Olympic Games, Eurovision Song Contest or Bambi Awards: Procon Multimedia (PRG) streamlines invoice receipt processing with MR.KNOW – BPM (formerly BPM inspire)
11,100 athletes from all over the world, 302 competitions, 28 sports: An international mega-event like the Summer Olympics requires not only years of preparation and billions in financing, but also a competent, experienced team pulling the strings in the background. In order not to leave athletes and organizers in Beijing in the dark and without sound, the organizers relied on the expertise of German lighting and sound specialist Procon Multimedia (PRG) – not without reason: Procon has also staged major events such as the Eurovision Song Contest and the Bambi Awards.
Events like these not only require a lot of planning and organization, they also generate hundreds of invoices. In order to reduce costs, minimise incorrect bookings and reduce invoice throughput times, Procon's event specialists now handle all invoice processing using the Business Process Management (BPM)-based solution MR.KNOW – BPM (formerly BPM inspire). This software originates from developer Inspire Technologies, which has already successfully implemented BPM projects for numerous well-known companies.
As a technical full service provider for the media, entertainment and event industry with numerous national and international projects, Procon receives several hundred invoices per day, with a volume of two to three pages per item. 30 percent of these documents can be assigned to an order reference from the Navision and Oracle ERP system. About 180 Procon employees are then involved in the approval process. "Ten to 15 of these colleagues work mainly on invoice processing," explains Dennis Henschel, Head of Financial Accounting at Procon Multimedia. In the past, the invoice processing process was often very lengthy, and the majority of steps were manual. The invoice travelled through many stations within the company for checking, approval and booking in paper form. Henschel: "In some cases long processing routes were involved, where it wasn't always one hundred percent clear where an invoice currently was. We wanted to remedy this and automate processes." Procon wanted to improve the action chain and remove as many manual steps as possible by means of the IT-supported processing of incoming creditor invoices. The processes which still have to be carried out manually were also to be optimised so that the user is provided with all the information required for processing as automatically as possible.
"We chose MR.KNOW – BPM during the selection process because it was the product that could fulfil all of our requirements in the best possible way," Henschel explains. In order to do this, Inspire Technologies adapted the standard solution to Procon's specific requirements. The standard solution already covers a wide range of automated invoice processing functions, from the receipt of the documents to booking in the ERP system. The adaptation was therefore unproblematic. Henschel: "Process steps, plausibility checks and escalation scenarios were modelled and implemented in a step-by-step and straightforward manner."
And this is how invoice processing works today: The entire process consists of the work steps of scanning, document recognition, archiving and invoice approval. The process engine of MR.KNOW – BPM – smart process controls and monitors all invoice processes at Procon centrally and automatically. Deadline overruns, which can lead to cash discount losses, are now a thing of the past. The incoming invoice ledger and a status report of receivables also provide the necessary transparency of all invoices. Scanning takes place in a central location in Hamburg, and there is no special barcode separation. In order to process different types of invoices, scan profiles have been created in which various settings for the recordings are preset. Examples: Single or double sided, automatic rotation or resolution. During document recognition, the BPM solution checks categories such as creditor, debtor, date, amounts and invoice number. Index fields such as debtor number or amount are saved during archiving. When an invoice is being processed, a distinction is made in the following between invoices with and invoices without a purchase order reference. Whereas invoices without a purchase order reference are automatically registered in Navision and Oracle – the posting sheet is used for the monthly settlement, invoices with a purchase order reference are not registered in the ERP system. In this case, all of the necessary information about the order is available. The evaluations and statistics functions are only available to selected users via the rights management of the MR.KNOW – BPM – smart process.
By using MR.KNOW – BPM, Procon was able to automate the entire checking, approval and booking process. "The solution combines tried and tested standard products for reading out and recognizing documents, audit-proof archiving of the documents and processing control,access to the systems to be integrated for process control. This is exactly how we imagines this project," explains financial accountant Henschel. "The new BPM-based software also gives us the entire bandwidth that is required for automated invoice processing. We particularly like the considerable amount of transparency and control along the entire workflow. The open interface architecture provides us with investment and implementation reliability." Thanks to the consistent browser-based user interface and central control, Procon employees can even approve invoices in Beijing and other project locations without any problems.