Willbros Group, Inc.
Willbros Group, Inc. is a global contractor specializing in energy infrastructure serving the oil, gas and power industries. Their offerings include engineering, procurement and construction, refinery turnarounds, ongoing maintenance and other specialty services to industry and government entities worldwide. They are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WG.
In 2008, one of Willbros Group’s businesses was experiencing unprecedented sales growth with a corresponding 100% increase in the volume of invoices processed on a monthly basis. Invoice processing costs were increasing at a rapid pace. Too many people were involved in the AP process, there were far too many paper touches and roughly 50% of the effort was spent ‘trouble shooting’ (i.e. answering vendor calls and handling procurement issues). The business was processing over 6,000 invoices per month: 25% non-PO, 65% PO-based, 5% check requests for permits, etc. and 5% employee expense reports. The existing procure to pay process was not scalable. Willbros uses JD Edwards Enterprise One as its ERP system.
The situation described above necessitated the initiation of a process improvement project to automate the Accounts Payable process by Willbros.
The major goals of the project were to decrease costs, maximize visibility, increase Business Process Management (“BPM”) control and improve efficiency, all in a scalable solution that would accommodate future growth.
Willbros selected Image Integration Systems to design, develop and implement the DocuSphere® automated workflow and imaging solution to improve purchase-to-pay processing. A critical solution component is DocuSphere JDE Integration, validated by JD Edwards (Oracle) for interaction with Willbros’ JD Edwards ERP system. The business process “engine” is DocuSphere Workflow, a standards-based, thin client, web-enabled system that automates enterprise-wide business processes across all application systems with flexible, graphical management tools with which you can easily create, maintain and secure workflow schema. Among other functions, DocuSphere Workflow provides remote authorization and the Auto Voucher module automates voucher creation for PO and non-PO invoices.
Other components are DocuSphere Content Manager, a complete thin client, web-enabled document imaging and archiving system for viewing, managing and distributing electronic documents across internal networks and the web, and the DocuSphere p-Card processing module.
Kofax KTM advanced OCR product for “intelligent” document capture and data extraction is integrated with the solution to further automate front-end scanning and reduce manual data entry.
Results and Benefits
The A/P Department doubled its capacity to process invoices while reducing staff size by more than 60%. The DocuSphere solution has made invoice processing faster, cheaper and better for Willbros through increased efficiency, reduced transactional costs, complete process visibility and data integrity, and improved customer and vendor service. Invoices arrive at the Willbros central A/P department, are scanned and captured with Kofax KTM, then enter the DocuSphere Workflow and are immediately routed to the responsible parties. Automatic, daily reminder emails prompt attention to outstanding activities in the workflow. Vouchers are automatically created and submitted to JD Edwards. Through DocuSphere Content Manager, these and other documents are immediately accessible at all sites and Willbros employees in Sales, Operations, IT, HR and Finance.
The DocuSphere solution has provided Willbros with impressive gains in productivity and customer service.