“Purchase invoice approval has been aligned across all departments, decreasing the manual work significantly”
As described on their website, Shanks Group is Europe’s largest publicly quoted waste management group, operating in various regions and divisions. The company offers a broad range of solutions that focus on maximising recycling and optimising the recovery of renewable energy from waste to help customers meet waste and environmental obligations.
Our challenge was to develop an increased cost-effective approach for their accounting activities by consolidating financial data, automating several manual actions and connecting to external accounting services providers.
More specifically, The ‘Wood division’ of Shanks was still using Navision for their accounting activities, while the rest of the organisation was connected to IBS enterprise. IBS was already the basis for financial reporting and was leveraged with a third-party application for the systematic approval of vendor invoices.
Moreover, Shanks also wanted to connect to an external public platform to receive the invoices electronically in order to avoid having to enter invoice data manually into the accounting systems.
Firstly, we researched which ETL tools could be implemented in this project. Eventually, we opted for the Pentaho DI tool, as it brings financial data together within IBS Enterprise.
Secondly, we analysed the current setup within the Navision accounting application. The necessary structures within IBS were created and an integration model in the Pentaho DI tool was developed to periodically transfer all invoice related data from Navision to IBS Enterprise. As a result, the existing benefits (including invoice approval) became available for ‘Wood Division’.
We also changed the business processes in the accounting department and aligned them with the new setup of the systems.
Currently we are integrating the external platform within IBS Enterprise in order to receive all invoice data electronically and directly into IBS.
This project resulted in the consolidation of the accounting activities within IBS Enterprise, which makes reporting significantly easier. More specifically, purchase invoice approval has been aligned across all departments, decreasing the manual work for invoice data. The first invoices are already available electronically and more will follow.
Shanks even started looking to extend the integration efforts with Pentaho to other divisions and departments to achieve the same benefits.