Dublin-based Flynn Management & Contractors Ltd used to rely heavily on time-consuming manual processes. But things are very different, now that the company has implemented RedSky’s construction project management and accounting software.
The procure-to-pay process is faster and more efficient
Finance Manager Andrew Larkin said: “Our procure-to-pay process used to take far longer than it should have. Each month, up to 1,000 invoices would be emailed or posted. We used to print each document out and put it in a ring binder – we would normally have three or four folders full of invoices, arranged alphabetically.
“The Accounts team would manually enter the details for each invoice on the system. After that, they would hand over the folders to the Procurement team, who used to check every invoice and sign it off by hand. The folders were then passed back to Accounts for payment. As the final step, I would look at each invoice and manually pay it on the system.”
Flynn has now digitised the entire procure-to-pay process, bringing it up to present-day standards. “Everything is so much faster and more efficient on RedSky,” said Andrew. “The invoices come directly into the Invoice Register so there’s no need to print out and file paper copies.
“In most cases, the OCR [optical character recognition] functionality pulls in the data from the invoice document. This has reduced our keying time. But we do still check the invoice image on the screen to make sure the details entered automatically by the OCR software are correct.”
Once the invoice has been costed and is on the system, everything is a lot more streamlined than it used to be. Andrew said: “We don’t pass folders between departments anymore. The electronic invoice is issued immediately to the Procurement team for review – they really like the fact that they can now deal with invoices as and when they come in, rather than being handed three or four invoice folders on the sixth day of the month for processing.”
The actual payment process is far slicker too. “It used to take me three days each month to wade through all the paperwork. I had to approve each invoice by hand and pay it on the system,” said Andrew. “But RedSky’s digitised workflows have made the approval process so much quicker and easier. I simply review the invoice list and make the payments – it’s all done and dusted within half a day.”
Digitisation brings multiple benefits
Flynn’s Procurement, Finance, and Commercial teams are all benefiting from the increased visibility that the RedSky system provides.
Andrew said: “Previously only the Procurement and Finance teams had access to the data, so the Finance team always had to deal with any queries and track down the relevant paperwork. But now that everything’s digital and everyone has access, if a QS has a query, they can check it out on RedSky themselves.”
The ability to work with real-time data via Business Analytics is another huge benefit, according to Andrew. “Before RedSky, once we’d closed down for the month, the Accounts team would go in and pull the previous month’s book costs for every live job. They would then hand the information over to the QSs to dip into. So the QSs were never looking at live data.
“With RedSky, the QSs now enter in the data themselves, rather than handing it to Finance on an Excel sheet for keying. They can also check the live costs themselves, whenever they want. It’s easy for them to look at how the job’s going, what’s been invoiced and what’s been paid. They can also control their own payments on the system.”
Digital transformation journey
Andrew is delighted with the giant leaps that Flynn has already made on its digital transformation journey.
“RedSky definitely gives you the opportunity to improve your processes as well as the integration between departments,” he said. “The way we were working was way behind the times. To be honest, things hadn’t really changed much in 10 to 15 years. But we have definitely moved into the digital age now.
“We have a lot of contact with RedSky. The Support team handles day-to-day queries. They are very helpful and come back to us quite quickly. If we need changes to the software, we deal with the Projects team. Rob Austin implemented our system last summer – he’s always willing to come in and help us out.”
Flynn Management & Contractors Ltd provides construction solutions to the Commercial, Retail, Healthcare and Life Science sectors. Its services include main contracting, fit-outs and refurbishments for clients such as DAA, Eircom, Twitter, LinkedIn, KBC Bank, Failte Ireland and Danone.