Santa Fe Relocation is a relocation services company based in London, United Kingdom. They provide moving, destination services, immigration and assignment management services. Throughout the 1900s and in more recent times, several companies and corporations have amalgamated to form Santa Fe Relocation. The oldest of Santa Fe’s brands is Wridgways, founded in 1892 in Australia.
Santa Fe was founded in 1980, before it was acquired by the East Asiatic Company in 1988. They acquired Australia-based Wridgways in a deal worth AUD 89 million. At the time, they were the only removal company to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. They also acquired Interdean, one of Europe’s largest removal firms.
ELITE and Santa Fe Relocation entered discussions once SF had identified significant scope for improvements within their existing finance function. They were faced with some critical areas that needed to be addressed through new efficiencies and process improvements.
Their accounts payable department was the most afflicted by to these issues due to the paper centric nature of their processes. The most prominent pain points were:
- Invoices were not being approved efficiently
- Early payment discounts were missed due to process bottlenecks
- High postage costs for document assignments and approvals throughout Europe
- Hours of time lost to manual data entry into their ERP system (Exact)
The paper processes were so burdensome that Santa Fe incentivized their workforce through approval bonuses, to encourage swift authorization of invoices. With fifteen members of staff in AP, process efficiencies were prioritized and ELITE proposed a transformation project to alleviate all current issues with full scalability to grow into other business areas.
SOLUTION AND BENEFITS:
Once the areas had been identified ELITE worked with Santa Fe to introduce automation of their AP processes using DocuWare. Invoices now received physically would be scanned into DocuWare and intelligently indexed, automatically capturing all invoice header data. This once captured would then be transferred into their ERP (Exact) without any manual data entry or human touch. This immediately provided a massive return on investment against previous hours lost to such tasks.
Invoices would also then be electronically routed for digital e-approval to the relevant cost centres throughout the business, regardless of location. This completely eradicated the requirement to post documents internationally and greatly increased the ROI case for the solution.
This e-workflow also included rules such as substitutions, so that in the case of an employee off sick or absent from the workplace, a delegate would receive their tasks to ensure no process bottlenecks would be incurred. Escalations were also introduced so that users were reminded, and outstanding tasks were controlled. This increased cash flow, brought in financial controls and transparency to the finance function. As well as being able to scrap physical filing cabinets since invoices were stored electronically.
Originally the UK was the pilot location for the automation project, and after it’s success, the DocuWare solution was rolled out internationally. So far the system has expanded into:
- North America
With the following locations next in line for expansion:
- Hong Kong
The solution has now also grown to cover expense management processes for Santa Fe worldwide. Their clients submit their expenses incurred by the relocation to Santa Fe who then pay on their behalf, process and bill the relevant party. This now has been automated with DocuWare and the process has been greatly improved. A less consuming and cumbersome process has enabled Santa Fe to incur a significant edge to their commercial offering.