ACM Services is a full service environment remediation contractor based in Maryland, USA. Founded by Thom Hess in 1990, ACM services has grown and developed into a very successful business which has completed over 10,000 asbestos, lead, and mold abatement projects, including emergency repair work and restoration on The Pentagon after the disaster of 9/11, abatement on prestigious campuses such as American University, and clean up for high class organizations such as Lockheed Martin.
The AP department at ACM Services was charged with the difficulty of manually keying in information from invoices they received from their vendors. The vendors they use more frequently often send batches with anywhere from 1-300 invoices, 3 times a week. In a 40-hour work week, three batches of this size took anywhere up to 15-20 hours of an employee’s time.
This created 4 major challenges in operating efficiently:
1. 1040 man hours (~4 months a year) of manual data entry into Foundation Construction Accounting software leading to a loss in AP team’s productivity
2. Incorrectly captured information from invoices due to manual data entry, caused a delay in the invoices being paid to their vendors
3. Delay in capturing invoice information accurately, led to delay in payments to vendors and hence an inability to avail any discounts from vendors
4. The inflexible ingestion of data into Foundation software which needed a rigid CSV template narrowed down the possibilities of vendor-wide invoice automation
Being a financial controller in charge of accounts payable is hard work. The more projects we become involved in, the more money we spend. With more than 4,000 vendors and subcontractors we use regularly to complete our services, invoicing can become a difficult and tedious process. I saw that entering invoices one by one was an inefficient process. I was looking for a way to make entering invoices more convenient and accurate when I came across NanoNets.
Ryan tried the free Pro trial with Nanonets, experimenting himself for a few days to understand the technology. Receiving relentless support from Nanonets’ automation consultants was the key in helping him make his decision.
By using the “AI training” feature of the Pre-trained Invoice Extractor offered by Nanonets, Ryan was able to add many additional fields that were needed to be captured from an invoice.
However, Ryan faced 2 significant challenge in his invoice automation journey.
1. The Foundation software required a General Ledger (GL) code (a key label not present on the invoice) along with the vendor name in the CSV file during data ingestion, to update vendor records with payment information in the invoice. Nanonets resolved this problem by looking up the vendor name in the invoice in a GL Code - Vendor Master CSV file, and auto-populating this information in the CSV exported by Nanonets.
2. The Foundation software required information in a standard, yet rigid CSV format. Nanonets resolved this problem by customizing the CSV output to a Foundation compatible format, when exported right off the Nanonets platform.
Now, Nanonets receives invoices from Ryan’s team, captures critical information in real-time, matches the vendor against GL Code - Vendor Master CSV file, and exports the validated information to a standard CSV file format that can be easily ingested by the Foundation Accounting software. The GL code key, present in the CSV containing the extracted information is matched against the GL code on Foundation to update records.
The updated Accounting system allows Ryan to make quick payments, managing his expenses, all in one place and on time.
Here is what the final workflow looked like:
Nanonets stood out to me specifically because of the first conversation I had on the phone with a representative. He told me in detail about how the system learns over time to pull accurate information and how they could create a custom way to integrate with our current system (Foundation Construction Accounting Software). Nanonets worked closely with me to integrate their AI system into our accounting program. They took the time to find a way to make it work, saving us a ton of time on accounts payable.