Using AI to Streamline Block Management at AM

At AM Surveying & Block Management we have long passionately leveraged and integrated the use of technology into everyday processes to help ensure we provide a streamlined Block Management service to clients; providing residents an online facility to report repairs, managing such repairs via online management tools, GPS tracking of our Property Managers, Surveyors & tradespeople, using tablets/smartphones to conduct routine property inspections to yield value-adding concise reports, to name but a few. Even the small touches make a big difference; our telephone systems enable phone calls into our offices to be seamlessly transferred to our home-working staff, proving to be essential during COVID19.


Our senior management team are constantly on the lookout for ways to further enhance the use of technology to improve our services and with that, the latest area at AM to receive the techno-treatment is; paperwork! Specifically, the handling of client invoices, typically a very paperwork-heavy task.


Introduction


At AM Surveying & Block Management our team process a high volume of hard-copy invoice paperwork. Each and every works-order, maintenance task and service request managed by AM Surveying & Block Management in relation to our Block Management portfolio produces paperwork, a hard copy invoice.


Clients of AM and also our industry regulators (RICS & ARMA, among others) expect a high degree of service-level when handling service charges and as such; supplier invoices require and receive a high degree of careful scrutiny, multi-department crosschecking, approval (not to mention payment!) and are then retained in archives for many years for future reference.


Challenge


Hundreds of approved service providers are posting or emailing their invoices to AM each and every day, resulting in thousands of invoices requiring manual handling on behalf of our clients each year. Each invoice then requires filing and storage.

Hard copy paperwork requires manual handling and filing

Recent increases in demand for services from AM Surveying & Block Management have resulted in expansion of our Block Management portfolio further causing potential for a pinch-point in our manual handling of hard-copy invoices and the resulting filing of such. These processes are time-consuming, are not environmentally friendly and take up much space with the need to store all invoices for many years.


To ensure our team can focus on value-adding matters and to see we retain high service-levels, it has become essential our team find a long term sustainable solution to these challenges!


Our mandate became clear, we need:


- To go paperless in respect of our invoice approvals and handling processes, taking the approvals process online.

- Reduce our environmental impact.

- Provide an online document storage facility, saving space.

- To improve efficiency, allowing processes to be upscaled without sacrificing service-levels.

- To enable remote working for a sustainable home-working inclusive future.


And so the search for the appropriate online invoice-handling solution commenced.


Solution

After a period of thorough research, head scratching and to some degree not even knowing what we were looking for (just knowing there must be something better out there(!)), AM Surveying & Block Management has elected to team up with Glantus, providers of a range of impressive accounting automation software that boasts flexibility to integrate with existing software infrastructure, among many other functions.


Glantus' accounts payable software package; AP Automation, ticks all the boxes for AM:

  • Automated invoice and invoice-data capture, entirely online.

  • Totally paperless; online invoice handling and multi-departmental invoice approvals functions.

  • Tailored design to sit within AM's existing Block Management software ecosystem.

  • Digital storage of archived invoices.

  • A range of useful data analytics to boost efficiencies.

  • Enables remote workers, such as our Property Managers and accounts teams working from home, to access, review and approve invoices for payment, processing and storage.

  • Reduces our environmental impact.

"SEE AN 80% BOOST IN INVOICE PROCESSING EFFICIENCY, INSTANTLY" - www.glantus.com

Perhaps most impressively, Glantus' AP Automation solution uses artificial intelligence to "learn" essential information and read, using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, AM's supplier invoices to pick out on-invoice information and populate data fields automatically. By analyzing invoicing trends, over time machine learning kicks-in so the system "learns" exactly which member of staff needs to review specific invoice types, thus pushing such invoices direct to the relevant members of staff for review, reducing manual handling and increasing efficiency. Brilliant!


Desired Outcome


AM Surveying & Block Management are proudly one of the earliest adopters within Block Management of the Glantus AP Automation platform and we are incredibly excited to see the return on investment through boosts in invoice processing efficiencies.


We expect to improve invoice processing efficiencies by up to 80%, to remove the need to handle any hard-copy invoices, reduce our environmental impact, achieve a more paperless workplace, improve remote-working and overall to do this while retaining the high service levels delivered to our growing Block Management client-base throughout London and the Home Counties.


AM Surveying & Block Management will be migrating invoice-handling to the Glantus platform on 1st January 2021.


More about Glantus can be found here: www.glantus.com.



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42 New Road

Aylesford

Kent ME20 6AD

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