Spartech is a leading producer of engineered thermoplastic sheet materials, thermoformed packaging, polymeric compounds and concentrates. The company has four business segments and over 38 locations located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, and most of these had multiple financial resources. Due to growth and expansion, there were inefficiencies and duplicate personnel in their AP processing and other business operations.
DataServ provided Spartech a comprehensive Purchase to Pay (P2P) Software as a Service (SaaS) document and process automation solution to help streamline their payables processes and facilitate Spartech’s shared services initiative.
With 23 acquisitions from 1993-2003, the company had become highly decentralized which led to redundancies in many of their business operations.
With a desire to reduce the duplication in their business operations, Spartech began a shared services initiative focusing on their financial operations. Some of the goals of this project were to:
- Rapidly transform Finance operations
- Increase visibility into their payables process
- Improve financial controls
- Remove lower-value processes like data entry
- Realize cost improvements through electronic invoice capture
How DataServ Helped
As part of the consolidation process, DataServ provided Spartech a P2P SaaS accounts payable automation solution to assist with the creation of a new Finance Shared Services center and improve Spartech’s payables process.
Specifically, DataServ delivered the following capabilities:
- Document and data capture
- Online workflow processing
- Management of full document lifecycle (retention and • storage)
- Auto-matching (AutoVouch™)
- Management reporting
Additionally, initialization of this project allowed Spartech’s AP processors to have one central repository to quickly locate and use relevant documents when needed, thus facilitating a standardized platform across all business units.
Vendor invoices are sent directly to DataServ through mail, email, or fax and then scanned, imported, and hosted online. Within 24 hours, the Digital Mailroom at DataServ captures required data, allowing Spartech processors quick visibility and tracking of their AP documents. Documents with a purchase order assigned to them run through AutoVouch. Those that successfully vouch (match) are sent directly to Oracle for import. Those that do not vouch are presented to the AP department in queues for manual processing. Documents which require resolution of a problem/issue are assigned an ‘exception status’ and may be routed for approval and/or coding.
Working with Spartech, DataServ tailored a detailed test plan. This plan documented the steps to be taken prior to Go-Live to thoroughly test and prove out the initialization and gave the opportunity to make any adjustments to the process while residing in a test environment. Testing also ensured the process is tailored to Spartech’s business.
DataServ also provided comprehensive training on all P2P capabilities to support this program. DataServ sent Client Support Reps to Spartech to conduct hands-on training sessions. Additionally, DataServ provided full documentation to the users. These training sessions included:
- Process overview
- How documents get into DataServ
- DataServ site navigation
- Document retrieval processes
- AutoVouch process
- DataServ support process
A Lasting Solution
The Shared Services unit is fully functional at Spartech’s headquarters and the consolidation of redundant business operations has yielded a much-improved workflow of documents and lower document processing costs. With the P2P automation solution in place, headcount in Spartech’s AP department was able to drop from 15 processors to a couple of supervisors and four processors.
Robert Byrne, Vice President and Chief Information Officer commented on his company’s decision to purchase the DataServ P2P offering, stating, “Spartech is always on the lookout for technological solutions that will automate our processes, enhance our cost structure, and complement our existing systems by integrating with Oracle. We believe the DataServ P2P solution accomplishes these goals and at a much lower TCO than traditional software. Their depth of experience and the fact that they have P2P best practices embedded into their solution impressed us.”
Utilizing DataServ’s P2P automation solution, over 50% of Spartech’s AP invoices now AutoVouch – with no human touch required. And this is with a zero percent tolerance level!
Accounts payable documents will be available in the DataServ system for the entire life cycle, per the retention policy created as part of the new AP process. Users are able to retrieve them by various criteria greatly improving audits, vendor support and budgeting. Once the documents are retrieved, users have the ability to annotate, print, export, or add pages to the document.
DataServ has many other Client success stories in the form of additional case studies and testimonials. A short phone call or quick email is all it takes to find out more. Call us today at 877-700-DATA (3282), email us at info@DataServ.com or visit us at www.DataServ.com to get started.
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