With workload peaking around the start of the new academic year, Glyndwr University’s finance team required a more efficient way of processing purchase invoices.
“Customer service throughout the project and afterwards has been excellent. We had regular communication from Symmetry and they took all our feedback and suggestions on board. Whenever I go through to the customer service desk, I get a reply straight away with a resolution or further instruction. We couldn’t have asked for anything more."
“For any organisation considering bluQube OCR, I’d tell them not to hesitate. Even if some development work is needed it would be worth the ‘risk’ and the team at Symmetry would get it to where they need it to be. They’d receive all the support they need and more.”
Ahead of the academic year, and with an expected influx of students to their new health programmes and the associated bursary payments that would need to be managed alongside the usual purchase invoices, Glyndwr University’s finance team was preparing for a significantly busy period. Its previous system required invoices to be inputted and matched to payments manually, while saving and sourcing the correct documents proved time consuming. The team was looking for a quicker and easier way to manage the invoicing process and cope with the expected peak in workload.
Having worked with Glyndwr and implementing cloud accounting software, bluQube, in 1998, we were familiar with the university’s challenges and offered the team the opportunity to become an early adopter of bluQube OCR, trialling the system and feeding back to the Symmetry team to help shape the product. With the funding available, the decision was logical and easy to make for Glyndwr as the team saw the system had the potential to ease the workload and help them through their busiest period without the need to up the finance department’s headcount.
We helped the university to implement the AI-powered OCR system to give them the ability to quickly convert typed, printed or handwritten text into machine-readable data, rather than having to manually input information. Instead, when the team receives a purchase invoice, they can send it via the OCR provider to lift the data and input it directly into their bluQube accounting software along with an image of the invoice. This makes it much quicker and easier for the team to match the PI to the PO and streamlines the process while minimising the amount of manual intervention required. This also provides increased visibility and oversight of the process, allowing the team to check the accuracy of the data and intervene to resolve any errors.
The decision to trial bluQube OCR initially had a mixed reaction from staff, with one employee reluctant to use the new technology while it was still in development stages, while another had worked with an OCR system before and was familiar with its benefits.
While Glyndwr initially experienced minor teething issues with matching POs and managing blanket orders, we worked closely with the finance team to resolve them and further develop the system to match the university’s requirements. We maintained regular contact throughout the project, regularly checking in with the finance team to ensure a smooth transition and hear their feedback.
bluQube OCR allows the team to load invoices onto the system quickly, easily and accurately, with minimal intervention and very few changes to existing admin processes. The speed and efficiency of the process meant that they could manage the additional workload and mitigate its impact on the team. Since the system has been implemented, even the employees that were initially reluctant to use OCR are pleased with the outcome and the time savings it achieves. It was a perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and person-led customer service which combined to find the right solution to the specific problem.
“We’ve realised huge time savings since implementing bluQube OCR and the impact of the additional workload hasn’t been anywhere near what we expected, whereas we wouldn’t have been able to cope with our old system. Now we’ve got to grips with the system, we don’t experience anywhere near the same number of errors with VAT and orders are being authorised much quicker. The system has added so much value we’d refuse to go back to manual processing!"
Wrexham Glyndwr University is a young, bold and vibrant university in northeast Wales. It offers a wide range of courses for modern and industry-related students and study options across a wealth of subject areas that are intended to prepare them fully for their ideal career. Combining contemporary facilities with the history of Grade II listed buildings, the university is a great place to study, learn and live. From its Centre for Creative Industries, the Family and Society Centre to its well-known art and design school, the university is committed to providing an entertaining learning environment.