Accounts Payable

How UK facilities management leader Amey’s accounts payable team faced down the COVID challenge earlier this year

We’re delighted to be able to share a very positive document management user success story from EASY Software

Taking, as it says so prominently on its home page, personal pride in the service it offers the public, Amey Plc is one of the UK’s most successful facilities management, civil engineering and infrastructure management companies.

With a large project footprint in the UK public sector, over 16,000 people work for the organisation, and that already large-enough total can go even higher at peak project delivery times. That translates into a lot of important back office finance and HR work, administrative workload, from both a finance and HR perspective, as its Senior Application Support Manager, Stephen Butler, confirms: his team can see at least 12,000 invoices through the front door every month.

The firm has been a user of the SAP enterprise software platform for these important functions since 2002. To make that even easier, from day one it has also very sensibly invested in EASY Software’s SAP Packaged Services (Capture and Archive) to capture and manage incoming Accounts Payable (AP) documents electronically. Since then, EASY’s internal use at Amey has become even more widespread.

‘Ready access to confidential documents over a secure web client’

However, times (and business) change. Now, Butler estimates at least 95% of his invoice load gets delivered digitally anyway, so scanning is less of an urgent business need. But EASY keeps lockstep with these changes, and is now much more a help on the HR side of the business.

Why that helps: every time Butler’s organisation takes on or finishes a major contract he has to ensure the onboarding and then re-allocation of often as many as 500 team members and external help. “The nature of the work we do means there can be a massive turnover of staff, and extraordinarily high numbers of documents to process under TUPE [transfer of undertakings] obligations as people come into our operations and leave again,” he points out.

That workload is the main reason behind over ten years of reliance on EASY-enabled electronic document archiving. That’s there, he explains, in order to provide a HR document management solution fully integrated with the company’s SAP HCM (Human Capital Management) and vFire Case Management systems. As a direct result, the Amey human capital team can administer Amey’s vital talent pool so much more rapidly and comprehensively, providing ready access to confidential documents over a secure web client.

In 2019, Amey took a step further, in the shape of a significant upgrade to EASY Software’s latest technology. Now, all software and records run in the cloud for Amey, on a secure Microsoft Azure platform, part of the overall goal of reducing reliance on on-premise infrastructure. And it turned out that was a very wise move for another reason: despite COVID-19, teams could continue working, uninterrupted, in lockdown.

“The sudden call to work from home didn’t affect our workload,” Stephen notes. “After all, with the latest EASY software we are not dependent on having people in the office to print attached documents and scan them into our core systems. Other businesses may well have been caught out without that facility.”

A smooth upgrade during the peak of the Lockdown

That cloud+EASY combination also helps meet his compliance targets, too. “Each time someone joins the company they have to send in a copy of their passport,” he says. “Now, these documents can be captured without paper—and when you consider that we operate a number of contracts for the UK Government, you can appreciate how important that kind of assurance is.”

Summing up the positive, long-term assistance EASY has given this major factor in UK public sector project delivery, for Butler the fact that he and his team can track down any document at any time and from anywhere is “transformational”—and made the difference between critical business functions being able to maintain continuity during Lockdown.

“And that’s on top of the saving we make on having dedicated people who otherwise would have spent their days scanning paperwork. And to have achieved such a smooth upgrade and have had no issues during the peak of the lockdown—when HR had so many other things to deal with—is priceless.”

The dmcollaborators editor

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