Alimera Sciences

DocuPhase Case Study

Industry
Health/Medicine
Department
Accounting
Solution
Enterprise RPA

Challenges

Alimera Sciences is a pharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, focusing on diseases affecting the back of the eye or retina. With an international team and lengthy manual processes, Alimera knew they needed to implement an automated Accounts Payable solution. DocuPhase’s Accounting Automation toolset enabled Alimera to reduce their invoice processing time by 93% while providing more visibility into the Procure-to-Pay process.

The challenges Alimera faced prior to implementing DocuPhase are common challenges in Accounting departments.

#1: At the time, Alimera’s current accounting platform had limited licenses,which limited productivity. Before implementing DocuPhase, for example, anyone who wanted to create a Purchase Order had to have a license to login to the platform, delaying the process before it even began.

DocuPhase integrates with Microsoft Dynamics to make generating POs a breeze. Users can simply sign in to DocuPhase via their web browser and complete a form based on the data that already lives inside of Dynamics. Vendor Names and Codes automatically populate in DocuPhase’s Web Forms, so all users have to do is list which items are being purchased and electronically submit the form to the correct contact for approval.

#2: In Alimera’s former workflow for processing invoices, they found that an invoice would come in, go to the Accounts Payable department, be distributed to the various parties that needed to approve those items, and sit on that person’s desk for two or three months. Alimera wanted to stop pushing paper and gain a better system of tracking those documents as they came into the business.

With DocuPhase’s Process Automation Designer, advanced capture tools automatically extract line item details from the invoice, removing the low-value, time-consuming task of manual data entry. Once the information is in the system, the assigned user is presented a task, which includes step-by-step instructions of each step to be completed. All related documents–the invoice, purchase order, and receiving report–are presented to the approver in a Binder, so all the approver has to do is click “Approve” to route it to the next step in the process. This dramatically reduces the time needed to process an invoice and provides visibility into where a document lies in the business process.

Results at a Glance

93%

Reduction in invoice processing time.

"[Our AP Clerk] has found that the program itself has been somewhat of a God-send in the fact that it’s lessened her workload tremendously. To have parties coming to me saying, ‘We can do more work,’ has given us the ability to complete other tasks that we hadn’t been able to do before. We’re now able to look at other areas and processes and see where we could benefit."

PHIL JONES Executive Director of Finance, Alimera Sciences

The Deciding Factor

Prior to DocuPhase, Alimera was using a software that didn’t provide the full visibility and Procure-to-Pay system that they were looking for. After looking at many different software solutions, Alimera chose DocuPhase based on its flexible, yet customized offerings.

“We selected DocuPhase based on the follow-up that was done after the initial presentation,” said Phil Jones, Executive Director of Finance at Alimera. “When we had questions and got into the more serious details, DocuPhase was willing to look at our business processes and work with us as a partner.”

DocuPhase went live in March of 2016 after a couple of months of testing and system clean up. From that point, it only took about two weeks to fully implement the system. “[Implementation] was a lot quicker than I thought it would be,” said Jones. “Everyone embraced it immediately, and it’s now such a standard part of our everyday business. I think everyone probably wonders why we didn’t have this before.”

The Results

DocuPhase’s Process Automation system allowed Alimera to expedite all business processes, yielding a significant increase in productivity and customer satisfaction. With their new automated workflow system, tasks are now tracked to provide visibility into where assemblies are in the process; users can track requisitions for parts from the generation process through quoting and receipt, allowing Alimera to tie purchased parts back to original quoted prices; and the Accounts Payable department can process multiple types of invoices in order to match them against the original purchase.

The amount of time saved was the most surprising benefit of implementing DocuPhase, said Jones. To process an invoice before using DocuPhase, it could take a week to a couple of months. This was especially true for invoices that needed to be approved by multiple sectors of the business. Now, most items are done within 24 hours.

Further, prior to DocuPhase, Alimera’s Accounting department had two Accounts Payable Clerks. When one employee left the company, Alimera decided to hold off on hiring someone new. What they found is that their current Accounts Payable Clerk has gained half a day of time to complete more tasks, allowing Alimera to offload a lot of work to her that she was not able to do prior to DocuPhase. So, she’s not only saving time; she’s gaining time. Certainly, these time savings didn’t affect only the Accounting department. They affected the business as a whole. “The other departments who use [DocuPhase] don’t have to worry about keeping track of a piece of paper and having to take it back to someone,” said Jones.

With DocuPhase’s Accounting Automation system, Alimera now has the time to focus on strategic planning, and vendors are receiving payments on time. To learn how DocuPhase can help your Accounting department improve processes, schedule a test drive.