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.
Why ARE turned to Basware's AP Automation solution
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.