In our first post on the Calero Centers of Excellence (CoE) we described all seven centers and how they work together.
In this post we discuss a few specific ways in which the various centers have teamed up to deliver dramatically increased value to our clients.
Improving Invoice Ingestion
In a company that focuses on technology expense management (TEM) as Calero does, the heart of the centers naturally occurs at the Invoice Lifecycle CoE. Where this has long been a people/process intensive operation, this CoE has teamed up with product management and systems development to yield significant increases and improvements in the way in which we ingest invoices rapidly and accurately, taking people and process further across our strategic model to incorporate more technology to better serve our clients.
Focusing on our existing use of automation and the required guardrails, these teams realized we could automate this process much further than we already had. Moreover, these enhancements put the power to improve the impact of automation into the hands of the customer-facing operations teams. Now they can imagine an enhancement and achieve it readily all by themselves. They no longer have to send a ticket to the engineering group and hope it gets to the top of the request stack immediately. By enabling the operators to create their own automations, the CoE’s involved have worked together to remove various delays that have long impacted customer processing wait-times significantly.
While most Calero competitors are just now incorporating Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Calero has already sailed significantly past that to far deeper layers of customer-beneficial automation, empowering people to exceed our customers' expectations.
Audit is an essential Calero service customers deeply depend upon and value highly. The Audit CoE teamed up with our product management and engineering groups and is building an audit and optimization module into our platform that will intelligently identify opportunities for optimization and significant cost savings at the same time. We’re automating everything from initiating inquiries to automating approvals while also identifying anomalies and investigating to determine root cause. As with so much of our automation this module will also take on many of the mundane, repetitive tasks freeing our team members to concentrate on much more value-added work. Ultimately, the automation will actually be conducting preliminary audit exercises to remove that burden from our team members.
Waiting is Wasting
Every time a project function is handed off from one department to another there may be delay in uptake, which results in waiting. Any time spent waiting is time wasted, so the Implementation CoE is focused on improving our path from winning new business to executing the preliminary processes, handing over the entire engagement to operations for implementation and ongoing handling, and accelerating progress toward early return of value to the customer. What letters of authorization (LoA) will we need to enable this new account? How do we acquire needed customer data from this new customer? How many invoices will we be ingesting? What processes, repetitive operations, and tooling will we need to customize for this customer? By bringing the various related CoEs together to answer these questions and improve the design of these systems, we dramatically improve our customer’s experience in a way that would be far slower and more difficult any other way.
Within an organization that is as based on information flow as Calero, the very first step in literally everything is gathering information. When it comes to invoices, LoAs, inventories, and other data, automation is key to accelerating and improving accuracy. Throughout all processes its critical to remember that what gets inspected gets respected.
But when it comes to insight, opinion, and other more subjective information sources, it's just as important to gather it quickly and accurately but not as easy to imagine automating.
The Centers of Excellence provide a construct, a framework upon which we can build a crowdsourcing infrastructure to more rapidly and aggressively ingest new ideas, new concepts, new observations from everyone in the enterprise. It then extends beyond our own environment to incorporate the partnerships we have created with all our customers. Their ideas, observations, and opinions are, to us, the most credible and well-informed of all.
The Calero Centers of Excellence bring organization and structure to those relationships and all the valuable information shared within them. This enables a level and quality of decision-making and innovative planning that would be impossible otherwise.