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Engineering project success at Baker

Michael Baker Corporation, a global engineering and energy management firm, wanted to strengthen its project management systems with a document management and workflow solution to reduce online transaction processing costs and reimbursement cycle times.

Baker had grown dissatisfied with its project expense management capability and its cumbersome rebilling process. For example, employee-incurred expenses represented only a portion of total rebilled expenditures. Each expense report required backup receipts, which would total as many as 18,000 annually. Invoicing clients required associating every expense report and its backup receipts--many of which originated on paper--with the appropriate client project.

Baker wanted to integrate distributed expense documents online, reduce the amount of time spent handling paper and shorten reimbursement cycle times. The company also wanted the solution to be Web-based and to integrate seamlessly with the Oracle ERP system that Baker had installed.

Donald Bender, project manager of digital services at Baker, explains, "We wanted to use document management, imaging and workflow technology to centralize operations and create a more efficient operating environment. We knew that automating processes and eliminating paper would dramatically reduce the costs associated with processing our large volume of invoices. But it was just as important to us to leverage our investments in enterprise applications and to further improve our ability to provide superior project management."

Baker decided to implement 170 MarkView technology from 170 Systems to improve its project management, accounts payable and expense reporting functions. With the enhanced system in place, Baker can gather all project-related expense data into a single, integrated online repository, and authorized users can access the information in a self-service environment. That provides a way for the company to accurately track and manage spending across international projects, according to 170 Systems. The company further says that Baker clients benefit because invoices now include all the data necessary to substantiate rebilled expenses, eliminating telephone calls and expediting payment.

"Our accounts payable and accounts receivable processes are more streamlined, and our internal resources are more available for value-added work," says Bender.

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