Medical Nonprofit ApplicationXtender & Captiva: Case StudyTuesday, July 17, 2018
In early 2017, we were approached by a medical nonprofit that was desperate to update the software it was using to manage its invoicing and purchasing system.
The old document management software, whose name starts with an “F” which had not-affectionately become known as “the F word” around the nonprofit’s offices, was being phased out after being acquired by another vendor. A switch to Windows 10 had made things even worse. To further complicate matters, the nonprofit’s internal system for processing expenses was already a labyrinth of multi-layered approvals and processes.
- A savings of at least $35,000 when compared to being forced to move to the new document management platform after the acquisition, plus the professional services costs of migrating all of the nonprofit’s data
- The AX/Captiva combination captured a difficult workflow that has four multi-directional layers of approval
- The system was further customized to accommodate some tricky exceptions, including a separate process for invoices that exceed the underlying purchase order by more than 10%
- A difficult process is now entirely automated, easily searchable and transparent
- The new system “does a whole lot more” than what the nonprofit had before, including broad capacity for accounts receivable and HR functions
A Custom Solution Streamlines a Tricky Process
Because this medical nonprofit is a government contractor, its invoicing and purchasing processes are subject to strict accountability and an approval process that the accounting software engineer in the IT department acknowledges is not easy to understand.
Depending on the amount of money involved, purchasing decisions wind their way through four levels of approval before reaching the CEO. Then they’re matched against the original purchase order and sent through the system. Those that exceed the original purchase order by more than 10% are rerouted through a separate process. Along the way there are documents to be scanned, checks to sign and email-alerts to keep up with.
To make things even more difficult, “there really weren’t written rules as to how some of this worked,” says the engineer.
Tailoring to Accommodate a Complex Workflow
The new system had to be far more than a cookie-cutter program. “The workflow had to be rewritten and changed and tweaked,” the engineer recounted.
Accommodating the nonprofit’s exceptions to the approval process was complicated. In addition to the rerouting of purchases 10% higher than their purchase orders, there is yet another process for purchases under $500.
Exceptions are typically the most difficult things to design around, the engineer says. The simplest processes can become the most complicated especially if you’re automating for the hardest part.
The nonprofit also wanted a sophisticated and flexible search function. “We needed to be able to search on several different fields.
“It was very different from any other process they’ve ever done,” says the engineer. At some companies, the extra work would have driven up the cost of the project. But the engineer notes, “we spent a week going over our processes and they never charged us another dime. They somehow managed to include it under the maintenance agreement.”
Customized & Then Some
Once implemented, the customization was exactly what the nonprofit needed. “It has been everything we had hoped for” at a price that was $35,000 less than the price of migrating from the old document management software, including the professional services involved.
But just as important are benefits you can’t put a price on, the engineer said. For example, he said, the difference in customer service was dramatic.
“The contact we had at Image One was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I don’t know how you could put a number on that.”
And, more than price, it was the “flexibility of the workflow processing” that made ApplicationXtender/Captiva the right system for the nonprofit. “It’s the greatest thing,” he says. “The flexibility is amazing.”
The entire process is now fully automated and lost documents are thing of the past. “Now you put something in the search field and it comes right up,” he says.