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Lean Events Archive

Purchasing and Finance

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The Accounts Payable department asked the Transformation Programme to facilitate an event looking at the payment of invoices for bank and locum staff. We invited staff from the accounts payable and staffing solutions team to come together to understand the current process and identify the bottlenecks.

Project Objectives:

  1. Map the current process from; accounts payable receives invoice to authorisation
  2. Detail the minimum and maximum time the process can take
  3. Identify the value added and non-value added steps for the customer (customer in our case is the member of staff that requires payment)
  4. Identify waste in the process (duplication, workarounds, waiting times)
  5. Agree what does good look like and how we can do things differently – if we have the time, we'll draw a future state process map of how the process could look.

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Outputs from the Lean Event

The team spent a couple of hours documenting the current state and concluded that it could take (worst case scenario) 17 weeks to process an invoice. All agreed that this was too long as the Trust could receive interest penalties if the invoice isn't paid within 30 days. The current state is attached below (first two pages).

Invoice Processing Project

The group then brain stormed ideas on how the process could be improved and from this they agreed that there were 7 quick wins which would reduce the time by 5 weeks. The changes included reducing the number of checks by team leaders and reducing the number of handoffs (steps in the process). Page 3 of the document above details the new process with the quick wins implemented.

The team now have an action plan to take the changes forward which is being owned by Helen Bostock and team. Action plan below.

Invoice Purchasing Project - Action Plan

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