Inland Technology helps its clients choose, implement and maintain technology solutions that reduce cost and boost productivity. With offices in Tamworth, Armidale, Moree and Dubbo, its customers range from small businesses to large government organisations across regional New South Wales.
The company is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve its own operations so it is able to respond to its clients’ emerging and ever changing technology needs. Inland Technology turned to intelligent automation specialists, CiGen with its intelligent automation journey so it could more efficiently service a diverse range of clients across healthcare, education, local government and enterprises.
The Problem: repetitive, time-consuming tasks
Inland Technology has a continual focus on business improvement and aims to eliminate and reduce data entry and unproductive tasks.
Kelly Newsome, finance and administration manager, Inland Technology, explains: “We have many supplier invoices so a significant amount of time was spent on repetitive tasks such as retrieving invoices, manually uploading them into our core business system and performing our regular supplier reconciliations”.
Ms Newsome says that in order to access and process supplier invoices the team logged into the supplier portal, which was very slow, and retrieved invoices as PDF documents for uploading.
The Challenge: application switching fatigue
With the time intensive process, team members were constantly switching between applications in order to retrieve, upload and process invoices. Ms Newsome says this was not efficient and was a drain on productivity.
Working with CiGen,“the team has completely eliminated the unproductive task of retrieving invoices and now invoices are automatically available for both viewing and processing. We can maintain a consistent focus without interruption as the team can work within the one application,” she explains.
CiGen, through its new CiGen On Demand service, created software bots to automate the process.
CiGen On Demand gives organisations the opportunity to reap the benefits of intelligent automation without the complexity of deploying new hardware or software. Automation delivers huge benefits to SMEs but for too long the tools and expertise to create effective automation have been complex and costly and remained an advantage only big business could leverage.
With CiGen On Demand, there’s no need to pay expensive, upfront annual license fees. This Australian-first subscription service gives organisations like Inland Technology access to the power of intelligent automation without costly capital outlay.
The Solution: CiGen On Demand
Initial discussions about the project started in July 2021 with the full implementation completed in November 2021. As CiGen On Demand is run from CiGen’s secure servers, there was no infrastructure or capital expenditure required by Inland Technology.
By automating the invoice management process, Ms Newsome says there have been many benefits. “We are saving several hours each week,” she enthuses. “Those time savings give our team more opportunities to work on more productive tasks and we even reapid some unexpected benefits,” she says.
As well as vastly improved timeliness and accuracy of invoices being entered into the ERP service because the automated process operates at regular intervals all day and every day, Ms Newsome says non-stock invoices which were outside this process are now also being imported.
“While the scope of the project was to retrieve stock invoices from the supplier portal, the software robot retrieves all invoices, saving even more time for our administration team,” she explains.
With the automated process running at regular intervals through the day, the invoices are available as required, the ERP system is more up to date than ever before and team members are able to focus on higher-value activities.
“Our team has adapted quickly to the new streamlined solution and are reaping the benefits of having boring and repetitive tasks eliminated. Senior management is delighted with the seamless integration and boost in accuracy and productivity. We have achieved a rapid return on investment.
“CiGen has a fantastic team that has guided us through all elements of the project. They accommodated all our needs and understood the size of our operations and budget. Their attention to detail and the way they managed the project was highly professional, transparent and logical so the project moved on through phases efficiently. Any issues we raised were resolved and there was always a feeling of a shared goal and commitment to ensure the project was successful,” says Ms Newsome.
The Future: preparing for a move to the cloud
With the success of this project now confirmed, Inland Technology is looking for future opportunities to further leverage the power of intelligent automation.
“We are considering other applications for the use of automation in our business, potentially in relation to operations and interactions with our supplier portals. Although our ERP is currently on prem, when there is a move to the cloud, this may increase the opportunities for automation,” explains Ms Newsome.
The positive relationship with CiGen is set to continue as Inland Technology seeks more ways to leverage intelligent automation to its greatest advantage.