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Case Study

Orange Business Services Transforms Purchasing with Automated Document Management

Orange Business Services Meets Regulatory Compliance Challenges with Kofax Solution. When Orange Business Services decided to transition from a country based finance structure to shared service centres, the company realized it needed an automated document management, imaging, and workflow solution with worldwide capabilities. Besides improving productivity and reducing costs, the solution needed to ensure compliance with different countries’ regulatory requirements for managing paper documents. In addition, Orange Business Services had a number of technical imperatives.

“Once we made the decision to go with shared service centres, we knew we could no longer operate manually,” says Patty Richey, Project Manager, Financial Systems & Processes at Orange Business Services. “The need to streamline processes that flowed internationally meant we needed a Web based solution that worked hand in hand with our global ERP system, which is based on Oracle Financials. That made the MarkView Financial Suite the obvious answer.”

The Challenge

The Challenge

Orange Business Services needed to support four shared service centres located in the U.K., France, the U.S., and Singapore. The manual Accounts Payable (AP) processes the company had been using for intra country operations would have required moving documents across international boundaries. Because many governments have laws that prohibit source documents leaving their country, these processes had to be redefined. Furthermore, the need for tight internal controls had escalated with the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the U.S., and Orange Business Services needed to strengthen and automate its audit trails.

“The shared service implementation drove us to look for a business process automation solution that would enable us to better manage documents in accordance with local regulations, strengthen internal controls through automated workflows that segregate duties for each transaction and develop audit trails of our AP approvals, even when they involved signatures from personnel in remote locations,” explains Richey.

The Solution

The Solution

As Orange Business Services set out to meet those requirements, the company sought a solution that would scan document images into an automated worldwide workflow and then make those images readily available to all authorized personnel. When evaluating potential business partners, tight integration with Oracle Financials was of primary importance.

“We were clear from the outset that we wanted a Web based solution that worked seamlessly with our Oracle systems. With the MarkView Financial Suite, images scanned at any location become intrinsically linked with the appropriate AP records, meaning that we can retrieve them easily and quickly. The other big win was that we could use the same Delegation of Authority (DOA) table we were maintaining for Oracle. In addition, we are able to provide a mechanism for finance to view the status of an invoice as early as possible in the process and, as a result, obtain more accurate information and increased visibility into liabilities,” says Richey.

To justify the financial investment in the Kofax solution, Orange Business Services conducted a time and motion study that contrasted its manual processes with the automated ones that they knew could be implemented with MarkView. They modelled typical daily AP activities—including retrieving invoices, responding to inquiries, and obtaining signatory approvals—and measured the savings they could anticipate with the Kofax capability. According to Richey, “When we extrapolated the daily savings to a year and multiplied by the number of personnel performing those tasks, we easily made a good case for working with Kofax.”

The business and technical experts from Kofax worked closely with the Orange Business Services team to design and implement streamlined AP processes. They then educated trainers who in turn brought the AP clerks up to speed on the new system. Richey praises the effort, “Our goal was to have world class shared service centers to support our business, and Kofax has helped us to build a world class AP process.”

The Results

The Results

With the Kofax solution in place, the shared service centers have adopted more streamlined processes, and Orange Business Services can keep original documents in their country of origin when local regulations require it. In countries such as the U.S. and Australia, where original documents need not be maintained once scanned, Orange Business Services is saving on storage space. Images of all documents—including invoices and backup paperwork—are now visible to authorized personnel wherever they are located.

Orange Business Services’ AP department has experienced headcount savings because people in the shared service centres no longer spend time manually retrieving paper documents and carrying them from place to place to obtain signatures. Furthermore, by using the Oracle DOA table, the company avoids the cost of maintaining a redundant approval hierarchy. Just as important as the productivity gains is the fact that Orange Business Services now has more effective internal controls. Finally, Orange Business Services has been able to significantly reduce late payment penalties, which results in better cash management for the organization.

“With its imaging and automated workflow, the Kofax solution enables compliance with document retention regulations and provides an audit trail on all invoice approvals as they move through our system. This greatly facilitates meeting the Sarbanes-Oxley requirements,” reports Richey.