The Community Housing Group to improve purchasing visibility with V1

GS Brown constructionThe Community Housing Group, a not-for-profit organisation and leading provider of social housing services in Worcestershire, is implementing purchase-to-pay solutions from V1 to improve spend control and procurement process efficiencies across its five subsidiaries. The project is planned to go-live in December 2014.

V1’s Archive and Purchasing Management solutions will integrate into the Group’s existing Infor SunSystems accounting software and record all financial commitments and expenditure. The solutions will also automate paper-based procurement procedures by enabling the electronic circulation, storage and authorisation of 20,000 purchase invoices and purchase orders in total each year.

The Group’s previous purchase-to-pay processes were being hindered by outdated, standalone systems and paper forms. As a consequence, the finance team was unable keep track of its financial commitments, making it difficult to gain an accurate picture of the organisation’s finances and keep on top of budgets.

As part of its decision to upgrade to the latest version of SunSystems it chose to replace the archiving and workflow solution it had been using for seven years with more modern, integrated technology.

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Matthew Simmons, Systems Administrator (Finance) at The Community Housing Group, explains: “We considered five suppliers but V1’s solutions stood out as being very easy to use plus they offered the intuitive workflow and commitment accounting functionality we needed. V1’s proven ability to integrate into SunSystems and its excellent value for money compared to competitors was also key.”

V1 Purchasing Management will provide the Group with increased visibility of expenditure across all cost centres. The web-based system will enable 100 staff, including budget holders and heads of service, to enter draft purchase orders remotely which are then automatically routed to relevant authorisers for approval using workflow, replacing the unnecessary handling of paper.

The solution’s advanced functionality will also enable the Group to build approval hierarchies and accurately check expenses against budget, ensuring greater financial control through real-time insight into all purchasing commitments.

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Simmons comments: “V1 Purchasing Management will provide us with improved spend visibility and robust controls to prevent unauthorised spending. Being able to see our financial commitments in real-time will greatly assist us with budgetary control and ensure vital funds are maximised to reinforce our services.

“We will also save a great deal of time by accessing all purchasing related information from one integrated system. This will assist us to answer queries from budget holders and creditors in seconds instead of minutes and we will benefit from further efficiency gains by removing the need for paper.”

In the future the Group is to consider implementing V1’s integrated optical character recognition solution, V1 Capture, to further improve purchase-to-pay efficiency. This solution enables organisations to make significant cost savings by automating the approval of purchase invoices and reduces manual data entry and associated errors.

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