Real Estate / Property Management
Automate and streamline AP invoice capture, AP data entry, routing, approval and transaction creation in Dynamics GP
Integration with PaperSave Document Management System
docAlpha Smart Process Platform
Integration with PaperSave ECM
Integration with Dynamics GP ERP
Accurate automatic sorting, filing and indexing of delivery documents in support of over 3,000 AP invoices/month
Albrecht, Incorporated owns and operates 1.5 MM square feet of industrial and office space and 2.5 MM square feet of retail properties consisting of free standing grocery stores, grocery-anchored shopping centers, and high visibility shadow-anchored strip centers in the Great Akron and Cleveland, Ohio markets. The company develops grocery-anchored shopping centers in and around the Greater Akron area with their anchor tenant, Acme Fresh Markets.
Albrecht, Inc., an Ohio-based real estate and property management firm in Ohio, manages over 4 million square feet of real estate, including a major grocery store chain and all of the maintenance services related to that tenant’s operations. All of the services and related invoices and paperwork passes by the desk of their Controller, Merilee Bailey. Ultimately, everything crosses the desk of Albrecht’s president, who reviews and ultimately approves all invoices for payment. With over 3,000 invoices in process each month, the company’s manual approach to approvals was consuming the time of administrative staff, managers and executives in a way that wasn’t scalable or sustainable.
Before migrating to a digital enterprise content management system and automating invoice routing and approval, Merilee, her staff, department managers and the company president wasted hours each week on AP-related activities including filing, data entry, routing, approval tracking, PO matching and ultimately, payment processing. The entire invoice approval process required two weeks to complete, with one AP clerk spending two and a half hours each week just on invoice filing and data entry.
The first step in solving the problem of inefficient AP processes was to implement PaperSave as the company’s enterprise content management system, and to automate the routing and approval process, all the way through to creating transaction records in the company’s Dynamics GP ERP system.
As Bailey explained, “That was the beginning, but it wasn’t good enough. I figured that there HAD to be a better way to manage capturing all of our documents and automating the data entry and matching process.”
That’s when Bailey and her team were introduced to Artsyl and to the company’s docAlpha smart process platform. docAlpha provided Albrecht with the missing piece of the puzzle that would ultimately take the pain out of their AP processes—the sorting, filing and data entry tasks that remained a bottleneck in their payables process.
With docAlpha, Bailey and her team have been able to eliminate 95% of the data entry that used to be required to process invoices. docAlpha intelligently converts text within scanned paper and digital documents into actionable data. All Albrecht’s AP team needs to do is scan their paper documents or upload electronic invoices so that docAlpha can identify relevant information like Vendor names and invoice amounts. The system is intelligent enough to validate data—either cross-referencing Albrecht’s ERP system or conducting validations of invoice line items to make sure they agree with the total invoice amounts.
That data is used to inform Albrecht’s business rules, determining who must code an invoice and review it prior to approval and payment. The system forces users to enter comments to demonstrate they have carefully reviewed the invoice for payment. All invoices are ultimately routed to the company president for approval.
According to Bailey, automating Albrecht’s AP processes with docAlpha paid for itself in less than a year—just based on the time that she saved herself.
"If you looked at an hourly rate for me, we've more than captured our money back. Honestly, for the time we were spending on the other girl in the office, entering the payables, it's definitely earned that back already,” Bailey said.
Using docAlpha, AP payment approval cycle times went from two weeks to two days. Bailey saved three quarters of a day each week on time related to payment processing and approval tracking. Another staff member saved two and a half hours each week on data entry.
The impact to Bailey, her staff and her company went beyond the efficiency gained, however.
“Your time is more valuable than the money,” she said. And demonstrating the return on investment of accounts payables’ investment in automation was a simple exercise.
“My boss is great,” she said, “He'll let you have anything you need to do your job as long as you can show him it's worth it.””