Cyclus NV is a waste management company that collects waste for 11 municipalities in the Randstad, manages environmental sites, carries out cleaning tasks and slipperiness control and, all in all, ensures that the streets remain neat and safe. With approximately 200 permanent employees, the company collects about 200 kilotonnes of waste annually on behalf of the municipalities and has most of it sustainably processed into valuable raw materials.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
When Thon Verbakel joined Cyclus NV six years ago, the company already had experience with digital invoice processing using ImageCapture in combination with Exact Globe. The first project Verbakel started in 2016 was the transition to a digitized Purchase To Pay process. After an initial exploration, the solution chosen was the one that best suited Cyclus at the time.
We used that solution until mid-2020 and learned a lot from it. The organization has learned to work with digital purchasing and approvals through workflows. In addition, we started using much less paper.
In mid-2019, we wanted to take further steps, but were running up against the limits of our software solution at the time. We decided to orient ourselves on what options were available on the market. Through our IT partner QUBE ICT Solutions, we ended up with Scan Sys again. In the first half of 2020, we implemented our new software.
Unlike the previous solution, we used Shopper and ImageCapture to fully integrate this with our Exact Globe administration. It is now a fully integrated process where we manage all orders and obligations, and have access and insight into all orders and costs. To give you an idea, we have about 8,000 purchase invoices per year.
Cyclus uses Shopper for purchase management, ImageCapture for invoice processing and Exact Globe as its financial solution. The systems are fully integrated with each other and communicate in real time. There are workflows with corresponding authorizations for the entire procurement process, and the approval and processing of invoices. The solution is web-based and used from desktop and mobile.
This integrated solution has brought us about 30% additional efficiency since 2019. We spend much less time processing invoices. That gives us time to pay attention to other things. For example, our contract management is now much better aligned with our procurement policy. The role of the contract owners is much clearer and they have better insight into their procurement policy, because in the past that was still too dependent on Excel files and obligations entered into via the mailbox.
Our partner QUBE ICT Solutions proposed the solution with Shopper and ImageCapture to us. They also provide first-line support. That works well. We have noticed that there is fast communication with Archifact (the supplier of Shopper) and Scan Sys. The implementation went quickly and smoothly. It took place during COVID, so mainly remotely. In the old solution we had built up a work back-log of about 6 or 7 weeks, while our suppliers have to be paid within 30 days. It was therefore important that the implementation went well. This motivated everyone to do their best. We received good support from the organization, which is also very important. After the implementation we immediately noticed that the process and the turnaround time of orders, invoices and payments were more balanced again. The paper flow was already reduced, but I think we now receive maybe only 10 paper invoices a week, the rest all arrive in the mailbox as PDFs, ready to be processed digitally.
In addition to the benefits of a fully automated Purchase To Pay process, this new solution with Shopper, Exact Globe and ImageCapture has brought some other improvements. First of all, invoice recognition has been greatly improved. With the previous solution it was between 70 and 80%, with ImageCapture it is certainly over 90%.
Our approvers also find the new solution much more user-friendly. And thanks to a link with our Business Intelligence solution QlikSense, we get a lot of data from Shopper and ImageCapture for checks. Our accountant also makes grateful use of this.
We asked Thon Verbakel if the project is now complete:
No, we want to go even further. The next step is to link our asset management solution, Ultimo, to Shopper. Then we will also be able to process those orders and invoices digitally.