Bossair achieves massive savings with AP Automation

INDUSTRY: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)


CHALLENGE: Inefficient invoice processing system


OUR SOLUTION: Creditor Invoice Processing


OUTCOME: Easy and efficient invoice processing, providing increased visibility and improved relationships

Managing High Volume Invoices

As a small medium business, Bossair was dealing with a huge number of monthly invoices that required processing. With no automated system in place, the manual steps they had in place were time consuming, error prone and difficult to manage. Bossair were looking for a better, more efficient and affordable way to stay on top of their growing business.

The Challenge

Bossair provides a full range of commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services to ensure HVAC systems meet today’s high expectations of energy-efficient performance. Established over a decade ago, Bossair was the first company in Queensland to be certified under the current Quality Assurance system.

As a small-to-medium sized business with 40 in-house staff and 20 subcontractors, Bossair purchases a significant number of tools, parts, and other items. The business therefore processes a huge number of creditor invoices monthly. The manual processing requirements were enormous. Invoices would be sent as paper-based documents through the mail or as PDFdocuments electronically. All electronic versions would be printed, then the invoices would be stamped and have a form attached. On that form, employees would handwrite information such as the purchase order (PO) number, the value of the PO, who raised the PO, and more.

Once the information was handwritten on physical copies of the invoice, it would be handed to the person responsible for procuring that item. That person would approve the invoice, then hand it back to the accounts payable team so it could be manually entered into the system for payment. Upon payment, the document would be manually scanned and saved back into the system against the relevant job number.

This process took huge amounts of time and was error-prone as printed documents could easily get lost during the process. Importantly, it distracted staff from more value-added activities. Brenden Lamberth, director, Bossair, said, “This process took between five and 30 minutes per invoice and we had thousands of them every month. This presented a massive opportunity for time saving and cost reduction, so we investigated the possibility of a more automated solution.”

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Working with the Right Partner

After a couple of false starts, Bossair turned to M-Files partner, Upstream Solutions, to define the problem and develop a solution. Bossair wanted to work with the M-Files platform because of its scalability and capacity to deliver ongoing benefits in the business.

Brenden Lamberth said, “We knew working with a partner to implement the M-Files solution achieved a strong return on investment. Therefore we were keen to choose the right partner, which was Upstream Solutions. “The Upstream team was clearly very interested in understanding and solving the problem rather than simply jumping straight into recommending a technology product. They did an extremely thorough job at the frontend of the project, which was impressive.

“From scoping the project to delivery, the process was relatively quick and the M-Files solution worked brilliantly from day one. It completely digitised our processes to allow us to receive all invoices electronically, code them into the system, collect metadata, get approvals digitally, and complete payment all without ever having to print out documents or handle them manually.”

This solution has delivered phenomenal savings. It reduced our costs so significantly and quickly that we achieved full return on investment in less than 12 months. Staff can focus on more high value tasks rather than just managing accounts payable, which is an added benefit for a small business looking to be innovative.”

Brenden Lamberth, Director

 
 

Benefits… Fast & Easy Invoice Processing

Because the invoice process is extremely faster, the business can now see live, receipted credit information in the system. This is valuable as it reduces the likelihood of double payments or missing payments. It ensures Bossair pays invoices on time, taking advantage of early-payment discounts where applicable.

Brenden Lamberth said, “This solution has delivered phenomenal savings for Bossair. It reduced our costs so significantly and quickly that we achieved full return on investment in less than 12 months. Staff can focus on more high value tasks rather than just managing accounts payable, which is an added benefit for a small business looking to be innovative.

“For every hour of labour Bossair sells, a significant proportion of that income is spent on overheads and expenses. By reducing these expenses through automation, we can increase our margins. Importantly, it frees up staff members from being tied to their desks to process invoices but who can now do it
from any location, on any mobile device. A pile of paperwork on a desk can be demoralising. This solution overcomes that and delivers huge efficiency to each member of staff.

The benefits were apparent instantly and no one was frustrated by the new process. It was simple and easy to use from the start. This investment is a no-brainer; it’s paid off substantially.”

EXPANDING THE SOLUTION

The solution has been so successful for Bossair that they engaged in the next project using M-Files. As an ISO-accredited Quality Assured company, Bossair must comply with specific systems and processes to maintain accreditation. This requires a significant amount of documentation, which had been managed in an ageing system that was becoming inefficient.

Brenden Lamberth said, “Staff expect software they use to work like an iPhone; they don’t want to have to be trained or refer to manuals. Upstream helped address this issue. The expanded M-Files solution lets Bossair manage all our core flat files, templates, and forms with workflows. For example, when inducting a new employee, the system will guide people through a step-by-step process so they know exactly what forms to fill out, whom to send them to and where to file them. This simplified workflow structure is a significant project which also delivers significant benefits.”

 

 


The benefits were apparent instantly and no one was frustrated by the new process. It was simple and easy to use from the start. This investment is a no-brainer; it’s paid off substantially.”

Brenden Lamberth —
Director