CLS Holdings reduced its time on document validation by half
time saved per invoice
average processing time per invoice
CLS Holdings plc (CLS) is a commercial property investment company with an international presence across the UK, Germany, and France. The company’s core business involves owning and actively managing high-yielding properties, predominantly office spaces in key locations across its three regions. Through lease restructuring, refurbishment developments, and a future-focused approach, CLS transforms properties into sustainable, modern spaces where businesses can grow.
Leading up to and during the pandemic, CLS managed to switch most of its suppliers across its three regions to submit invoices digitally (i.e. via email). The next challenge was to improve the processing of the rise in digital invoice volumes. Speeding up processing while ensuring data extraction accuracy and compliance with workflow rules were primary business objectives, with an ultimate goal to drive down operating costs and enable cross-border work processing.
To achieve that objective, CLS first had to initiate a digital transformation program to rationalize the fragmented landscape of property and finance systems across the group. Introducing an automated invoice data extraction platform to at least three different legacy finance systems (with no APIs) would have created a complex integration landscape. Furthermore, it would have generated a range of maintenance and support issues for this initiative and other integrations.
CLS started by selecting a platform, MRI X, to replace six different property and finance systems, with integration capabilities being a vital feature. Having evaluated various products, CLS chose Rossum as the invoice data capture solution due to its API maturity, quality of extraction, cost, and usability. The pilot implementation demonstrated that Rossum was easy to implement compared to competing products.
Rossum was first implemented for CLS’s UK region, followed by France. There is a plan to propagate the platform with the teams based in Germany and Luxembourg in the near future.
CLS’s document processing workflow includes shared mailboxes for each region. Each mailbox has a corresponding queue in Rossum, which facilitates the triage and review process that the Accounts Payable Team undertakes. In addition to data capture, Rossum automatically flags duplicates and inconsistencies along with splitting line items within the invoices when necessary — a significant value-added function to the process. Tight integration between Rossum and MRI X ensures high levels of traceability and compliance with business rules. The invoice approval process is invoked after the review has been confirmed, uploading the invoiced into MRI X, where any discrepancies in data are highlighted for the approver. Finally, SharePoint serves as the document repository for invoices through integrations with Rossum and MRI X.
The most visible impact for CLS was improved data entry and validation. Rossum enabled a higher quality data extraction whilst not fundamentally changing the invoice approval workflow and compliance with other business requirements.
The time spent on document processing has more than halved, allowing invoices to be paid correctly and as quickly as possible. Shortening processing times are particularly important in the UK to satisfy government policy (i.e. Prompt Payment Code), and in Germany/Luxembourg, where discounts are available on early payments.
As an added bonus, CLS teams can now perform invoice-related tasks in other regions, which was not previously possible when the systems were fragmented.
Rossum’s French and German localization enables CLS to deliver the same user experience for the teams based in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the UK. Rossum’s centralized platform and multilingual support have allowed CLS the opportunity to reconsider the location for where some business processes can take place in the organization.
In the future, CLS is planning to explore new ways in which Rossum can cover more steps in the invoice approval workflow and expand processing to include more types of documents, such as utility bills.
“Rossum is a cost-effective and accurate solution for automated invoice processing. We are impressed with the intuitive user interface and high-quality API which supported end-user engagement and easy system integration respectively. Ultimately, we are very happy with the value we’re getting from the platform.”Greg Snow, Head of IT at CLS Holdings plc