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Sparrows Group: Purchase to Pay Solution

Sparrows Group is a global provider of specialist equipment and integrated engineering services to the energy industry. Working throughout the asset life cycle, they deliver optimised performance, reliability and safety of critical equipment and people to their customers.

Sparrows Group were looking for a best of breed Purchase to Pay (P2P) solution, including Inventory, Contracts Management, Tender Management and Workflow, to optimise their efficiency. They were previously managing this process using excel spreadsheets without workflow. Low oil prices meant visibility and control of spend, together with demonstrable efficiency savings were key drivers. The new solution had to be multi-language and multi-currency, and had to be able to seamlessly integrate with their existing financial management system, SunSystems.

Sparrows were looking for a best of breed Purchase to Pay solution, including Inventory, Contracts Management, Tender Management and Workflow. Much of their existing purchasing activity was driven by manual process and spreadsheets. Ability to view information was an issue – it was time consuming to find items in stock for example, and lack of workflow could cause issues with purchasing requests being consistently checked and approved. Market conditions, specifically low oil prices, mean that cost control, spend visibility and demonstrable efficiency savings were becoming increasingly important.

Sparrows were looking to deliver the project in phases, both in terms of functionality and region – successful deployment in the UK would lead to a global rollout and scalable additions to the EAM functionality. The new solution had to be multi-language and multi-currency to accommodate the global business, and any solution needed to be able to seamlessly integrate with their existing financial management system to ensure that the end-to-end processing was fully automated.

Following a competitive procurement process, Sparrows chose Infor EAM with Progressive’s framework, as it offered superior functionality to the other systems considered – it was the only system to demonstrate all requested scenarios out of the box. Progressive’s best practice EAM framework meant that many of Sparrow’s detailed requirements were met without the need for extensive configuration and customisation. In addition, Progressive’s eInvoicing solution was chosen to reduce the amount of manual work required for invoice entry.

Sparrows worked closely with Progressive during the design and testing phases. A number of design workshops took place at Sparrows’ offices in Aberdeen, where there was good user representation across the full P2P process. During this process, the emphasis was on utilising as much of the Progressive framework as possible – only areas such as hiring, where Sparrows have unique process, were identified as needing additional configuration.

Users were also involved in testing, particularly in User Acceptance Testing (UAT), where these sessions also acted as training for those who would go on and train the Sparrows end users prior to Go Live. Sparrows elected to write their own user guides, based on Progressive templates from our standard framework.

Go Live proved uneventful. 700 transactions were processed in the first week, no major incidents were reported, and users appeared to be up and running with the system quickly. Progressive’s mobile solution has been implemented, allowing all users to view data from the system, view scanned images and make approvals from their mobile devices.

• A fully operational Purchase to Pay solution, integrated with the existing financial management solution
• Efficiency savings through automating manual processes
• Visibility of the end to end Purchase to Pay process, with auditable workflow and a single version of the truth
• Improved data security
• Better purchasing decisions
• Mobile access to the system via any device
• Reduced approval cycles for operational and financial approvals
• Proven solution that is now being rolled out across the Sparrows Group globally and possibly scaled up to include additional functionality

Sparrows now have a fully operational Purchase to Pay solution.

The solution has enabled Sparrows to automate a series of previously manual processes, increasing efficiencies. For the first time, they have full visibility of the procurement process, with fully auditable workflow, access to information based on approval levels and better data security. Integration with their existing SunSystems financial solution has ensured a seamless process.

Sparrows are now able to make better purchasing decisions. The solution provides accurate information of inventory that is easy to understand, so a user can see if an item is already in store before raising a purchasing request.

The combination of automating workflow and deploying mobile access to the system has significantly reduced the time spent on the approvals process. Our easy to understand dashboards enable senior management to view a snapshot and analysis of purchasing spend, for example, how much is being spent by supplier or by region.

“Progressive have helped Sparrows Group to deliver a number of tangible cost savings through their Purchase to Pay solution. Many of our manual processes have now been automated, and the mobile solution provides approval access wherever people are working from. We look forward to the next phase of our global roll-out with Progressive.”

BRIAN DOCHERTY

Head of IT & Facilities