Part 1 - How Electronic Invoicing is Living up to the Promise of Substantial Savings for Public Sector Organisations

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
Beyond the headlines, what’s the reality for the public sector? Many are asking ‘show me the savings’...these numbers look good in theory, but what’s the reality?
For some public sector organisations, such savings may seem beyond reach. The prospect of connecting their systems and users easily and securely to thousands of disparate suppliers, while meeting legal obligations, raises a host of complex challenges. But other organisations, large and small, are already on the path to achieving these dramatic savings. Organisations such as Essex County Council and Nuneaton & Bedworth Council have proven it is possible to achieve cashable efficiency savings through:
  • Overcoming complexity in handling all types of invoices from a wide range of suppliers with different technical abilities
  • Becoming more agile to meet fast-changing business needs, through continual innovation
  • Early successes that build momentum and lead to a rapid ROI (return on investment)

We’ll be exploring these organisations in more detail, starting with Essex County Council…

Essex County CouncileInvoicing can match the demands of large organisations

As one of the largest councils in the UK, Essex spends around £930m each year on goods and services from 15,000 suppliers. About 40% of these transactions can be processed through its corporate eProcurement solution. The council currently receives 190,000 invoices per year.
Essex now processes about 70% of invoices electronically – and continues to save hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. Staff have been freed up for other more value-added roles, while paper and postage costs have been minimised. The 'paperless office' nature of eInvoicing is also helping to enable the council to switch to mobile and flexible working.
Engaging with 15,000 suppliers was easier than the council had anticipated. Suppliers benefit from a choice of eInvoicing services and they value the self-service capabilities, e.g. the ability to check payment status online.
“We found it was a relatively quick win to make cashable savings. eInvoicing also gives us the agility and flexibility to scale our service to meet demand.” – Nicole Edbrooke, Head of of Purchase to Pay at Essex County Council. 

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