InTechnology Transforms its Purchase-to-Pay Processes with PROACTIS
UK's leading managed IT services provider eliminates manual
purchasing processes and streamlines Accounts Payable.
InTechnology plc, is UK's largest pure-play managed IT service
provider; and the only service provider to offer a mix of
value-added hosting, voice and data services that are integrated
and delivered over an end-to-end quality assured IP network. With
an annual turnover of £50m, they employ 220 staff across three
locations and are the outsourcing provider of choice for over 800
Prior to PROACTIS, InTechnology's purchase ordering was
spreadsheet-based and there was no real control over what was being
bought within the organisation. All processes were paper-based
which was manually intensive and meant that purchase orders often
went missing, it was difficult to match POs to invoices, and there
was not always signed approval from the relevant manager. In
addition to these processes being very time consuming, they
resulted in a lack of control and visibility of company spend.
When stock was ordered (e.g. telephone lines, servers, etc.)
there was no controlled way of tracking which customer the order
should be allocated to which made margin analysis by customer very
Divisional Director of Finance at InTechnology, Estelle Croft,
says: "We always knew we needed a more structured approach to
purchase ordering and understood the benefits we could gain from
implementing an electronic system, primarily being able to
efficiently manage all company expenditure and streamline the
Accounts Payable processes.
InTechnology sold its storage and security distribution
business, and along with that, the ERP system they used. At that
time the managed services part of the business was smaller and
therefore dominated by systems and processes used by the
distribution business. Selling this division and its Accounting
system offered the perfect opportunity to implement a new finance
and eProcurement system that would meet the new needs of the
business as a managed IT service provider.
With the sale of the distribution business and its accounting
systems, InTechnology had a very short timescale in which to
implement a new system. They selected PS Financials as their
finance package but also needed a system that would provide control
over their purchase-to-pay process, including stock management.
"The stock management system within PS Financials didn't have
the functionality we required so they recommended PROACTIS which
has strong integration to PS Financials, amongst other systems"
says Estelle. "We looked at two other best-in-class systems, but
PROACTIS really stood out - from the demonstration it was clear
that it had everything we wanted."
In addition to moving from paper-based processes to an
electronic system, InTechnology needed a system that could be
configured to the way their business works. Estelle explains: "We
needed to be able to define our own controls and security within
the system. PROACTIS provides this and other key features, such as
upfront coding, electronic matching of invoices to purchase orders,
order authorisation by email, and standard purchase order
"And with having such a short timescale for implementation, we
needed a system that could be up and running and integrated to our
new finance system within three weeks" adds Estelle.
InTechnology rolled-out the accounts system and PROACTIS within
the planned timescale of three weeks. Now everyone in the company
uses it, from general purchasers (e.g. Marketing) to Procurement,
Finance and Contract Management.
The biggest impact that PROACTIS has had on business is in
processing: "It's speeded up processes from start to finish. By
streamlining processes we've been able to reduce headcount in
Accounts Payable by one FTE and dedicate time to more value-add
activities" says Estelle.
In addition to the increased efficiency in Accounts Payable,
InTechnology also has more control over spend within the
organisation. Employees can only buy from approved suppliers, which
are fed directly into PROACTIS from the accounts system. They also
now have the correct people signing off purchase orders, which is
managed electronically within the system through workflow and
approval rules. There is no longer a paper-chase, purchase orders
are not lost and authorisation is not delayed from passing paper
orders between offices.
Estelle explains: "Before using PROACTIS, capital expenditure
for example, would be approved, but not to the extent it is now. It
needs Board approval and it's not possible for unauthorised
purchases to slip through the net like they did before. Now it's
Another problem before using PROACTIS was not being able to
track ordered stock to customers. Now the coding is done upfront
which means margin analysis is much easier.
Since implementing PROACTIS, InTechnology has grown and the
system has dealt with this expansion. "There haven't been any
problems with PROACTIS coping with the increased growth of the
company. There's just more transactions going through the system
now" says Estelle.
Because PROACTIS was implemented in a short timescale,
InTechnology did not initially take full advantage of all its
features. Estelle says: "PROACTIS has really speeded up our
purchasing and Accounts Payable processes and does what it says on
the tin - it's spend control. But we're still not actually using it
to its full potential and now that we've got our purchasing
processes in order, we're looking at extending the scope of
PROACTIS, for example with supplier punch-out so staff can order
goods straight from a supplier's website. There's also more we
intend to do on the contract management side."