KeyMark Automates its Own Accounting Department
Blue Prism Selected as RPA Vendor of Choice
As robotic process automation (RPA) technology started to gain steam as a viable component of artificial intelligence, KeyMark employees began taking note.
KeyMark CEO Jim Wanner researched the technology and readily determined RPA to be a compelling enhancement for the capture and content services products KeyMark is already selling.
“We are always on a quest to find powerful technology that can both complement our existing technology offerings and enhance a customer’s total automation solution,” commented Wanner. “RPA is a productivity catalyst and it is a perfect complement to document management.”
Wanner’s research quickly led KeyMark to Blue Prism – a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader who not only originally coined the term “robotic process automation,” but who has also literally never lost a customer. You heard that right. Blue Prism RPA, as a product, has zero churn since they were founded in 2001.
Some of that initial research can be found in this RPA Tools Comparison matrix.
Once Blue Prism agreed to bring KeyMark on as a reseller, things moved quickly. Here are a few things that happened right out of the gate:
- KeyMark hired an RPA team, consisting of sales, implementation and support specialists.
- 9 employees gained 19 Blue Prism RPA certifications.
- With 20+ years of OnBase knowledge, the team decided to test their chops at creating four OnBase automations, called OnBase Boost. The digital assets can now be found on the Blue Prism Digital Exchange (DX).
- KeyMark became a Blue Prism Technology Alliance Program partner because of some smart forms automation created with the Forms InMotion product.
- Finally and most recently, KeyMark has become Blue Prism Silver Certified.
A few progressive KeyMark customers jumped on the Blue Prism solution right away as soon as it was made available. And despite all of this activity, KeyMark’s RPA team couldn’t help but notice some opportunities within our own business that could be served by RPA digital workers.
When the opportunity arose, KeyMark’s VP Finance and Legal, John Gabbard, was the first in line.
“We are a small but very specialized Finance department,” said Gabbard. “Any opportunity we can find to shorten the amount of time it takes to do something is going to be a win for our team.”
When an organization decides to use RPA, it is typically motivated by one of three similar ideas:
- Employees are stressed and overloaded, particularly on manual and/or repetitive tasks.
- Valuable (or even billable) hours are being wasted on an internal process that could be automated. In this case, if the organization can free an employee from these tasks, it will directly translate to revenue.
- As a proactive catalyst for revenue generation.
KeyMark’s primary motivator was the second of the three. It wanted to free employees in the Finance department to do more valuable work.
KeyMark’s RPA team worked closely with the Finance department to audit and construct a roadmap for automation.
Gabbard met with RPA specialists like Chris Ellenburg, Hamdalla Issa and Rick Stuckey to pinpoint and prioritize departmental needs.
As it turned out, the team uncovered several standardized, repetitive tasks like:
- Reviewing the document management system (OnBase) for documents that are ready for customer billing
- Gathering and consolidating employee time entries for customer billing
- Creating invoice entries in the accounting ERP system (Epicor), including line item details
- Determining the Tax Code for every invoice
- Generating PDF documents for each customer invoice
- Feeding customer invoice PDFs to document management system
- Updating source time entry documents with Invoice details from accounting system to provide cross reference between systems
These monthly tasks easily met the criteria of a good RPA project because they are:
- Have a high readiness degree
- Have low complexity
In any scenario where an organization says a process takes “X number of days,” there is usually an opportunity for RPA.
In the case of KeyMark’s Accounting department, RPA is returning 24 hours per month back to the business during monthly close. This temporal decrease has cut three days from the monthly closing process allowing the team to more quickly provide timely and accurate data to the organization’s decision makers and focus its time on data analyzation and value-additive tasks.
“To be able to free ourselves from any tedious, but necessary work during our critical month end procedures is an empowering thing for our entire team,” commented Gabbard. “Now, we can rely on the Blue Prism digital workers to handle those tasks while we can focus on more valuable and important projects.”