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Montage Hotels & Resorts Cuts Costs and Improves Efficiency with Centralized Receipt Processing

Founded in 2002, Montage Hotels & Resorts is a hotel and resort management company, designed to serve the luxury traveler and homeowner. The company features an artistic collection of distinctive hotels, resorts and residences located throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.

In recent years, the company has experienced considerable growth. Montage was interested in centralizing all accounts payable operations. The goal was to reduce costs, increase efficiency and relieve the individual properties of the burden of handling accounts payable operations.

Bringing payments under one roof
Montage Hotels & Resorts was working under a classic, decentralized accounts payable structure where each property processed their own accounts payable on site. There was an AP clerk at each hotel; each receiving invoices at individual locations, and manually keying the information from the invoices. Due to the apparent inefficiencies, it was clear that Montage needed an integrated, centralized AP process.

During this time, Montage selected Procure-to-Pay software from BirchStreet Systems and needed an outsourcing company that could easily collaborate with the BirchStreet platform. The goal was to go live with both solutions at the same time, gaining efficiencies and electronic documentation of all AP invoices. Driven by the desire to centralize their AP structure, Montage selected BancTec as their outsourcing partner.
Montage’s ultimate goal was to reduce costs, increase efficiency and relieve the individual properties of the burden of handling accounts payable operations.

In order to meet this wishlist, BancTec created a streamlined system where Montage vendors directly submit all their invoices to the BancTec processing center. This approach immediately created greater efficiency with its streamlined process. Previously, when invoices were delivered to a hotel, the paperwork might have been addressed to Engineering or to Food and Beverage or elsewhere. Accounting did not have complete control or knowledge of when – or if – an invoice would arrive for processing. BancTec created a single destination for all invoices to arrive, improving Accounting's accrual and reporting abilities.

BancTec provides a completely secure scanned image service including the receipt of the invoices, opening, prepping, scanning, and capture of the data which is then updated daily to the BirchStreet procure-to-pay system. Because of the sheer amount of paper that Montage was dealing with, the filing and storage challenges added to the overall inefficiencies in addition to the overall cost.

Coupled with the savings in storage costs, BancTec’s data capture solution also greatly reduced the amount of data input that Montage’s AP clerks were performing while minimizing errors. BancTec captures the invoice number, the vendor name and address, the invoice amount and other information that previously had to be manually keyed by an AP clerk. According to Montage, “It has improved our visibility to our invoices and the processing. It's improved our whole process.”

Results to inspire further growth
Without BancTec, Montage’s centralization project would not have been possible. By enabling Montage to centralize AP, they have been able to maintain the headcount of the AP department and staff, despite increased business and invoicing. With the reduction in the amount of manual keying of data, they have seen a decrease in errors and AP staff now focus on more strategic tasks.

Montage has seen a meaningful value add in having all invoices submitted directly to BancTec. Vendors are able to submit invoices directly to BancTec by mail to a P.O. Box, by email or by fax. Being able to give their vendors specific instructions on invoices has allowed Montage, from an accounting perspective, to better track AP issues and to be more aware of all outstanding costs.

A Montage executive states, "BancTec was extremely helpful from sales pitch to implementation. As Montage continues to grow, BancTec has been very supportive in helping us handle all the increased work that comes with that growth."
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