Think about the word ‘railways’ and a few thoughts spring to my mind… witnessing the awe inspiring site of TGV trains pounding through the French countryside on family holidays, the luxurious Orient Express, the iconic platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station and the Hogwart’s Express… but not necessarily purchase-to-pay innovation… but that’s changing.
With a focus on modernizing its rail system, the Hungarian national railway company – Hungarian Rail – is working with Basware to improve its finance, procurement and purchasing procedures of 20,000 employees and processing requirements for 250,000 invoices that are received annually across two-hundred locations.
Hungarian Rail had previously been using a manual processing method, which meant the organization lacked critical visibility into procurement and finance activities, and had difficulty tracking the status of invoices, often leading to late payments.
The organization desperately wanted to create an innovative end-to-end automated system for managing finance and procurement processes and identified several goals for an automated system that included the need for an off-the shelf solution that would provide more transparent processes, centralize all the information in one place, and provide in-depth analysis that would enable cost-saving opportunities and process improvements. It was also essential that they could solve the problem of late payments.
Following a thorough review process for a complete solution that could address its needs for transparency, reporting and analysis, and increased productivity, Basware’s purchase-to-pay solution was implemented across the company and two of its subsidiaries.
Hungarian Rail began by implementing invoice automation, and almost immediately began realizing results such as increased visibility, greater productivity, easier audits, on-time payments, and improved supplier relations.
By automating its procurement processes and electronically managing supplier contracts it has meant Hungarian Rail has greater transparency and control over spend since the advanced reporting reveals potential opportunities for savings, enabling enhanced management of cash flow, spend and working capital.
The organization expects to process one million invoices annually without additional staff, thanks to improved procurement and accounts payable processes. There are also plans underway to implement purchase-to-pay automation across 10 additional subsidiaries.
The automated process solution has improved the productivity of the Hungarian Rail AP department by reducing unnecessary invoice processing time and costs and improved its overall finance and procurement processes having achieved critical transparency, control and productivity.
And so, with this level of financial excellence and innovation being demonstrated in what some people might think of as a traditional, conservative industry such as rail, it really is ‘full steam ahead’ for purchase-to-pay!