Automating AP Workflows for Better Outcomes

January 3, 2020

Anil Padmanabhan, Head - India GFSS & Global Head - P2P
Ranjan Ray, Senior Manager - App Dev & Support, Enterprise Application

Conduent Nominated for UiPath® Automation Excellence Award

At Conduent, we’re not just using technology to transform our clients’ mission-critical operations. We’re transforming the way we operate too — and we are excited about the potential impact on our clients’ business operations moving forward.

During our recent internal upgrade from our legacy AP workflow system to an integrated ARIBA Procurement platform, our team had to work through the challenge of incorporating non-digital procedures into a digitized, automated workflow. This is a common challenge in our everyday work with clients and an exciting project for our Enterprise Application team to tackle.

In early December, Conduent was recognized at the UiPath® Automation Excellence Awards as a Top 3 finalist for “Excellence in Technology & Media - Finance & Accounting Process for Global Capability Centers.” The nomination was related to our work in automating AP workflows over the last year and we’re excited to share the process and results.

Challenge

When Conduent’s digital transformation plan covering the “Procure to Pay” process was put into practice, the majority of our suppliers were still working with paper invoices and billing records that could not be immediately implemented into the platform. As a result, our processing staff had to manually log data into two systems and copy content elements from one system to another. This process included multiple, disjointed steps to ensure back-up consolidations and data verification. This took up too much time and required multiple manual interventions for processing invoices.

Solution

The team worked to find a solution that would eliminate manual tasks using adaptive automation. The solution had to be compliant, flexible and scalable for extended usage. Working closely together, employees from our Technology, Business and ARIBA Project Management Office (PMO) created a blueprint for the automation solution.

The invoice processing automation project implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology to provide for continuous ingestion and processing of invoice data from our legacy AP workflow system. The automation application (BOT) allowed a seamless integration into our upgraded process. 

Results

Largely due to increased business efficiency, the BOT eliminated the need for any additional human resources to manage our processes while allowing the existing team to focus on higher-value initiatives such as supplier training, business training, User Acceptance Testing support and support of the soft go-live phase. Other results included:

  • Increased coverage and zero manual activities in the invoice segregation process, which resulted in a 30% increase in throughput with a near-zero error rate.
  • The achievement of 100% operations compliance, with all  supporting documents uploaded to the procurement system
  • Ongoing savings of 400 hours manual work hours per month

We are now exploring the BOT platform’s applicability into several of our clients’ products and services, as we see incredible potential to add value and drive similar results for our clients and their end customers.

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