One year after it implemented an electronic document management system from Invu, Women’s Pioneer Housing has reported on how it has automated its finance function and digitised its invoices and tenancy records at the same time as creating valuable space in its central London offices.
WPH decided last year that it had had enough of its room full of filing cabinets and that its paper-based records had to go. It wanted a single EDM solution that could be integrated with its existing Aareon QL Housing and business applications, had the ability to store electronic documents, and would provide better control and visibility of invoices through workflow tools.
Nathan Mallows, consultant director, Women’s Pioneer Housing, said, “As a small housing provider in central London, when it comes to gaining more space we have a choice of either moving to a bigger office or making the most of our existing space. Our location is great for serving our existing tenants since most of our properties are within a 20 minute radius and we own the space, so it was an easy decision to maximise the room we already have.”
WPH started by scanning all invoices into Invu before embarking on a wider archiving project including tenancy agreements and other paper-based records.
Mallows continues, “The information we had in the piles of paper held real nuggets of information that would be of use to our tenants, but we had no way of accessing it without needing to dust off lots of old files, which meant resident queries on service charges could take up a lot of time and resources. Invu provides a long-term solution that enables us to access our documents quickly and easily, and provide a better service to our tenants.”
The Invu solution provides WPH with better visibility and control over invoices. Employees can immediately determine the status of a query and have visibility of invoices, providing both greater security and increased transparency for administrators.
WPH has also identified better ways of working within its own processes, including reallocating repair invoice processes to the finance team.
Mallows said, “Changing the process has allowed the repairs team to focus on making sure the values of the orders are correct, leaving the actual processing of the invoices to the finance team. This was an unexpected gain from the increased visibility provided by Invu; being able to understand the process in detail has enabled us to streamline all of our entire financial processes.
“We want the whole office to be paperless within two or three years. We’ve come from the point of having no electronic automation whatsoever to having most of the finance department being paperless in less than 12 months. Not only that, we’ve created a tremendous amount of space by getting rid of so much paper.”