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Driving business efficiency with automated invoice matching and processing
Processing over 300,000 invoices per year, ARE turned to Basware to help drive automation across their AP function and increase invoice handling efficiency.
ARE is Finland's largest technical building services provider. As well as providing services that cover the whole lifecycle, from new building construction to property services for maintenance and upkeep, it ensures energy efficiency and a pleasant indoor climate in customers' buildings.
ARE has 25 localities in Finland and St Petersburg. The company chose Basware to eliminate time-consuming manual invoice processing and facilitate its journey to full invoice automation.
invoice automatic matching rate
Spend under control
Paid on time
ARE is a 24/7 business. When ARE customers have a problem, such as a blocked drain and flooded floors, ARE has to be available regardless of the time of day. The standard response by ARE to any customer issue is to send out an ARE employee to assess, buy the necessary materials or equipment, and fix the problem.
For accounts payable, this operating model means managing a high volume of low-value invoices, and these invoices also come from a wide array of local suppliers. Päivi Tuominen, Accounting Manager at ARE, estimates that the company processes more than 25,000 invoices each month.
Maintenance Services, in particular, often perform minor tasks that only require a few spare parts. However, all these purchases need to be matched with a job. The existing process proved time-consuming, and approvals were causing backlogs due to approvers being on-site at customers not in the office.
Having an existing relationship with Basware through a subsidiary, they knew Basware understood their business. After reviewing Basware’s AP Automation solution, they agreed that it met their requirements and would dramatically boost automation across the AP function.
Alongside implementing the Basware AP Automation solution, ARE also carried out a significant SAP update at the same time. Although running the two projects alongside each other wasn’t ideal, ARE couldn’t avoid implementing the two changes simultaneously. And the major positive was that they were able to update the approval interfaces in both systems allowing for increased automation once live.
The system updates also called for some changes in ARE procurement processes. Working with suppliers, they improved supplier data quality with more accuracy on product and reference data. Implementing Basware Network simplified the invoice receiving process and allowed suppliers to send digital invoices instead of paper.
Finally, a training plan was launched to bring purchasers and approvers within ARE up to speed with the new solution.
Basware was a familiar partner to us, and their solution met all our requirements. We have increased the level of automation and seen a dramatic decrease in processing errors thanks to the automatic matching of invoices using automated rulesPäivi Tuominen, Account Manager, Are
The Basware AP Automation has also unlocked significant time savings almost immediately. Data errors that previously slowed down invoice handling have been reduced significantly. ARE has migrated almost all suppliers to deliver their invoices electronically, further improving data quality. ARE now has a 99% e-invoice rate, which dramatically impacts automation levels.
The invoices received are now processed faster than ever with 70% of invoices automatically matched. This allows the AP team to focus on remaining exceptions and other more value-generating tasks. Spend visibility has also improved, with finance now able to see that 89% of invoices are attached to a PO and with approvals now able to take place when an employee is mobile, 64% of invoices are now paid on time.