PROACTIS Blog

Part 2 - How Electronic Invoicing is Living up to the Promise of Substantial Savings for Public Sector Organisations

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
PROACTIS
In Part 1 of ‘How Electronic Invoicing is Living up to the Promise of Substantial Savings for Public Sector Organisations’, we focused on Essex County Council – one of the largest councils in the UK – and how they have made cashable savings through eInvoicing. 

In this article, we look at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council who, although they are only small, are ‘punching above their weight’ thanks to eInvoicing transformation.  
 
Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council – eInvoicing is cost effective for smaller organisations

The rewards of electronic invoicing are within easy reach for smaller organisations. You don't need a big IT team, expensive systems and masses of resources. With a clear vision and modest resources, Nuneaton & Bedworth quickly gained compliance benefits and efficiency savings through eInvoicing.
 
The council is using eInvoicing to process a growing share of its 33,000 invoices. The average cost of transactions (procurement including invoicing) has fallen by 80% from £35 to £7. In fact, some eInvoices now cost just pence to process. The staff workload has eased significantly. The number of full-time positions required has reduced from 6-7 to 2.5 equivalent.
 
The system regularly and automatically averts mistakes and over-payments that can be worth hundreds of pounds at a time – by spotting duplicates and other errors within invoices that contain thousands of lines. Small-and-medium sized suppliers (SMEs) benefit from timely payments within 10 days. All suppliers can check the payment status of every invoice online.
 
“eInvoicing takes waste out of the system. Even with only 500 eInvoices a year, an organisation could make noticeable savings. The more resources you invest, the faster the payback.” – Steve Ryder, Strategic Procurement Manager, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council.
 
eInvoicing: Working automatically, behind the scenes

Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council  and Essex County Council (featured in Part 1), both use a best-in-class eInvoicing solution that provides a multi-method framework for receiving invoices.

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This pragmatic approach means they can engage easily and successfully with every type and size of supplier: 

  • Manual processing is a thing of the past as the solution turns a wide range of paper and electronic formats into system-ready data automatically
  • You can get a faster payback by prioritising supplier groups based on volume, level of relationship and technical capability 
A cloud-based supplier portal becomes the hub for electronic trading and communications with your suppliers. Self-service tools enable them to track their invoices - all the way through to payment authorisation.
 
Key success factors
  • Use a trusted eInvoicing partner with a proven track record in the public sector
  • Follow a structured approach with supporting technology and expertise
  • Put in place the capabilities to accept any type of invoice from any type of supplier
  • Focus on quick wins to build momentum and get a faster return
  • Enable managers, users and suppliers to track invoices easily
  • Continue to measure and improve results
Achieving significant savings and other benefits through eInvoicing in the public sector is a significant challenge. But it’s achievable for all organisations, whatever their size or business issue.
 
 
 
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