OpenText™ (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC), a global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), today announced Palm Beach County School Board has implemented OpenText Capture Center to automate its invoicing process to reduce costs and improve productivity. With OpenText Capture Center, the board has transformed its Accounts Payable (AP) department for the digital world.
Palm Beach County is one of the top-performing school districts in Florida and is committed to providing a world-class education to its students. With recent economic challenges and significant budget reductions, the school board needed solutions to maximize efficiencies and savings. Manually processing an estimated 175,000 invoices annually for the school district, the board’s AP departments faced a labor-intensive, paper-driven process. Additionally, government mandates on record maintenance resulted in high storage costs for paper invoices and additional manual processes. The board needed a solution to automate these manual processes and reduce costs, while integrating with its current systems.
“Automating many of our manual processes has resulted in increased productivity and significant cost savings,” said Heather Knust, director of accounting services at Palm Beach County School Board. “We have been able to reduce staff through attrition and the cost of offsite storage. When invoices are requested for audits or public records requests, we have to order boxes from storage. We then have to find the invoice, remove the staples, photocopy it, and then file it. It is an extremely manual process and invoices can easily be misplaced. We needed a solution to help.”
Working with OpenText partner Informa Software, a Florida-based company specializing in process automation, document management, email management, and document distribution software solutions, Palm Beach County School Board determined that OpenText Capture Center was the best solution for its needs.
The board took a measured approach as it rolled out OpenText Capture Center, initially digitizing paper invoices, and capturing scanned images, emails and faxes for Palm Beach County School Board. The school board also began encouraging vendors to email invoices instead of sending paper invoices.
“We no longer have to sort invoices because we’ve automated that as well,” explains Knust. “With certain vendors, where we’re getting hundreds of invoices a week, we’re going to be able to automate the process to where an AP person isn’t even going to have to look at them.”
Bob Rucinski, AP manager at Palm Beach County School Board adds, “We’re very close to having invoices flow through our system from the email mailbox all the way to payment, without any human intervention.”
As they deploy more functionality of OpenText Capture Center, Palm Beach County School Board continues to reduce manual processing and paper handling, resulting in significant gains. Before implementing OpenText, an invoice was touched at least five times before it reached the check printing stage. With OpenText Capture Center, the group is able to significantly reduce the time for each invoice, processing more invoices per day with half the number of staff. Additionally, the invoice automation offers visibility into the status of invoices, and can help reduce compliance risks, facilitate auditing and improve vendor relations.
Rucinski explains, “Paper invoices might sit on someone’s desk for a period of time. We had no visibility into where those invoices were or how old they were. Now, they are scanned automatically on the day they arrive. From the time it’s scanned to the time it’s paid, we know where it is.”
By automating the records retention process, OpenText Capture Center classifies, stores and files invoices electronically to save money on physical storage and eliminate a cumbersome process.
Palm Beach County School Board is eager to begin implementing the next phase of the solution for even greater efficiencies and savings.
Knust adds, “My goal is to maximize productivity utilizing state of the art technology to achieve my vision of a paperless AP department.”
OpenText Capture Center uses advanced tools to capture, classify, extract information from, validate and store paper documents and other types of content. The solution applies document recognition functionality first to classify the document type and then extract business data from the digital image using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), and Intelligent Document Recognition (IDR).
OpenText Capture Center is part of the OpenText EIM platform, a set of methods and technologies that help customers to maximize the value of their information while minimizing its risks. OpenText EIM solutions are delivered as comprehensive suites of integrated solutions, providing an unmatched breadth of capabilities on premises, in the cloud, or as hybrid deployments.