Pet Partners adds speed and insight to invoice processing

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Pet Partners, which has purchased 60 veterinary hospitals across the country since its inception in 2003, assumes all the operational processes—from accounting to IT—when it acquires a hospital.

Among the most critical areas is accounts payable (AP), where Pet Partners handles 6,000 invoices each month. The company wanted to transform operations from a cumbersome manual process to an automated system.

Jon Schroeder, CIO at Pet Partners, says, “We knew that the current approach would soon become unsustainable. We simply couldn’t justify the cost of hiring more accountants as we expanded the business, and so we looked for a way to bring greater efficiency to AP processes.”

Pet Partners teamed with Optima Global Solutions, a Lexmark partner, to design a streamlined and automated approach to invoice processing including database integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Within a few months, Pet Partners implemented Optima’s transcendAP solution written specifically for Lexmark’s Kofax TotalAgility to provide intelligent capture, general ledger integration and approval workflows.

Now, from a single web-based portal, accounting teams can review and approve invoices and access dashboards and reports. Lexmark says that the new approach reduced “days payables outstanding” (DPO) from 20 days to seven days, with a goal of three days ultimately.

In the past, one accountant handled invoicing for a dozen hospitals and now, with increased automation, one person manages 25 to 30 hospitals. The new solution frees accountants from tedious data entry work and enables them to focus on more valuable tasks, according to Lexmark.

Schroeder says, “By improving insight into purchasing data, we are able to identify opportunities where hospitals are able to reduce expenses and negotiate better deals with vendors, allowing them to cut operating costs. By streamlining day-to- day operations, we can support veterinarians and their teams in delivering a superior care experience for pets and their owners.”

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