Challenge

The client was a global E&P company that needed immediate triage for their vendor invoice processing. With over 40,000 invoices submitted monthly, they struggled to meet payment terms and conditions. Relationships with strategic vendors started to deteriorate. Headcount continued growing to support a legacy process.

They lacked the core capability of tracking an invoice from the time it was submitted to the time it was paid, along with all the hand-offs between Supply Chain, Accounting, and Tax.

Unable to collaborate on existing invoice status, vendors flooded their system with duplicate invoices – further compounding the issue. Management felt hand-cuffed with no insight into invoice backlog, process performance, or individual accountability.

They defaulted to technology as the bandage to “stop the bleeding”. We helped them realize the productivity and operational efficiency opportunities.

This client needed expertise on how to optimize their processes to work with a new technology.

Solution

First, we documented the current state of the invoicing and query resolution process. After interviewing key stakeholders and subject matter experts, it became evident that clarification of roles / responsibilities as well as team alignment was needed within the organization.

Next, we explored options to close the gaps. Would technology sufficient? Or would we need to build processes around the technology, get leadership buy in, and train the organization on these changes?

A combination of both proved to be our answer. We used new functionality within the tool and helped the business answer the tough questions around accountability within the organization. We helped define the right KPIs, and led the teams to track, measure, and report on those metrics.

After identifying the big gaps in managing an invoice from the time of submission to payment, we optimized the process. Then we implemented a tool that would enable the process and allow management to have greater visibility into the lifecycle of an invoice.

Oganizational Alignment

They lacked the necessary business process to efficiently manage various teams in the Supply Chain organization. We implemented a case management tool that enabled them to assign, prioritize, track, and report on vendor invoices, rejections, and queries.

Business Processes

Senior leadership announced dramatic changes in the organization’s structure. Instead of watching our client react to these changes, we helped them be proactive. Together, we built new and improved processes that fit within the new organization structure.

Technology

Processing invoices and managing vendor queries via the legacy tool led to duplication, confusion and a lack of accountability; for both our client, and their vendors. The case management tool that Sense Corp implemented led to immediate time savings, visibility of all cases and case history across the organization, and vendor satisfaction by providing an acknowledgment, case number, and creating a tracking trail for future reference.

Results

  • Reduced Processing Costs. 20% headcount reduction required to facilitate and support processes. Materially reduced duplicate invoice submission.
  • Reduced Cycle Times. Reduced backlog of 10,000+ invoices/queries to no backlog and a 48 hour turn-around time per case.
  • Optimized Cash Management. Improved cycle times enable ability to leverage early payment discounts and/or avoid late payment penalties.
  • Improved Supplier Collaboration & Engagement.
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities: Real-time access to data and key performance indicators; Invoice rejections & root causes; Workload & productivity; Invoice rejections & query resolution times.
  • Improved resource management and optimization: Managers now have ability to understand backlog demand and optimize staffing levels.
  • Enhanced visibility and improved controls: Fully auditable transaction history of each case; Consistent application and enforcement of Supply Chain rules and policies.
  • Standardized orientation and training process for new-hires.
  • Single source-of-truth for invoice/query submissions.
  • Foundation in place to enable further maturing of Invoice/PO Matching and Automated Payments.

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