NHS Wales anticipates £1 million cost savings per year with V1's document management software

Health service has already tripled the productivity of its accounts payable team using V1’s software

22 May 2013 - NHS Wales, which comprises seven health boards and three NHS Trusts, is anticipating £1 million cost savings per year once document management solutions from V1 (formerly Version One) and a range of e-trading solutions are fully live across the health service.

NHS Wales, which operates as a shared service, has already seen productivity triple in the accounts payable team since it started rolling-out V1’s document imaging and invoice data capture solutions in October 2011. The plan is for the solutions to be fully operational and in use by all Health Boards in Wales by the end of 2013.

V1’s solutions were recommended by the health service’s existing Oracle E-Business Suite provider, Patech, when the shared Accounts Payable department identified the need for software solutions that could eliminate time-consuming paper-based invoice processes. The Accounts Payable department processes approximately 1.2 million supplier invoices each year.

The Accounts Payable department began its paperless invoice processing journey in 2009 when the health service implemented an XML solution for the electronic creation of purchase orders and the automated receipt and payment of supplier e-invoices. However NHS Wales could not convince all its suppliers to move to this automated P2P process and so invoices were still being received in other formats and via other channels.

Said Shadi, Service Manager from NHS Wales, says, “The challenge was trying to convince suppliers to receive electronic orders and to send us electronic invoices in return, thereby totally eliminating paper-based invoice processes. Up to 600,000 supplier invoices per year were being processed in this way, leaving 600,000 invoices that were still being sent to us by other means. We therefore had to look at alternative software solutions that could bridge the gap between our XML solution and manual invoice processing.”

V1’s document imaging and invoice data capture solutions were identified as the ideal fit as they could integrate with the health service’s Oracle E-Business Suite and be tailored to suit its shared services environment.

In October 2011, V1’s solutions were successfully piloted with a handful of suppliers at one of the health organisations. They then began to be rolled-out to other NHS Wales trusts and health boards and the plan is for the solutions to be fully operational across all ten organisations by the end of 2013. 

With V1’s solutions, paper supplier invoices are sent to a PO Box number according to the organisation it relates to and they are then redirected to a central scanning bureau where they are imaged. The data from the invoices is automatically captured using V1’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology and using the PO Box number as reference, the imaged invoices are allocated to the appropriate organisation and linked to the Oracle E-Business system. Purchase orders that match the imaged invoices are automatically paid.

Invoices sent as PDF documents are received into a specific email address where the invoice data is captured using V1’s PDF-specific OCR technology.

V1’s solutions are already delivering significant benefits for the health service including enabling timelier supplier payments as Said Shadi explains, “Using V1’s solutions, invoices are no longer arriving into locations and departments all over the health service where they could get misplaced. Instead, we have full visibility of supplier invoices and know exactly where they are in the purchase-to-pay process. This is, in turn, allowing us to more easily meet our supplier payment targets.”

The productivity of NHS Wales’ accounts payable clerks has also been increased since using V1’s solutions.

Said Shadi says, “Previously, our clerks were manually processing between 8,000 and 12,000 invoices each year. By cutting manual data entry and reducing the time spent chasing invoices, they are able to process significantly more invoices while freeing-up administration time so that staff costs can be reduced or staff are utilised to can focus on more value-adding tasks.”

Once the V1 solutions are fully live across the health service, NHS Wales is anticipating significant annual cost savings.

Said Shadi adds, “Once all parts of the health service are live with V1’s solutions and e-trading solutions, we are expecting £1 million per year cost savings towards our substantial annual savings target.”  

Published - 22nd May, 2013  |  Contact PR - pr@WeAreV1.com or call 01625 856 505

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"Once all parts of the health service are live with V1's solutions and e-trading solutions, we are expecting £1 million per year cost savings towards our substantial annual savings target."

Said Shadi, Service Manager , NHS Wales