Pacific Drilling Addresses International Growth with Optimized AP Solution for SAP HANA

Pacific Drilling, an international offshore drilling company that provides ultra-deep water drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry, wanted to have an automated, more controlled accounts payable process that would work with the company's SAP HANA systems. The existing accounts payable (AP) process was completely manual necessitating many emails, phone calls and the collection of manual signatures. The global oil and gas company required 24 hour access to information and the company's manual reporting methods could not keep up with its rapidly growing needs. The company needed a solution to improve the accuracy, productivity and timeliness of its invoice processing. The solution also had to be very scalable. Due to extremely rapid growth, the company wanted to be able to support the increased global invoice volume without adding more AP headcount. Solution The company began the project focusing on the US business operations. The Houston head office was processing 4200 invoices per month of which 44% were non PO and 57% were PO based. They chose Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable for several reasons:

  • Flexible capture of invoices
  • User intuitive interface required little training
  • Small system footprint that leveraged their SAP investment
  • Easy to configure for changing business rules
  • Simplified approvals
  • Automated workflow
Additionally the supplier portal greatly helped to reduce the amount of emails and phone calls that the AP department had to manage. Results The company implemented the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable solution with e-Invoicing, which significantly reduced the amount of time the AP department spent on manual entry of invoices and  answering supplier queries. The accuracy of invoice processing increased and the company was able to:
  • Post 20% of their invoices automatically; this number continues to increase as they refine their process.
  • Use flexible work centers to meet their business requirement for multiple individuals to share responsibility
  • Set up Multiple Approver levels in the automated workflow
  • Search easily search for invoices with holds or exceptions allows for faster processing
  • Roll out the system to remote locations with little user training because of the intuitiveness of the system
  • Use existing staff able to handle the increased workload
 

Pacific Drilling Addresses International Growth with Optimized AP Solution for SAP HANA

Pacific Drilling, an international offshore drilling company that provides ultra-deep water drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry, wanted to have an automated, more controlled accounts payable process that would work with the company’s SAP HANA systems.

The existing accounts payable (AP) process was completely manual necessitating many emails, phone calls and the collection of manual signatures. The global oil and gas company required 24 hour access to information and the company’s manual reporting methods could not keep up with its rapidly growing needs. The company needed a solution to improve the accuracy, productivity and timeliness of its invoice processing. The solution also had to be very scalable. Due to extremely rapid growth, the company wanted to be able to support the increased global invoice volume without adding more AP headcount.

Solution

The company began the project focusing on the US business operations. The Houston head office was processing 4200 invoices per month of which 44% were non PO and 57% were PO based. They chose Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable for several reasons:

  • Flexible capture of invoices
  • User intuitive interface required little training
  • Small system footprint that leveraged their SAP investment
  • Easy to configure for changing business rules
  • Simplified approvals
  • Automated workflow

Additionally the supplier portal greatly helped to reduce the amount of emails and phone calls that the AP department had to manage.

Results

The company implemented the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable solution with e-Invoicing, which significantly reduced the amount of time the AP department spent on manual entry of invoices and  answering supplier queries. The accuracy of invoice processing increased and the company was able to:

  • Post 20% of their invoices automatically; this number continues to increase as they refine their process.
  • Use flexible work centers to meet their business requirement for multiple individuals to share responsibility
  • Set up Multiple Approver levels in the automated workflow
  • Search easily search for invoices with holds or exceptions allows for faster processing
  • Roll out the system to remote locations with little user training because of the intuitiveness of the system
  • Use existing staff able to handle the increased workload

 

Pepco Holdings: Optimizing Accounts Payable Processes

Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the mid-Atlantic region wanted to centralize its accounts payable processing to increase efficiencies and lower processing costs. The company had grown gradually through acquisition, and as a result, was receiving, reviewing, approving and processing invoices at more than 20 locations in four states and five jurisdictions. The accounts payable processes were disjointed and very manual, which increased the company’s cost of paying invoices and made it difficult to stay in compliance with the highly regulated industry’s stringent data retention requirements.

