Credited with building the first hybrid solar power facility in the world, Lauren Engineers & Constructors design and construct highly specialized facilities for clients in chemicals and polymers, power, oil and gas, and refining industries. The company was established in 1984 and is headquartered in Abilene, Texas, with additional offices in Calgary, Vancouver, Houston and Tulsa. Many employees also work remotely from various job sites.
Lauren did not have a document management system for Dynamics prior to 2008. Richard Rutherford, Lauren’s DBA and SharePoint administrator, says they explored several options but decided on PaperSave when they realized: “It was the only software that had barcodes, so we could scan everything together. Everything else would require us to staple.”
The company juggles receivables from clients and payables from vendors who supply electrical supplies, tools and other equipment. “We had tons of AP invoices,” recalls Jennifer Rose, one of the company’s senior developers who started in billing 10 years ago. “They were getting them in the mail and sticking them in this cart beside their desks. I was constantly digging through filing cabinets and those carts. Things were getting lost. You could have a million dollar invoice in the bucket and skip over it five times. It was just eight hours a day dealing with paper.”
As for receivables she says, “If it didn’t show up, we didn’t get reimbursed.”
Solution Design & Project Management
PaperSave was introduced after primary users went through two weeks of training and spent a few days scanning paper. “Now everything is in the PaperSave queues,” Rose explains. “We put all the tagging information on so when we run reports now, they add up. It’s much greater visibility.” They often use the Scan First function then tag documents and place them in a sorting queue, which distributes to either an AP queue or to purchasing. Then, after documents are entered in Dynamics, weekly reports are sent to project managers for approvals before treasury pays. The corporate office also scans packing slips and attaches them to receipts, and Rose says they use Recapture for checks and journal entries.
At the job sites, project managers can approve subcontractors’ contracts via the Internet and they can receive packing slips and attach them to related documents. Subcontractors have their own approval-based workflow online: Contracts come into accounting, get sent out for approval, then go to the purchasing queue, where checks and balances are performed before they are directed to accounts payable.
Project Results & Key Success Indicators
Now that all paperwork is tagged and dealt with in a PaperSave queue, the right people control the files. Rutherford says, “Invoices are electronically routed so we’re less likely to lose them.”
According to Rose, billers and auditors benefit the most since they no longer have to hunt through files. “We have much greater visibility to things we couldn’t see,” she explains. “For our billing reports we put a link next to each line and it takes them straight to the invoice. [And] having the queue report gives us a clear report of our complete liability.”
Lauren’s last upgrade to version 6 was a “piece of cake” according to Rutherford. He says he is appreciative that the PaperSave team is always willing to work with him to try new ways to make jobs easier. “People in AP and accounting can’t imagine going without it,” he says. “They’d have a cow if we took it away.”
“It is by far the most efficient and user friendly. As far as Dynamics file attachment, there’s no comparison with functionality.” — Jennifer Rose, senior developer, Lauren Engineers & Constructors
Measures of Success
- Billing invoices are sent out quickly
- Accessing documents takes seconds instead of hours
- Files are no longer misplaced
- Clear, concise reports are generated instantaneously