The Scottish electronic commerce service (eCommerce) was being used by 100 contracting organisations and processed an estimated £5.8 billion per year. Dumfries & Galloway Council employed 7,478 people at the time, of which 1,247 used Scottish Government’s eCommerce system.
Dumfries & Galloway Council needed to replace its Financial Management Information System, Powersolve with a new system – Integra. The council’s existing integration platform SeeBeyond was based on 10 year old technology and needed to be upgraded to ensure the council achieved the maximum benefit from its investment in Integra.
The council consequently required migration to a new integration platform in order to be able to complete this project. With so many staff members using eCommerce, this system replacement was vital for the council’s efficiency. Aside from new system requirements, the council was running a manual process for matching invoices, POs and goods receipts from the Internet Procurement Management system PECOS with its various finance systems. This was far from efficient, taking up hours of administrative time and costing the council a significant amount.
“When an invoice was received by a service for payment, the invoice clerk was supposed to manually match the invoice to the purchase order and the goods received note. Audit reviews suggested that this step was often bypassed, leading to a reduction in the robustness of the process. Now the process cannot be circumvented leading to tighter financial control.”
– Business Performance & Development Manager, Dumfries & Galloway Council
In order to keep the cost of the project to a minimum and in line with current Government policy on Open Source technology, Integrella suggested Mule ESB as the best option for Open Source integration software in this case. Integrella employed a PDX (Projects Delivery eXecution) structure in order to integrate the procurement and finance systems used by the council.
The first phase of the project was to get invoices sent from PECOS to Integra, the council’s replacement system. This section of the project was completed as quickly as possible, so Dumfries & Galloway Council could replace its Powersolve Purchase Ledger. The speed at which this was completed was very important to the council as Powersolve was an old system, support for which was soon to be withdrawn.
The second phase of the project was to introduce the automation of POs and good receipts from PECOS this time to its financial accounting system Integra.
“When we moved to the new Integra system, payments to council suppliers and clients would be made from Integra Purchase Ledger. It was therefore imperative that PECOS was able to interface with Integra Purchase Ledger to ensure any suppliers invoices processed through PECOS were paid promptly.”
– Business Performance & Development Manager
The Council saved time and expense in terms of losing man-hours to execute manual processes. In addition the process was now more accurate, minimising mistakes. The work made it more possible for the council to upscale in future, as well as making their systems easier to support.
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