At the 2019 SAP SAPPHIRE NOW conference, Andrew Bean spoke with TechRepublic about how technology has made their business processes more efficient at Purdue.
At SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2019, TechRepublic Associate Staff Writer Macy Bayern sits down with Andrew Bean, director of financial affairs at Purdue University to discuss how technology has made their business processes more efficient at Purdue. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Macy Bayern: So, can you explain some examples of the ways intelligent technologies have made processes at Purdue more efficient?
Andrew Bean: So, even as recently as the last couple of years as we look at our processes, we realize there’s a lot of manual routing of paper, a lot of duplication and rekeying of information across different systems and across different processes. And so, over the last couple of years as we’ve made a transformation project with our finance systems, we utilize the workflow and automate a lot of our invoice processes, a lot of our journal entries. We calculated at one point in our project that every year we were generating a stack of paper that was about 200 feet tall, which was taller than the Bell Tower on our campus.
And so, as we look at that, we’ve thought about the effort that goes into not only keying the information on those forms onto the form and then off of the form, but also how that gets routed across what was a pretty large campus. We’re spread out over 300 buildings, and there was a ton of effort and a ton of energy that had to be invested to make that happen.
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So, we utilize an automated workflow to allow the information to be keyed once, to be routed electronically to the correct people, and we were spending somewhere between 10 to 12 FDD and approving transactions that average about $250. And so, as we implemented this workflow, we use the technology to help us route things around, but then we also use the data that we could capture in that and took more of a post audit approach rather than individually approving each individual transaction, and that’s had a big impact on the efficiency of how we get our transactions both process and both in the time that they take to actually work through the process, but then also in the ability to get them posted quickly so that we can see the results in our financial reports and statements.