REVIEWER: David Shapiro, director of IT at Barron Collier Company (BCC).
BACKGROUND: BCC in Naples, Florida, develops and manages numerous land holdings across the country. As one of the largest diversified companies in southwest Florida, BCCs business ventures include extensive agricultural operations such as citrus groves and vegetable farming; commercial, retail and residential real estate development; as well as oil exploration and mineral management.
PLATFORMS: We implemented ImageNow from Perceptive Software on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server.
PROBLEM SOLVED: A small staff at our headquarters handles the accounts payable (AP) processes for the more than 130 smaller companies that comprise the business. Before deploying ImageNow, the AP staff manually shuffled paper invoices through the approval process and entered coding into our Dynamics GP solution at the end of the process to issue checks to vendors. In addition to the many steps involved in the workflow process before signing, we also require two signatures to approve each payment. In order to make the business more effective, we knew it was time to improve the payables process. Now, when we receive new invoices, employees immediately scan them into ImageNow and route them through an ImageNow Workflow process for review and approval. An ImageNow worksheet, a form attached to the imaged document, allows for the entry of additional invoice header information and general ledger (GL) account distribution coding. The AP coder then routes the invoice forward within the existing workflow process, which automatically triggers a preconfigured ImageNow Envoy remote service connection. This initiates a Web service request to Dynamics GP, forwarding all necessary invoice header and GL distribution data. Dynamics GP receives this data and automatically creates the necessary payables invoice transaction, invoice batch and all associated GL distributions. Upon completion, Dynamics GP returns a success/failure response to ImageNow Envoy, allowing the invoice to be routed to the appropriate completion or exception queue within ImageNow Workflow.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using a manual system, the AP clerk entered data into Dynamics GP after the approver signed the invoice, so any mistakes made by the clerk werent caught by the approver. Now, AP associates enter the coding and invoice information into an ImageNow worksheet early in the process. ImageNow worksheets also provide a layer of validation for each piece of data. Once a company is selected, only that companys vendors can be selected. Once a vendor is selected, only the corresponding GL codes can be selected, which ensures accuracy.
STRENGTHS: What initially impressed us about ImageNow is that the technology behind the scenes is state of the art. The architecture is built so there is generally a way to attack a problem, and its not intimidating for us to customize. While we were concerned at first about having a solution that was going to be too difficult to use, ImageNow is so intuitive that our staff has no problem picking it up after an hour or two of training. They absolutely love it.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered other vendors, but Perceptive Software gave us a solution that eliminated the issue of having to do double entry, and the Web services component was very important to us. We didnt want to rewrite the connection every time GP changed, so we loved the abstraction layer in ImageNow.
DELIVERABLES: The main outputs are screen oriented. This specifically includes the screen query of documents that have been processed through ImageNow. In addition, we produce three reports for the check print process: invoices ready for check printing, a check signer invoice detail report and an invoice instruction report that includes details of attachments that need to be returned when a check is signed. With ImageNow, weve completely automated our payables process, eliminated any double entry, increased visibility of invoices early in the process and improved our accuracy.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Weve found the Perceptive Software implementation and support teams to be very helpful. Any time there was a problem during our planning and implementation, Perceptive Software found a solution. We very rarely hear no from them.
DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is good.
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