Stonegate Pub Company is a British pub company with 660 pubs and bars. The company was formed in 2010 by private equity firm TDR Capital, after it purchased 265 pubs from Mitchells & Butlers. It’s head office is located at Capability Green in Luton, where they moved in June 2011 when Stonegate bought the Town & City Pub Company who were in receivership, creating the largest privately held managed pub operator in the UK and acquiring the Yates’s and Slug and Lettuce brands in the process.
In November 2015, Stonegate acquired 53 pubs from Tattershall Castle Group (TCG) including the Henry’s Café Bar and Tattershall Castle brands. The company operates the Walkabout (pub chain), Scream, Slug and Lettuce, Yates’s, Sports Bar & Grill, Common Room, Henry’s Café Bar, Missoula and Social Squirrel brands as well as numerous unbranded pubs. They are also rolling out the Popworld Brand across the UK replacing some of the old Flares and Reflex Estate.
Due to vast number of locations throughout their hospitality, pub and bar network, Stonegate Pubs needed to introduce controls, automation and conformity to their finance function. Invoices could be received at head office or at the site locations which meant a lot of human touch throughout their approval processes.
The more human touch, the more risk of human error. Invoices were lost, misplaced, misdirected and this had a strong impact on cash flow and analytics. Stonegate wanted to introduce new processes so that cash flow would improve, solidarity could be introduced, and their business could focus on core tasks rather than trivial paper chasing and data entry of over 150,000 invoices annually.
SOLUTION AND BENEFITS:
After in-depth consultation and review of the existing infrastructure ELITE proposed a finance automation solution to deliver new efficiencies for Stonegate. A process example of the commissioned project can be found below:
- Invoices that are received by post are scanned into the document tray
- Invoices received by e-mail in Outlook or Gmail are dragged into the relevant folder by the user. DocuWare will monitor these and pull the invoices, credit notes or other, into the document tray
DocuWare intelligent indexing will attempt to read the document using it’s OCR engine (optical character recognition) and will classify the document.
Validation and workflow:
DocuWare will first import the invoice data in the required format for ERP to accept with no manual data entry. Once generated DocuWare will attempt to match the captured invoice against an existing purchase order in ERP on header data such as order number, value, etc.
If the match is successful, DocuWare update the invoice status as validated and ready to pay. If there is no successful match the invoice will fall into an exception queue for an administrator to manually assign to the approver by picking from a list which would trigger the document to the chosen individual. We also enforce e-mail actions such as ‘return to sender’ if there is no existing purchase order, so the supplier can manage this. Approvals can also be actioned via mobile device with the DocuWare Mobile app.
Once the approval has been made, an update can be pushed to ERP to mark the invoice as approved and ready to pay. Then once payment has been made, the status in DocuWare will be updated to ‘paid.’
The invoices images will all be stored securely in DocuWare Cloud, easily accessible through a fulltext search, or through using the index filters either individually or used in combination i.e. search for ‘invoices’ from a particular supplier, from within a certain period.
A unique URL to the document image is passed to ERP so it is available to view directly from the accounts package.
All data stored by DocuWare such as document statuses, values etc can be accessed and used for reporting purposes with compatibility in Excel, PowerBI and other products.
Retention and security:
All documents and data will be encrypted for full data protection. Each user will have permissions activated so that documents access can be controlled. With DocuWare Cloud the back-ups are done automatically also with both Azure data centres located within the EU.
Document retention schedules can also be applied to manage their life-cycles and adhere to the new GDPR by only holding information for the legal requirement. This will completely alleviate any physical record management burden.