Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National Healthcare Group FSS adopted paperless invoice processing to save paper, save cost and cut processing time with Hyper Resources

The Situation
NHG is a leader in public healthcare in Singapore, recognised at home and abroad for the quality of its medical expertise and facilities. With more than 9,000 staff, NHG aims to provide care that is patient-centric, accessible, seamless, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective. In order to maintain the group’s world class healthcare service to patients at competitive rate, all hospitals and clinics uses a broad network of suppliers for goods and services. This generates approximately 480,000 paper-based invoices annually and growing, all of which need to be processed in an efficient and timely manner.

Finance Shared Services (FSS) is an outsourced accounts payable service provider to various institutions under NHG group and other related companies. FSS's vision is to consolidate the services to reduce the healthcare cost in Singapore. FSS is open to provide AP services to any entities, if you are interested to outsource your AP services to FSS and reduce cost, please visit

The Challenge
With more than 7,000 vendors and various invoice formats, AP staffs from Financial Shared Service (FSS) were spending hours to process and route documents to the appropriate people and locations from different institutions for approval and payment. In addition, they had to hire dispatch service in the field collecting new and outstanding invoices from various departments in the hospitals. Once completed, they would then perform extensive data entry to capture each invoice, after required approvals. NHG needed a solution to automate and streamline its accounts payable system, which usually required heavy paper based manual processing, labor intensive invoice management, and high staffing costs for data collection, transcribing, documentation, archiving and auditing. The high volume of incoming invoices, often come in various shapes, sizes and number of pages, and the complexity of the different formats made it difficult to locate and retrieve them quickly and easily for reference, approval or distribution.

The Solution
NHG underwent an extensive business process assessment followed by a vendor review and evaluation. The findings demonstrated that the company is already tapping on new technologies for common practice. However, they are not interconnected, each system functions individually, there are too much paper based process and so much can be converted to digital and automated.  Even though the company is doing well above international average, still there are huge rooms to streamline. In order to switch to electronic invoicing, Hyper Resources implemented Billbox, paperless accounts payable solution to eliminate the paper based invoice. Vendors are able to submit electronic invoices online anytime, checking payment status, and are able to reconcile 100% of their statement of accounts. The payment status is nearly real time and it saves valuable time spent on phone calls with no value added.

Consider the huge numbers of vendors are from various industries with different technologies adoption capability, Hyper Resources also provided scanning solution from its partner CutCom software and OpenText to capture the paper based invoices from some vendors. The document indices are automatically captured by the scanning engine and further verified by operator to ensure 100% accuracy, and then stored into online document system. It makes searching, retrieval, archiving and sharing easy among the finance department and the institution users. It also allows NHG to store the physical copies in a central location to save cost.

The Results
By switching to Billbox - paperless accounts payable solutions, together with other paperless initiatives, NHG has seen significant improvements in productivity, efficiency, accuracy and cost savings for its accounts payable process. With the automated system, NHG is able to process an invoice at a much lower cost, whereas international average cost of processing is US$11 to US$50 per invoice (by Case Information System). This translates to huge savings with the volume NHG is handing, better visibility obtained with online approval status.

Vendors also enjoyed direct benefits as no more paper based invoicing, no more lost documents, and save time on checking payment status online..The cost reduced in doing business with NHG resulted better vendor loyalty, and the cost saving is likely to be partially transferred to NHG as well.

More importantly, NHG Financial Shared Service is able to do its part to save huge amount of paper to protect the environment, and also preserve the AP jobs in Singapore.  Even though the man power cost is much higher compared to the cost in other third world countries, the AP process can be even more competitively done locally in Singapore. No doubt, the process improves Singapore’s productivity and helps Singapore to be more competitive.


  1. Thank you for the article. Really well-written piece.
    I know when it comes to healthcare and new ideas and technology in this field it is always a risk of data loss. That is why I prefer virtual data room provider to do all the things for making my data as well as business deals safe.

  2. Whether you decide to store files entirely in the cloud or behind a firewall, keep in mind that data should always be a high priority. Take precaution with it just as you would any expensive commodity, and treat it as if it’s the lifeline of your business.
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  3. As such, it is natural that the professionals working in such demanding careers are accorded benefits and advantages which are competitive from other work environments.

  4. healthcare in Singapore is top notch quality! - sytropin booster