Radisson Blu serves up AP enhancements through Beanworks
Radisson Blu hotels in North America were struggling with a time-consuming paper-based process in their accounts payable (AP) department. The AP team was spending 40% of their time on data entry and keying in invoices. As the accounting team moved to a remote work routine, the hotel needed to find a quicker way to get invoices through the system, and keep the business running during this time of crisis. With Beanworks AP automation, they are now saving more than 50% of their time in AP, and have gone 85-90% paperless.
Last year saw substantial growth for Radisson Hotel Group Americas, with the organization adding 23 properties to its North American portfolio. It was an exciting time for the company but provided them with challenges as well. Finding more efficient and effective accounts payable workflows was one of the biggest areas that they needed to address.
A paper-based approval process for invoices was eating up large amounts of time, and with a significant amount of the team working remotely, it was vital that they develop a method of moving invoices through the system that could be achieved from any location. They also wanted to find ways to reduce the cost of AP, giving them greater fiscal security.
“Managers would get the paper invoices, give them codes and then sign them off,” explained Director of Finance, Dean Olevson. “They would go to the AP clerk who would then manually add the data into the system. Then they would come to me, to check the codes and approve them in batches.”
“Before Beanworks, our AP clerk was spending 30-40% of their time doing data entry and keying in invoices. The whole process was time consuming and Beanworks has eliminated a lot of that. We’re saving at least 50% of our time in accounts payable.”
-- Dean Olevson, Director of Finance, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
With only a handful of team members given the authority to sign off on approvals, delays were a problem when those employees were not available. Members of the AP team had to physically deliver invoices to the accounting department, which became impossible when more of the team moved to remote work. It led to increasing frustration for the team. That’s when they decided to adopt Beanworks for AP automation.
“The approvers love it,” Olevson said. “There is no need for them to go to the accounting office anymore, as they receive email notifications. The approval process now is quick and simple.”
Time = Money
Using Beanworks, the organization has achieved its goal of reducing the time spent chasing approvals, giving more time to the AP team and department heads to focus on higher-value activities. In addition, they found that Beanworks has presented them with opportunities for cost savings and reduced errors in the process.
“Beanworks has completely enhanced our accounts payable processes here. The impact it’s had over the COVID-19 pandemic where you are so separated – as before we were in meetings sitting across the table from each other – now we are able to facilitate these processes easily from our own individual offices.”
-- Alex Francis, General Manager, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
“It has allowed department heads to look up invoices quickly, which has really helped,” Olevson said. “It is very easy to access and upload invoices into Beanworks from anywhere. This has been critical while people are working remotely. We haven’t experienced the delays that we would have without the platform.”
While the time saved has been of great benefit, Olevson is particularly taken with the fact that the software provides complete AP control at the click of a button.
“Everything is right there,” he said. “Everything a controller needs is visible on the same screen. The approval process is also excellent as it is so efficient.”