Many assume that centralisation is the best route to optimization. At Atea, the opposite has proved to be the case – at least when it comes to its indirect purchasing strategy.
Department heads used to have to provide authorisation twice: once to authorise a purchase and later to authorize the invoice after delivery was made. ATEA needed a solution to enable department heads to deal with the purchases once.
Previously, when Atea received an invoice, finance would sometimes have to guess who it belonged to. It wasn’t unheard of for invoices to be emailed from one person to another and from one department to another until someone recognised them.
Atea wanted a search functionality so that employees could find standard purchases more easily. It also needed to ensure as high a level of matching purchase orders to invoices as possible - so that the system would make payments automatically.
The solution also needed to integrate with Atea’s wider technology landscape and, in particular, exchange master data with existing SAP ERP systems.
Finally, they had three ‘showstopper’ criteria, namely:
- User-friendliness was paramount
- It had to be a mature ‘out-of-the-box’ system that was ready to run with hardly any tweaks
- The purchasing and invoice processing system had to work together
Why Atea chose Basware as their integration vendor
After a detailed review, including five possible vendors, Atea selected Basware as it was the only vendor able to deliver a fully integrated mature P2P and TEM solution. Also, Atea realized that only Basware was able to adapt to Atea's decentralised procurement strategy.
Implementation was rapid, with the blueprint designed immediately after selection and the implementation complete in under 4 months.
During implementation, Atea asked Basware to focus not on tailoring the solution to their processes but on integrating with their SAP ERP, the many different servers, and gaining access through approximately five million firewalls and ports.
Atea chose to shut down the previous TEM expensive process that involved manual advances for employee credit cards and switched as many staff as possible to personal liability credit cards that gave employees 30+ days of credit.
Responsibility for invoice posting was delegated to individual departments. Therefore, no one needed to attempt to guess where an invoice had come from and department heads could have increased spend visibility on what their direct reports were spending.