Solution
As part of PHI’s Invoice Improvement Project (IIP), the company implemented Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP) solution with the Supplier Portal by Taulia, for the following key capabilities:

  • Advanced imaging and digitization of invoices
  • SAP-enabled workflow solutions to automatically post or route invoices based on the company’s multi-tiered corporate approval policy
  • Centralized, efficient storage of invoice images for easy access
  • Self-service portal access for self-service invoicing and online inquiries
  • Real-time analytics and reporting on invoice processing metrics for productivity, cash flow, and status tracking.

The solution was rolled out across all three of PHI’s utility companies, Delmarva Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric, and Pepco, in a comprehensive process-driven initiative unlike any other accounts payable project in the utility industry.

Results

The company was able to achieve over $3 million in savings for 2014 – an incredible return on investment. Mary Gabriel, Manager of Accounts Payable and Sarbanes-Oxley stated “Enhanced controls, increased transparency and shortened cycle times are a direct result of the process-centric innovation the solution provides”. Key results include:

  • Reduce the average invoice processing time from 30 days to less than 10
  • Automated the processing of low-dollar, high-volume invoices
  • Improved reporting and compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Reduced document storage fees by 39% for savings of more than $100,000 each year
  • Increase transparency with their suppliers and strengthening their relationships
  • Captured nearly $2 million in discounts in by offering early payments to their suppliers through the intuitive supplier platform

In June 2015, the company received the Supply Chain Excellence award from Southeastern Electric Exchange for its innovative Accounts Payable project.

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Change Leadership Key to Success of AP Projects

Paytech Magazine, February 2015

The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Change is important because, without it, businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film.

Ushering in meaningful, institutional change is difficult. John Kotter, the well-known leadership scholar, states that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. The primary reason, he says, is that organizations often don’t take the holistic approach necessary to see change through to the final results. Failed projects often lack vision, leadership, and engagement — all key traits of an effective change management approach that begins in the highest echelons of an organization.

Despite the difficulty of implementing change, high performance finance departments must be in a constant state of change. They must be fast and flexible, adapting to evolving economic and environmental conditions, to strategically keep cash flowing into and out of the organization. Optimizing financial processes such as near-cash processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable can help companies make more agile decisions and grow the bottom line. But, these areas are often ineffective, slow to make and collect payments.

Stuck in the mindset that “we’ve always done it this way,” implementing change can be especially challenging. However, an effective change management strategy—beginning, according to Kotter, with an engaged leader such as the CFO—will dramatically improve the success of financial projects. What else must that leader do and why is change needed?

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Differentiating Good from Great. Transform Key Financial Processes to Gain Competitive Advantage and Drive Results

SAPinsider, Jan/Feb/March 2015

Strong financial leadership means more than cost-cutting and performance management. Customers and vendors are looking for reasons to do business with your company — they are differentiating the good companies from the great. To find out where your organization falls on the spectrum, start with this question: Are your finance processes optimized for internal and external business drivers?

Successful finance organizations distinguish themselves in many ways, but the most strategic and successful start by improving service levels and transforming the business to adapt to changing market conditions. Let’s look at three ways companies can adopt a relentless approach to business transformation that drives results.

To read the full article click here

SAP Business Process Improvement

Brian Shannon, Principal Finance Consultant at Dolphin, discusses Dolphin’s approach to improve business processes within the SAP environment. He talks about listening and delivering transparency and visibility, efficiency and control for improved cash flows.
 

 

Effectively Leading Change in the Finance Organization

Business Finance, May 2012

Change is constant, and it’s critical that financial organizations adapt to meet the needs of current economic conditions. This article will discuss how to become a catalyst for change by reinventing key processes within your finance organization, including accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger activities. It will demonstrate how optimizing back office functions like accounts payable and accounts receivable can deliver real value to an organization, and provide insight into how to effectively drive this change.

Click here to read the full article on Business Finance Magazine.

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