Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown: ‘Everything a Controller Needs is Right There on the Same Screen’
September 7, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
2021 is set to be a year of rapid expansion for Radisson Hotel Group Americas, one of the most recognized hotel companies in the world. In North America alone, the group is set to add 23 new properties to its portfolio this year. But with the rapid expansion comes the need to transform workflows that could pose challenges in a post-crisis economy – accounts payable (AP) is one of them. Thankfully for the global hospitality company, these five hotels are already leading the way in that direction by removing bottlenecks that could slow down their pace in AP.
The AP teams at these hotels were still dealing with a time-consuming paper-based process for approving invoices. With part of their team working remotely, they urgently needed to find a quicker way of getting invoices through the system, without relying on paper and manual data entry. The team was also keen to discover how that process could be made more cost-efficient and accurate, during an uncertain time for the hotel industry, and the world in general.
“Managers would get the paper invoices, give them codes and then sign them off,” explained Director of Finance, Dean Olevson. “They would go to the AP clerk who would then manually add the data into the system. Then they would come to me, to check the codes and approve them in batches.”
“Before Beanworks, our AP clerk was spending 30-40% of their time doing data entry and keying in invoices. The whole process was time-consuming and Beanworks has eliminated a lot of that. We’re saving at least 50% of our time in accounts payable.” Dean Olevson, Director of Finance, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
There are about 10 people with approval permission at the hotel. Delays could often be caused when people with the power to sign off invoices were not around. Employees had to physically give their invoices to the accountants in order for their vendors to get paid. This became difficult or even impossible during a time when people worked remotely. It all added up to a lengthy and frustrating process that was prone to errors. That was until they decided to use Beanworks for their AP processes, automating many of those tedious manual tasks.
“The approvers love it,” Olevson said. “There is no need for them to go to the accounting office anymore, as they receive email notifications. The approval process now is quick and simple.”
Time = money
As a result of using Beanworks, the hotel has been able to address its number one priority: saving time on the invoice approval process. Not only does the AP team devote less of their day to invoices, but department heads spend less time on them too. At the same time, this has made room for cost savings and has increased accuracy. Beanworks can save up to 86% of time spent processing invoices.
“Beanworks has completely enhanced our accounts payable processes here. The impact it’s had over the COVID-19 pandemic where you are so separated – as before we were in meetings sitting across the table from each other – now we are able to facilitate these processes easily from our own individual offices.” Alex Francis, General Manager, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
“It has allowed department heads to look up invoices quickly, which has really helped,” Olevson said. “It is very easy to access and upload invoices into Beanworks from anywhere. This has been critical while people are working remotely. We haven’t experienced the delays that we would have without the platform.”
Spending less time on manual data entry and chasing approvals has meant the team is free to focus on more valuable tasks. This has also saved money as staff is deployed elsewhere.
But it is the increased visibility over the whole AP process which Olevson really loves about Beanworks.
“Everything is right there,” he said. “Everything a controller needs is visible on the same screen. The approval process is also excellent as it is so efficient.”
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