With invoice volumes around 40,000 per annum, Dublin Bus went to market seeking a solution to remove manual aspects of its AP process. Key objectives were to find an SAP-Certified solution that would reduce the requirement for AP staff to key in data, and would reduce the amount of time spent to resolve questions from suppliers and from colleagues in other departments querying invoices.
Another objective was to increase financial visibility: the AP team was not always certain of the location or payment status of certain invoices, particularly those which had been sent directly to other departments and were not recorded on receipt.
Dublin Bus chose SoftCo based on its strong track record in the public sector, including its ability to successfully integrate R8 technology into SAP environments. SoftCo has delivered an end-to-end solution that has transformed visibility and control for Dublin Bus across its entire AP process:
Unexpected absences in the Dublin Bus AP Department caused a major challenge for the organisation last winter, when three of its four team members fell ill at the same time. Gerry Sullivan, Financial Accountant for Dublin Bus, said the SoftCo-SAP link and the optimised AP process were instrumental in helping his department handle the emergency. The ease of use of the SoftCo system meant that colleagues drafted in to help with AP duties were quickly up to speed and able to keep invoices moving.
“The staff absences weren't a panic situation -- we knew we would be able to handle the invoice volume and not violate suppliers’ payment terms,” Gerry said. “SoftCo gave us the cushion we needed, when we faced something that had never happened to us before.”
Dublin Bus says the solution has not only improved relations with suppliers, but also delivered a measurable improvement in the handling cost per invoice.
“A number of our suppliers have actually rung us up to say thank-you for paying so promptly,” Gerry said. “With SoftCo we’re paying our suppliers faster, we can handle the process better and our AP staff are not under as much strain. We’re very happy with the way we do things now.”