Construction Firm Dramatically Improves Invoice Processing With Knowledgelake ECM Solution
Macmahon Holdings is a successful construction and mining company that operates on multiple continents. But it was struggling to dig out from underneath mountains of paperwork, including 10,000 or more supplier invoices arriving each month. A KnowledgeLake solution addressed the problem, allowing the company to double its invoice-processing times, improve financial forecasting, and enhance relationships with suppliers.
Macmahon Holdings is a large Australian construction and contract mining company with major projects throughout Australia, in New Zealand, Asia, Mongolia, and Africa. The company offers a full range of underground and surface mining services and comprehensive construction capabilities that include transport, marine, water and resource infrastructure services. At the end of 2011, the company was operating at more than 35 remote project sites on several continents.
The complexity and sheer number of projects handled by Macmahon was creating a mountain of paper that became increasingly costly and difficult to manage. This included paperwork streaming in every month from approximately 10,000 supplier accounts.
Macmahon Holdings Ltd. is a leading Australian construction and contract mining company. Its headquarters is in Perth, Western Australia.
Perth, Western Australia.
“We had an accounts team comprised of 10 full-time and four temporary staffers who were struggling to keep up with the volume,” says Meghan Williams, IT Core Systems Manager for Macmahon. “Along with the drain on human resources, it created issues for us in terms of fulfilling service level agreements with suppliers, which promised acknowledgement of their paperwork within 72 hours and processing within five days. Not only were SLA’s becoming difficult to maintain, but we had a backlog of more than 8,000 invoices. It made cash forecasting difficult. If left unchecked, it would have had a negative impact on our service.”
An early effort to fix the problem was an in-house solution that involved uploading invoices to the company’s Microsoft SharePoint intranet.
“It worked to some degree, but there was no automation, and we had challenges in the way that images were saved to SharePoint,” says Williams. “Also, it didn’t address user search requirements, and it took us a long time to develop and deploy enhancements.”
"With the KnowledgeLake solution, we have just two fulltime people processing 500 invoices a day, a 100 percent improvement from the old processes. And we no longer need our AP staff to help out. They can now put more focus on their core activities."
-Meghan Williams, IT Core Systems Manager, Macmahon Holdings Ltd
Macmahon tried a new approach with much greater success. Based on the recommendation of Clayko Group, a solution provider specializing in Microsoft-based solutions, Macmahon deployed a KnowledgeLake enterprise content management (ECM) solution that integrates seamlessly with the companys SharePoint system.
“We reviewed several enterprise resource planning systems with invoice processing capabilities,” says Williams. “But these solutions were overly complex in their requirements and prohibitive in their costs. Also, our company has evolved towards being Microsoft-centric. The KnowledgeLake solution fit our goal of implementing a cost-effective content management system that would integrate tightly into other enterprise systems. And with its familiar interface, it would provide a shorter learning curve for users.” Macmahon installed KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which is used for searching, viewing, and annotating invoices and other documents. It also uses KnowledgeLake Capture for batch processing and indexing, with every document receiving metadata that enables rapid searches after a document is published on the intranet.
KnowledgeLake Capture is used with the company’s HP Color LaserJet CM8060 multi-function machines, which can scan up to 50 pages per minute.
It took Macmahon about one month from initial deployment until the system went live. The deployment included migration and scripting work performed by in-house employees to move data from the company’s older SharePoint 2007 system to a SharePoint 2010 web server farm.
The benefits of installing the KnowledgeLake ECM solution have been dramatic. Macmahon has doubled the amount of paperwork processed every day. It cleared out the backlog of invoices, enabling faster and more accurate reporting. The solution has also helped improve relationships with suppliers, who now get faster communications and payments.
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