This leading carmaker took control of its financial documents Europe-wide, improving speed and efficiency using Fujitsu scanners and KnowledgeLake software. The time taken to convert paper documents to electronic copy was immediately reduced by up to six working days.
“After standardising our European accounts payable processes and systems, we needed a solution to in-source scanning and classification of financial documents,” says Maria Nagy, Financial Projects, Nissan Europe Finance. “A financial document would be received at the regional businesses, routed, sorted and classified and then sent for outsourced scanning and indexing on a daily basis. Once scanned the coded batch would be returned to our central accounts payable centre for import into the accounts payable system. The outsourced process meant that it could take up to five days for documents to reach our accounts payable system.”
The business imperative was based on ending a Business Process Outsourcing contract that included scanning and courier services, affecting nine Regional Business Units (RBUs) supporting 28 businesses across Europe. Time was also critical: delays could mean the entire outsourcing contract might need extending, with a significant financial impact. Moreover, implementation had to be comprehensive, incorporating configuration, user training and system handovers for local teams within a time window of less than five weeks.
Nagy says the solution proposed by Datalytyx “was cost effective and enabled Nissan to seamlessly move to the new scanning process and terminate the outsourcing contract,” adding that it was underpinned by equipment that required very little training, and was considered by Nissan Europe to be “to be easy to use and maintain.”
Datalytyx deployed Fujitsu 6130 workgroup scanners in each regional business unit, chosen based on their small footprint, ease of use, barcode recognition and the scanning volumes expected, together with high-performance KnowledgeLake Capture and Branch Capture Server software to address demands for high-quality scanning along with secure and timely transmission to accounts payable. Capture Server was installed on virtualised hardware at Nissan’s network operating centre in Sunderland, UK, with Branch Capture Server implemented at each regional site.
Desktop installation was performed centrally using an automated software distribution system, with Datalytyx helping to create and test the package. Once the package complete and scanners delivered to sites, Datalytyx began onsite training, installation and configuration sessions.
The solution enabled regional teams to scan information locally, scaled to handle volumes of around 1,000 multi-page financial documents each day. Crucially, implementation and rollout to the nine European sites took less than five weeks – which meant contractual deadlines were met and it wasn’t necessary to extend the previous outsourcing arrangements.
Benefits: greater accuracy, faster processing
The time taken to convert a paper document to an electronic copy, making information available for accounts payable processing, was immediately reduced by up to six working days. “Throughout our European businesses we have decentralised our financial documents scanning and classification and now commence our accounts payable processing up to six days earlier,” Nagy says.
Finance Managers are in control of the scanning queue, meaning they can fast-track urgent payments as required. The quality of scanned documents significantly improved, reducing the number of documents sent for processing either unreadable or corrupt. Document flow to accounts payable processing from European offices is smoothed rather than ad hoc, ensuring a steady flow of documents for processing, with this enhanced flow also helping the accounts payable team to better schedule resources. Once scanned, a document is now searchable in the accounts payable system within one hour, displaying the same unique reference number used by European accounts payable and the offshore finance team in India, so enabling better communication and improved collaboration. Supplier satisfaction also improved because suppliers only have one local address to send invoices, rather than multiple international locations.
Maria Nagy adds, “We now have a simple and robust solution that has reduced the turnaround time for payment by up to six working days. Our ‘supplier paid on time’ metric was increased by 16% within the first three months after the system went live.”
Leading European carmaker, manufacturing almost 700,000 vehicles annually
Deliver within tight time scales an in-house solution to optimise scanning and management of documents across nine international sites
Leading-edge scanning and collaboration solution using Fujitsu and KnowledgeLake technology
Staff can scan and index documents direct into the invoice system, processing 5,000 multi-page documents weekly; the time for accounts payable to receive information reduced by six days
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