In 2009, Pillar Hotels & Resorts, formerly Archon Hospitality, selected BirchStreet to automate the procure-to-pay cycle for its 245 hotel properties (195 select service and 50 full service hotels). Pillar Hotels & Resorts came to BirchStreet through our partner Avendra.
Pillar Hotels & Resorts uses the following BirchStreet Applications and Features:
- Checkbook Drill-down (applies GL Codes, tracks budgets)
- Auto-Matching (automates AP 3-way match)
- AP Invoice Tab (invoice portal)
- Electronic Invoice Capture (EDI feed and off-shore OCR conversion of paper)
- AP Invoice Entry (populated through Electronic Invoice Capture)
- Credit Memo Entry (populated through e-Invoice feed)
- Payment Screen (ability to look up payment details)
- Document Management (document images stored in BirchStreet)
- CapEx (tracks and authorizes capital improvement budgets)
Their solution uses a two-pronged approach to Electronic Invoice Capture. Paper invoices, statements and credit memos are sent to a centralized location, scanned and sent off-shore where Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is used to index them (convert them into character based data that computers can parse and understand). From there, the electronic data and the document images are fed into the BirchStreet AP Auto-Matching engine via an XML system interface.
The off-shore/OCR process is great because it can convert 100% of your supplier invoices to an electronic form. However, it’s expensive on a per-invoice basis. Many larger suppliers with which Pillar has high transaction volumes (US Foods, HD Supply, Guest Supply, American Hotel Registry) are sophisticated enough to provide electronic invoices via EDI or other viable formats-a less expensive option. So to lower invoice capture costs these high-volume suppliers bypass the off-shore/OCR process by sending electronic invoices direct to BirchStreet through one of our e-Invoice interfaces.
Next, BirchStreet’s Auto-Matching Engine performs a three-way match, comparing the invoice (from Invoice Capture) with the electronic purchase orders and receipts (from e-Procurement).
Configured with Pillar’s payment tolerances, the matching process automatically determines which invoices fall within tolerance and are given a status of “Pass”. These are paid automatically without the need for human intervention. Exceptions (15-20%) follow a Pillar Hotels & Resorts defined workflow process for resolution.
One of the best things about the Pillar setup is it captures all P2P documents and activity in one online portal (in BirchStreet), including purchase orders, receipts, invoices, credit memos, statements, GL code distributions, budgets, document images and payment details making it a comprehensive P2P portal that its corporate and property level resources can leverage. Everything is cross indexed, time, date and user stamped providing excellent search-and-resolve capabilities as well as audit trail information for the Goldman Sachs owned Pillar Hotels & Resorts.
In addition, Pillar Hotels & Resorts uses BirchStreet’s CapEx Application to authorize and track capital maintenance and improvement projects for its properties. CapEx payments follow a similar AP Automation process.