Florence One’s purchasing process prior to teaming with Softdocs was bogged down with physical copies and lengthy waiting periods. Purchase orders were being printed and held in a physical folder until they could be matched with a vendor’s invoice. The invoices were then mailed to the original requestor’s school, where they could be approved for full payment, ratified or approved for partial payment under a blanket purchase order.
Once it was ready to be paid, the invoice and its related documents were stapled together and mailed or delivered to the district office, where the invoice information was then keyed into their accounting system. The checks were issued and then stapled to the original packet of documents and filed in a physical cabinet. In order to get these into the content management solution, the clerks would then have to search for the file, remove the staples, and scan and index all the appropriate documents from the vendor’s folder.
Bethea knew there had to be a better way, so she and Kyle Jones, Florence One’s Technology Coordinator, teamed up with Softdocs to find a solution.
“Softdocs helped us come up with the idea to begin the scanning at the individual schools,” said Bethea. “The invoices start there anyway, so why shouldn’t we go paperless from the beginning of the document’s life cycle?”
With the help of the Softdocs Professional Services Team, Florence One was able to divide the workflow between each school rather than placing it all on the district office.
With the division of labor, the number of new paper documents produced was drastically cut and the backlog was much easier to handle. Two scanners per school were purchased from Fujitsu, Softdocs’s hardware partner, to help each school take charge of their purchasing process.
“We were very excited to start sending our purchase requisitions through Softdocs’ Electronic Forms solution. When employees can log into a central system and send their requisitions directly to the district office, they feel responsible for their own purchases and their requests get filled more quickly,” said Bethea.
Since the adoption of the new workflow process, purchase requisitions result in a purchase order much more quickly than before. According to Bethea, the items on a recent purchase requisition were able to be delivered less than an hour later.
At 11:30 AM, a teacher submitted the purchase requisition in the electronic forms solution, where it was automatically routed to the bookkeeper. Once approved by the bookkeeper, the purchase requisition was automatically routed to the principal, then the grant administrator, then the director of IT, and finally to Bethea.
Bethea archived the purchase requisition in the electronic forms solution create a purchase order in the accounting system, which automatically filed the PO into the vendor’s drawer. The PO was printed from the accounting system and captured by Doc e Serve’s add-on, eDelivery, which automatically faxed the purchase order to the vendor. Softdocs’ Content Management solution also filed the purchase order in the vendor’s pending PO folder.
At 12:14 PM, Bethea received a call from the vendor asking if they could deliver the product to the side door of the district office. Seven people at three different locations were involved in the process, and it was completed in a mere 44 minutes.
“We’ve eliminated unnecessary phone calls, emails, paper going back and forth, AP deadlines ... checks can be cut the same day now,” shared Bethea.