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Mears Group increases AP efficiency by 500% with Proactis

Executive overview

Profile

Vertical sector
Housing

No. of employees
16,000+

No. of invoices
100,000+ per month

Operates in
United Kingdom

Customer since
2005

Objectives

  • Establish a process and system to accommodate rapid growth and the resulting increase in invoices.
  • Implement a platform that allowed for both paper and electronic invoices to be processed through a single solution with common error handling.

How Proactis helped

  • Purchase invoices, including PDF and XML, now scanned and imported with information being automatically extracted.
  • Advised on, and helped implement, best practices across the organisation to improve cost controls, spend visibility and compliance.
  • Seamless integration with in-house purchasing and finance systems.

Benefits to Mears Group

  • Increased AP efficiency by 500% by dramatically increasing the number of invoices processed, with the same sized team.
  • Increased control, visibility and compliance across the Group.
  • Addressed the Group's immediate needs around paper invoices with a scalable invoice automation platform, while supporting a program for electronic invoice adoption.
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Profile

Mears Group is responsible for maintaining, repairing and upgrading the homes of hundreds of thousands of people in partnership with social housing clients, and employs over 16,000 people.

The rapid growth of the Mears Group resulted in the organisation outgrowing existing systems and processes. The manual, paper based processes were resource intensive and if the situation continued, Mears would be faced with employing a significant number of new Accounts Payable (AP) clerks to cope with the rapid growth.

Objectives

Mears had a strong business strategy of growth, both organically and through acquisitions. A process and system to accommodate such growth and the resulting increase in invoices was pivotal. Increased invoice visibility and efficiency across the Group was also key.

The organisation identified Proactis as the perfect solution to replace its resource-intensive, error-prone, paper-based processes, and one that would integrate seamlessly with its in-house procurement and SunSystem finance system.

How Proactis helped

Following in-depth evaluation of the Group’s requirements, Proactis implemented a solution in two phases to PRINCE2 Project Management methodology, while introducing many new best-practice techniques to ensure complete automation of invoice processing.

The solution, a scanning and data capture system, ensured that incoming purchase invoices could be scanned instantly, with information being automatically extracted with little manual keying required. Proactis also supports electronic invoices in XML and PDF format, with seamless integration with the Group’s procurement and finance systems.

Benefits to Mears Group

Mears has grown its business without growing its invoice processing resource. The organisation can now cope with the extra workload without adding people to the team. Before Proactis, 20,000 invoices were being processed every month by a team of eight. This number is now 100,000 per month, with the same headcount, generating 500% efficiency savings.

The Proactis solution has complemented the process and technology initiatives while improving accuracy and reporting. The increased level of control and transparency of invoice processing throughout the organisation using best-practice controls also delivers compliance that was not previously possible.