Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Ariett Solutions:: 
AP Invoice Automation
Document Manager
Xpense
CHPA
Washington, DC
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Not-for-Profit Healthcare
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Challenges: 
  • Organization had a paper-based accounts payable process that required them to frequently employ temporary staff.
  • The organization’s contract management system was cumbersome and was not based on the contractor’s business name. This system limited the ability to search contracts and to relate invoices to contracts and contract budgets.
  • Employees wanted one, easy-to-use solution for invoices, expense reports and vendor contracts that would reduce processing steps.
  • The CFO and managers who traveled frequently required a mobile solution to help them review and approve wherever they were.
Results: 
  • Organization no longer needs the support of temporary staff nor requires offsite document storage. This has allowed for considerable time savings in managing the accounts payable process.
  • Ariett Contract Tracking allows contract managers to proactively track all contract-related costs against the budget and to compare contracts to ensure contract standards are being consistently applied.
  • Employees have a significantly reduced number of steps for processing AP invoices, credit card charges and intercompany transactions.
  • CFO and managers are more productive by having a multi-screen solution that they can use on their phone, tablet or laptop to review and make approvals.
"The Ariett Touch interface made it extremely easy to do what we wanted to do. We found that we did not have to go into extensive training; even people who were reluctant at first were able to pick up Ariett and run with it." ~ Brian Green, Vice President of Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Situation:

Ariett recently spoke with Brian Green, the Vice President of Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), a trade association with a mission to “empower consumer self-care by expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.” Brian shared with us how his organization quickly adopted Ariett, helping them to drive down labor and processing costs, gain greater insight into financial data and manage their contract budgets.

Solution:

When CHPA introduced Ariett, they immediately reaped cost-savings by eliminating the need for extra labor and offsite document storage. Brian explained, “We were under staffed and had a choice to either automate our AP process or we could hire someone. There was probably a gain in savings of over 1000% when you compare the cost of Ariett to the annual cost for hiring an additional staff person and maintaining the historic, paper-based accounts payable system.”

Better Contract Tracking, Better Cost Management:

With Ariett, CHPA can now effectively manage their contracts, such as contracts that they have with research companies. Brian said, “When we relate Ariett AP Invoices to a specific contract and the contract limit cannot be exceeded, it provides us with a whole other level of control over contract costs. For example, if we have a fixed price contract with a vendor for $250,000, contract managers can see what they have spent against the contract to date. Staff also have much more insight into their spending. They have the capability to determine what they’ve paid in total to a vendor in a given year.”

Brian added, “There is also more ease for our people to find contracts that have already been dealt with and then review those contracts in comparison to any other contract,” Brian explained. “Ultimately, we want to compare contracts to make sure that they are in line with each other.”

Employees “Pick Up Ariett & Run with It”:

The design of the Ariett application has helped employees to quickly adopt the solution. “As we started group and individual training,” explained Brian, “the Ariett Touch interface [Ariett’s responsive web design interface] made it extremely easy to do what we wanted to do. We found that we did not have to go into extensive training; even people who were reluctant at first were able to pick up Ariett and run with it.”

“Once employees started using Ariett, particularly Ariett’s Document Automation Service, they soon found that invoice processing involved a lot less steps,” said Brian. “A big part of employee adoption has been Ariett's Document Service: having the ability to set up vendors so that they can email to Ariett and then employees just submit the invoice using the Quick Add [Ariett’s screen for reviewing the transaction and invoice]. There were about two extra steps in there when using a paper process, so we’ve reached our goal to reduce the number of steps to help employees out.”

Approvers and Employees Love Going Mobile:

Approvers and employees have also benefitted from an interface that can be used on any device. Describing his experience with Ariett on the go, Brian said, “For instance, I was out of the office the last three days, and I was reviewing and approving on my iPad the whole time I was out. We have some other managers who travel extensively, so it’s been easier for them to approve and the invoice isn’t stalled by sitting in an inbox on someone’s desk. Also, on the expense side, for those who travel, it’s been very helpful having the ability to take a picture of a receipt and email it to make the receipt available to be matched to the credit card charges.”

Managing Intercompany Transactions:

Brian wrapped up his comments by sharing how CHPA has taken advantage of Ariett’s intercompany processing. Brian said, “We use Ariett’s intercompany capability because we have our trade association, and an educational foundation. When we have a vendor that is used by both companies but only issues one invoice, we can easily allocate expenses between the companies. For instance, if the foundation uses Webex, we want to make sure those direct expenses are charged over to the correct company. Ariett has really helped my finance staff because now they just select the company, and it’s all charged to the correct company. This saves the finance staff two more processing steps; before, they had to go in to AP and do an entry for one company and then an entry for the other company – a lot of extra work!”