Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS) has adopted an automated invoice processing system to slash costs.
HMPS went to Brainware for its accounts payable A/P-distiller. The HMPS Shared Service Centre in Newport was created in 2005 to handle finance, HR, and procurement activities for the prison system.
Shared Service managers will apply Brainware technology for OCR (optical character recognition) and extraction of line-item data from up to 3,000 invoices received daily from HMPS' diverse supplier base.
To achieve maximum efficiency in its accounts payable processes, HMPS is co-ordinating its implementation of A/P-distiller with improvements in its overall invoice handling, removing procedural obstacles to invoice approval and payment.
A/P-distiller will augment these improved processes through high-volume line-item extraction and verification, automating the matching of invoice data against purchase orders.
Scheduled for production use by year's end, the AP system is expected to generate per-annum savings of around £250,000 by December 2008, and double that amount as the system is applied to other government departments.
"To automate invoice payments throughout the HMPS system, we needed a product with an OCR capability to handle huge variations in paper-based invoices, and which could accurately extract and export needed data into our Oracle ERP system," said Steve Hodgson, HMPS head of shared services.