Solution Benefits

  • Control over spending
  • Timely invoice processing

Customer Profile

  • Housing
  • London

About Women’s Pioneer Housing

Women’s Pioneer was founded in 1920 by women and men who understood the link between providing women with good quality affordable accommodation and the wider fight for women’s suffrage and independence.

They operate almost 1,000 properties in 8 boroughs across West and North London.

The Challenge

Women’s Pioneer Housing found themselves both dissatisfied with the level of control exercised over expenditure and their ability to process supplier invoices on time.

Having efficient purchasing systems was a key challenge for Women’s Pioneer Housing. As is quite common with many organisations, Women’s Pioneer Housing tried to implement their finance system’s purchasing module. Whilst this worked, it was not simple to use and required a user to be comfortable with using busy and complex screens. This was fine if you were in the Finance department but not for the normal user, who just wanted to raise a purchase requisition or approve an invoice.

After realising the user adoption was failing, Women’s Pioneer Housing decided to implement a simple “self-service requisitioning solution” from Agilico.

Before the implementation of Invu POP, our process was manual, time-consuming and had duplication of work. Since implementation, the system has improved the requisition process for Women’s Pioneer Housing and has made the processing of invoices far more efficient, allowing the Finance Team to focus their resources in other areas of the business.

Atrik GadoyaFinance Manager

Solution

The solution was to implement a simple but effective purchase requisition-to-pay process that was easy to use. Our Invu POP module offered a simple and intuitive user interface with a familiar Amazon look and feel to manage the purchase requisition process. It meant users could raise their own requests, knowing budgets were being kept to, with the approvals happening prior to an invoice arriving for payment.

For the past 5 years, Women’s Pioneer Housing had already been using our  Document Management and Accounts Payable system to streamline and improve the efficiencies of their non-PO Invoice processing. These existing components work alongside the new Invu POP module to provide a complete solution.

Ease of Use and Improved Service

The simplicity of the system was endorsed when a new part-time Finance employee started earlier this year. It didn’t take her long before she was competent in using Invu POP and meant tasks were being completed faster and more efficiently than before. It allowed her to focus on other areas of the business.

A comment from Mark Cole, Director of Resources at Women’s Pioneer Housing, highlighted how a new member of his team quickly learnt to use Invu POP. This then gave her more time to focus on managing the Suppliers:

“This has given us a significant increase in our customer service capabilities. As we can now process information more quickly, we can respond to staff or supplier queries in an efficient manner.”

Simpler and Faster Processing

The original process for raising and managing POs was extremely time-consuming and manual for the finance staff, who process 6,000 invoices a year. The new Invu POP system ensures all POs have been approved, coded and the budget checked prior to an order being raised. This makes the processing more efficient as the majority of invoices received now match the PO, which enables straight-through processing, speeding up the whole process. Mark Cole said:

“In the time it used to take to register 10 invoices, the new system can cope with registering 100.”

The Finance Team are now able to manage PL invoice payments based on the agreed payment terms held in the finance system as the invoice data is current.

Improved Budgetary Control

Women’s Pioneer Housing have seen significant improvement in their budgetary control. Mark commented:

“The system reads the level of budget available and informs the officers how much they’ve committed, how much spend they have left and allows managers to make more informed judgements.”

This is used by every department across the association to ensure any purchases are within budget.

And it’s not only Mark who sees the benefits of the system. He added:

“The Chief Executive and Senior Staff were supportive of the system because of the enhanced budgetary control. We also saw the benefits they could achieve with the efficiency savings.”

A Fully Automated Process

Now, Women’s Pioneer Housing have fully automated their Purchasing and Accounts Payable process from start to finish for Purchase Order Invoices and Works Order Invoices as well as non-PO Invoices through to automated data entry into the finance system.

Uptake among senior executives and other senior staff at Women’s Pioneer Housing has also been high, with Mark noting that they use the system for final sign off and approval of larger orders and invoices meeting their level of delegated approval. This helps senior staff stay in control of the outgoings of the association.

Overall, the system has been extremely beneficial to Women’s Pioneer Housing, and has helped them achieve efficiency savings whilst further improving their financial controls.

Results

  • Better control over spending
  • More timely processing of invoices
  • Improved employee engagement
  • A simple but effective purchase requisition-to-pay process