Warner Pacific Procure to Pay Automation
“I and our Technical Advisory Board could see from the very start that the CoreIntegrator solution was the one for us. It’s just so powerful and yet so simple to use”
Warner Pacific provides insurance agents with sales assistance, innovative technology, and back-office support. With strong leadership and a focus on building and deepening relationships, it has become a top-producing general agency for many of the nation’s largest insurance carriers.
Kellie Davies is the Payable Specialist at Warner Pacific. She has over 30 years of experience in implementing processes and tools to assist in efficiency and productivity.
Rapid Growth Created Problems
Kellie said, “I spent 21 years working my way up to the role of VP of operations for another company. Then, after a couple of wonderful years being a stay-at-home mom, I decided it was time to get back to work - but in a much less stressful role. I was hired at Warner Pacific in November 2008 and after a few different roles, I landed my job in Finance heading up the Accounts Payable department.”
She started the position at a time of rapid growth and expansion.
“When I began in AP, we processed roughly 40-50 invoices per week for one entity. Today we process about 250 invoices per week for about 12 entities.”
And during that period of fast growth, the entire procure to pay process was completely manual. “The majority of invoices came in the U.S. mail. I reviewed each invoice then grouped them in file folders to be physically distributed for manual approval,” she said.
“Then I entered, printed, signed, mailed out payments. Finally, I filed everything in vendor file cabinets including the payment documentation. The volume just became too large to continue with this manual process. And even worse, if team members had to find an invoice or research a payment, it was incredibly labor intensive.”
The team was drowning in invoices. They knew they needed to massively improve efficiency.
That’s What Consulting Partners are For!
So, they contacted their technology consultants, Kaydee Baker and Shannon Niroo at Costa Partners, a California firm that helps companies and organizations find the right business applications to take their business to new levels.
“Kellie and Warner Pacific were facing the same problem that any company faces during a period of rapid growth: keeping up with purchasing and then paying the bills,” said Kaydee Baker, a Partner at Costa Partners. “It seems so simple, but when you hit a certain volume of invoices - around 250 a month – a manual process just breaks down. Warner Pacific are paying 250 invoices per week!”
“And the fact of the matter is that whether you are talking about Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct, or any other ERP or accounting system, world class PO and AP automation just isn’t built in. That’s why we work with several procure to pay automation providers and were able to put them in front of Kellie and the Warner Pacific team.”
Kellie and Kaydee discussed Warner Pacific’s problems, requirements, and what they hoped to achieve. Then the Warner Pacific IT Technical Advisory Board looked at several procure to pay automation solutions.
According to Kellie, “I and our Technical Advisory Board could see from the very start that the CoreIntegrator solution was the one for us. It’s just so powerful and yet so simple to use”
“Since I would be using it on a daily basis, I was rooting for CoreIntegrator to be the product to make it through the vetting process because it was easy to see the benefits.”
“Every other product we demoed was just overwhelming. And all I could think of was wow, it is going to take so much time and effort to train people to use this system to meet our requirements. I wanted something that everyone would be able to use that was very intuitive. CI is that product!”
What Automated Procure to Pay Looks Like
So how have things changed for Kellie and Warner Pacific since automating their procure to pay process?
“We are completely automated. The majority of our invoices now come in through email and automatically download into CoreIntegrator, ready for processing. Today our invoice process is so efficient and comprehensive because the system “learns” each vendors G/L posting, which saves me so much time since 80% of my invoices are reoccurring payments.”
“We currently post to 4 different branches and 28 departments, so this is a huge timesaver. Once I submit the invoice it electronically travels through the various approval paths necessary and then dumps into GP - our accounting software - to process payment.”
“We currently have 2 people doing the AP process and without CI, we would need double that, at minimum. Additionally, we would never have been able to work from home throughout this pandemic without our CoreIntegrator procure to pay automation solution.”
“But the comprehensive automation does not stop at the AP side, it allows for my Finance team to be able to easily research items for month end processing, annual audit requirements, payment history questions, etc. Everything is online!”
What’s Your Favorite Feature?
“That is a loaded question because this product was a game changer for us! As I said, to have your entire AP process online with the ability to research and answer questions immediately has been huge,” Kellie said.
“And another uniqueness about this product is it is so customizable. If you can define it, they will program it. You can have several different workflows to accommodate your different needs. For us, we had the everyday normal invoice that came in.”
“Then, once we went live with processing invoices, we had a need to create what we called a Payment Request. This was for payments requested either by check or credit card, that we needed to obtain an approval for so we could pay the vendor. There was not necessarily an invoice from a vendor, more of a one off type expense. We defined it and then CI built the separate workflow.”
“We recently just added a third workflow designed to assist us in understanding the IT projects we have in the works and define what to expect in terms of future invoicing for those projects. More of an informational approval workflow. But CoreIntegrator made it seem easy.”
“But the thing is - I cannot say enough great things about CI. They keep things simple! I have dealt with many vendors and software products, and the learning curve was always so complicated.”
“And the culture at CI is amazing! Every person I ever work with is so helpful, thorough, customer oriented and responsive. I cannot say enough great things about them!”