Organized and Efficient with Accounts Payable Automation
Automate invoicing system to create a more efficient process.
Iron Mountain® Electronic Invoice
- End-to-end automated solution.
- Better approval hierarchy to control spending.
- Elimination of more than $800,000 in capital expenditure and a total hard-cost savings opportunity of $120,000 annually.
SunGard Availability Services provides operations support to IT departments that need to keep mission critical information and applications up and running. They are focused on providing responsive disaster recovery, managed services, IT consulting and business continuity management software solutions to help organizations keep people and information connected. With a strong culture of continuous improvement to deliver exceptional value, SunGard Availability Services assessed their AP and Procurement processes against the industry benchmarks; they realized there was an opportunity for enhancements. As a longtime partner of Iron Mountain for their informational management services, they turned to us for a solution.
Going from Paper to Paperless
When SunGard Availability Services decided to move to automation, many vendors were evaluated. At the time, the SunGard Availability Services Procurement team was working on centralizing their record and data storage with Iron Mountain. Through conversations with their AP and Procurement teams and reviewing their options with other companies, they decided that Iron Mountain provided the best overall end-to-end solution, ranging from imaging to workflow automation and other factors such as invoice volume that SunGard Availability Services needed to address.
“Iron Mountain came with their experts to simply ask questions about what we do in AP. Based on our volume and what we wanted to achieve, they were able to map out a solution that met our specific requirements, which made the decision a lot easier.”
Don Myers, Assistant Controller at SunGard Availability Services.
At the time of implementation, 90 percent of SunGard Availability Services’ invoices were paper-based. They were looking for a more consistent, automated invoice receipt, processing and tracking solution to streamline their process which could help eliminate the inefficiencies associated with manual, paper-based processes.
The Iron Mountain e-Invoice solution starts with a centralized receipt of invoices via mail, faxes and email followed by scanning and indexing of that data at the Iron Mountain virtual Shared Service Center. The invoices are Smart Routed via workflow to approvers for matching and automated exception handling.
Mobile access is also available, allowing for the approval of invoices anywhere. The result is that more than 90 percent of SunGard Availability Services invoices are now paperless.
All of this is managed from a single dashboard with self-service for users, offering information on-demand, an online audit trail and workflow status and history. In addition, the solution provides a self-service supplier portal with 24/7 visibility that has reduced supplier calls by over 80 percent, improving supplier relationships in the process.
The flexible reporting functionality provides many insights for SunGard Availability Services. They now have clear visibility into invoice status and the real time reporting capabilities allow for customized reporting using specific criteria to get the required level of detail. They can now work throughout the month to review and update budgets, avoiding crunch time at the end of the month.
Requests for information from auditors used to be disruptive to the SunGard Availability Services team’s daily activities. In a recent situation, a request was received asking for more than 300 invoices that needed to be reviewed quickly. SunGard Availability Services was able to run the report in the Iron Mountain system, import it as an Excel spreadsheet and print all the invoices needed. This would have normally required a minimum of three SunGard Availability Services employees spending three full days. With Iron Mountain services, that is no longer the case.
“IT worked closely with the Iron Mountain team to customize a solution that would work for us,” said Jim Teague, SunGard Availability Services IT.
"Before partnering with Iron Mountain, we needed to drop everything, locate and pull invoices and research transaction histories manually. Now we have online access to invoices to review with a quick keystroke."
Scott Brunner, Manager of Disbursements and Commitment Accounting , SunGard Availability Services
The e-invoicing process also makes users more conscious of approvals and amounts approved. Department heads gain more responsibility to accurately review and code their invoices. And because Iron Mountain Electronic Invoice is a cloud-based or Software-as-a-Service solution, there was nothing to install or maintain.
“We had NO up-front capital costs, NO recurring software licensing spend and truly got a full end-to-end solution without losing control of our full back office,” said Nancy Sucher, Procurement Category Director, SunGard Availability Services.
“The Iron Mountain team was excellent to work with. They helped the process,” said Nancy Sucher. “They provided best practices, helped us communicate to the suppliers and were available to us mostly anytime we had questions or concerns. They know AP automation and seemed to really know SunGard Availability Services after just a few weeks into the implementation.”