By automating its payables process for utilities, UGDSB gains greater visibility and control over utility usage to lower costs, boost efficiency
Upper Grand District School Board, in Southwest Ontario, supports over 34,000 students and across more than 70 schools in the Counties of Wellington and Duffering. With so many facilities, the district school board has a LOT of utility bills to manage - nearly 400 each month.
Beyond the effort involved in manually processing and paying these paper-based utility bills, the district school board’s process for monitoring utility usage meant a heavy reliance on finance to provide usage date, tied to the original printed statements.
According to Application Development Manager Roger Yang, “We monitor all usage for water, electricity and gas usage in a school every month. In the past, that meant asking finance for the data, which often came from the original paper bill, which was a labor-intensive and time process.”
With over 400 utility bills to process, file and manage each month, finding an automated solution to increase processing efficiency and also make it easy to access relevant usage data, the district school board decided to digitize their utility bills and extend self-service access to digital usage information.
The Upper Grand District School Board decided to implement the docAlpha Digital Transformation platform to handle its utility bill payment process and digitize its utility bills and related usage information in a way that reduce the time and effort for the district’s accounts payable team.
According to Yang, docAlpha was implemented within six months and quickly eliminated bottlenecks in their accounts payable process by automating the filing of scanned utility bills and delivering access to other departments.
On average, 20% of the time/effort required just to scan and file utility bills was eliminated through automation, with the added bonus of instant access to usage data.
“Now, all our paper bills come as PDFs that are automatically filed on our file server, categorized by location. Our operation team can easily retrieve all the scanned bills to find usage information. You don't need to bother the finance anymore,“ Yang said.
According to Yang, the implementation process for docAlpha was equally painless.
“The implementation process [for docAlpha] was relatively straightforward. We asked Artsyl to help us define the process and we provided all the sample bills to create templates for capturing the data we needed. Then we tested it and made a few adjustments. Now, we can manage the process and regulate issues ourselves - and have a kind of expertise.”
Upper Grand District School Board City of Guelph, County of Wellington and County of Dufferin, Ontario, Canada
The Upper Grand District School Board serves approximately 34,000 students through 65 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools in the City of Guelph, County of Wellington and County of Dufferin. Student success is the goal of over 3,000 dedicated teaching and support staff who are aided by the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners.
• Streamline utility bill payment processing
• Deliver instant access to related utility usage data
• Manual, paper-based processes
• High volume of utility bills (5,000 annually)
• Inability to access usage data in a timely fashion
• Dependence on finance staff to access data
• Artsyl docAlpha Digital Transformation Platform
• Automated batch scanning and separation of utility bills
• Intelligent extraction of invoice and usage data
• Instant access to digital invoices, orders and related documents
• Support for mobile/remote invoice review and approval
• 100% liability tracking and process transparency