoice and payment process- es. EMPLOYERS wanted to reduce their high processing costs and increase the value of their workforce by freeing up staff for other initiatives within the organi- zation.
EMPLOYERS identified Nivo1’s AP automation product, AP Express, as a tool that would help them accomplish their goals. EMPLOYERS was particularly attracted to AP Express because of its affordable price point, and because of Nivo1’s expe- rience with their own ERP. AP Express integrated seamlessly with EMPLOYERS’ Oracle EBS application, which provided value across the organization from a soft- ware and data maintenance standpoint. During development and the software pilot stage, Nivo1 worked hand-in-hand with EMPLOYERS to ensure the solution met EMPLOYERS’ specific needs, and after a smooth implementation, AP Express went live.
After implementing AP Express, EMPLOYERS experienced a variety of improve- ments in their AP process. Today, only 19 percent of invoices require staff inter- vention on average, meaning EMPLOYERS now processes 81 percent of invoices without a breakdown in the workflow, leading to a 74 percent reduction in manu- al touches. By centralizing, formalizing, and controlling workflow routing with AP Express, EMPLOYERS was also able simplify the process and decrease workflow cycle times by half. AP Express also allowed EMPLOYERS to reduce their in- voice-to-payment process from 40 steps to 19 steps. Other business units have benefited from the implementation of AP Express as well. With invoice data visibility, employees throughout the organization can research approvals and match invoices to purchase orders without needing to contact AP staff. Additionally, approvers no longer need to contact the AP depart- ment for an invoice image.
Streamlining the AP workflow increased processing speed, which saved AP staff 186 work hours per year. EMPLOYERS estimates the savings with AP Express to- taled $11,000 in avoided costs and $60,000 in cost savings at the end of the first year. Saving time with AP Express freed the AP department to take on additional responsibilities, maximizing their value to the company and making the invest- ment in AP Express even more valuable.
Research Senior Manager
Anna Barnett is a Research Senior Manager for Levvel Research. She manages Levvel's team of analysts and all research content delivery, and helps lead research development strategy for the firm's many technology focus areas. Anna joined Levvel through the acquisition of PayStream Advisors, and for the past several years has served as an expert in several facets of business process automation software. She also covers digital transformation trends and technology, including around DevOps strategy, design systems, application development, and cloud migration. Anna has extensive experience in research-based analytical writing and editing, as well as sales and marketing content creation.
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