With a global presence, Devro is one of the world’s leading suppliers of collagen casings used in the production of a wide variety of sausages and other meat products. Devro employs more than 2,000 people, with skills and knowledge ranging from chemical and electrical engineering to food technology, meat science, and environmental health.
In late 2018, Devro began a process of transitioning several of their globally distributed finance functions to a shared service center model. To facilitate part of this program, Intelogy was selected to support the technical transition of the Devro Finance team’s Accounts Payable (AP) processing and document management.
With extensive use of Power Automate to route different types of financial content through the review and approval process, the SharePoint solution provided by Intelogy integrates optical character recognition (OCR) enabled scanners around the world, while minimizing manual classification. The new solution has radically changed the way the team operates, enabling consistent, reliable, and centralized AP processing and archival.
With manufacturing sites in locations including the UK, U.S., Netherlands, China, Czech Republic, and Australia, finance operations were distributed around the world, operating their processes in separate regional hubs. In 2018, Devro made a strategic decision to move to a new Target Operating Model for financial operations involving the establishment of shared services.
As finance documents are received locally in both electronic and paper-based form, it was essential to find a method of continuing to receive finance documents in-country yet consolidate the storage and management of all finance related documents in a central repository with global availability. Additionally, certain finance documents, such as invoices and credit notes, required considerable manual effort to route, approve, and process that brought about typical process throughput and efficiency issues.
With a commitment to long-term electronic storage for compliance needs, a key priority was defining a suitable filing and retrieval solution that would integrate with existing finance systems.
Additionally, Devro IT was keen to ensure that any solution implemented was consistent with their digital transformation strategy to adopt, wherever appropriate, a cloud-based solution architecture with a preference to further extend their use of Microsoft 365 and in particular, SharePoint.
The first priority of the project was to validate that Devro sites around the world could access SharePoint in a reliable and performant manner and any changes needed to their existing networking infrastructure to improve and guarantee connectivity were identified and actioned. Intelogy, working closely with Devro IT, ran a series of network performance tests, following Microsoft recommended practices, from remote Devro facilities to analyze and validate network connectivity to the Microsoft Global Network, with specific tests performed on SharePoint and OneDrive workloads.
Another key requirement was to determine an appropriate solution to facilitate the digitization of paper-based documents received locally and the onward transit to SharePoint. Intelogy conducted a review of commercial options available and recommended a Fujitsu based solution that enabled documents to be batch-scanned with OCR, uploaded to pre-defined SharePoint document libraries with automatic document tagging upon receipt. This process was designed in conjunction with a solution provided by Harmon.ie that facilitated the upload of electronic documents received via email, ensuring that all finance documents were routed to SharePoint before any further activities took place.
Once received within SharePoint, a process was designed and implemented using Power Automate to allow Finance team members to tag documents with additional metadata and then securely route invoices for approval by staff across Devro and subsequent processing of AP data into the existing finance system.
Ultimately, all finance documents are required to be retained in a highly structured, secure, and governed manner with support for easy retrieval when required. Intelogy, therefore, implemented a comprehensive information architecture designed with long-term growth in mind leveraging SharePoint’s robust document storage, search indexing, and filtering capabilities.
Faced with a challenging timeframe, Intelogy and Devro project stakeholders designed, developed, and implemented a solution through close collaboration. As a result, Devro was able to successfully deliver its strategic goal of transitioning finance operations to a shared service center model supported by an end-to-end digital process powered by Microsoft 365.
With SharePoint at the heart of our document management solution for our Finance department, we have been able to drive improvements in our processes whilst ensuring that information is held securely and available on demand."
- Andrew Woodman
Head of IT