Mastermyne has joined forces with document automation specialist Redmap to automate its accounts payable department, minimising repetitive and mundane tasks that are associated with invoice management.
Mastermyne started automating its accounting system in late 2018, ahead of forecasted business growth in the coming years off the back of contract wins.
Candice Herron, finance manager for compliance at Mastermyne, says the project was not about reducing headcount at the company, but rather to prepare for growth.
“We didn’t want the team having to touch every invoice that was sent to the business and were trying to free up their time to perform other tasks,” she tells Australian Mining.
Redmap has allowed the team to transition to new responsibilities that add value to the business.
Team members have moved away from the labour intensive and repetitive process of managing, moving and pursuing other team members’ authorisation for invoices, towards advisory and compliance.
Redmap’s integrated technology with Pronto Software’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Pronto Xi, has made this shift possible.
The technology is underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and extract valuable data from the invoice and, if need be, send it to the right person for authorisation before uploading them into the ERP.
Herron says the ASX-listed company’s board and executive team has a strong focus on compliance and they demand that rigorous processes are followed to manage vendor invoices.
“(Pre-automation) that process was labour intensive and the team was having challenges with the volume,” Herron says.
Mastermyne accounts payable officer Ruth Cuddihy says she was processing invoices that did not require human interaction, but she saw no other option.
“We had a system of folders pre-Redmap. The invoice would be copied from folder to folder based on its status and stage of the process, and that meant that we would spend an inordinate amount of time moving invoices from one folder to another,” Cuddihy says.
“As the volume grew, the amount of time we would spend managing the invoices increased.”
With AP automation, Cuddihy’s role at Mastermyne has moved from being focussed on data entry to one of advisory and compliance.
Similarly, the role of Mastermyne accounts trainee Alison Prestipino has shifted from managing individual invoices to dealing with a select few that require human problem solving.
“Mastermyne has employed me to solve problems and not do data entry, and as such, the fact that all we touch are the exceptions is great for the business,” Prestipino says.
“Automating has increased our efficiency considerably. It has also meant an end of requests for invoice copies. The entire business can find their own invoices now.”
AP automation not only raises the workforce’s satisfaction with their work, but it also delivers the necessary audit trail associated with invoices, exceeding the results that human reporting can deliver.
“(It) allows us to prove what has happened with each invoice to internal and external stakeholders. Every action that is applied to that invoice is recorded and reportable. You could never do that with paper,” Herron says.
The coal contractor’s satisfaction with the results delivered by AP automation is comparable to the team’s experience during the implementation.
Mastermyne finance manager for mining, Andrea Brannan, says that Redmap’s service and responsiveness was exceptional during the evaluation process, and this is something that has continued throughout their use.
“The change associated with automation has not been without its challenges and Redmap has been there to support us every step of the way,” she says. “Furthermore, their implementation costs were less than half of the other two vendors. This meant a much shorter implementation time, which is always a good thing for a technology project.”
Redmap chief executive Ben Woolley is driven by a vision where all of the company’s clients love the product that it builds for them.
The company has just surpassed 100 deployments for Pronto Software customers and that has allowed it to invest in research and development (R&D) of the product.
In doing so, Redmap has delivered a standard product that works straight out of the box and this has delivered a tremendous impact on the implementation cost and timelines.
“Our customers see that best practice product in one of two ways: either they fit the standard and that means projects can be delivered in as little as six weeks or they see the best practice as a head start to their modification requirements,” Woolley explains.
“For me, I just don’t want customers paying us to do the same thing we have done time and time again.
“We believe the best technology projects are done in the shortest amount of time. So lots of what we do is about shortening this implementation cycle.”
With the Australian Government mandating the use of an e-invoicing system from July 2022, Woolley believes we will see an increasing requirement for automation in the accounting space.
“There are multiple different government strategies and policies that will continue to drive the requirement for automation,” he says.
“The payment times reporting scheme is another great example of movement in the market that, we believe, will see increasing numbers of businesses adopt products like ours.”
Mastering mining services
Mastermyne’s business approach holds similarities with Redmap as the contractor maintains a reputation for reliably demonstrating its capabilities to clients.
Since Andrew Watts and Darren Hamblin started the company out of the back of a ute in 1996, Mastermyne has become one of Australian mining’s most trusted contractors.
Just as the AP automation project with Redmap demonstrates, Mastermyne is committed to creating value for employees, mining companies, communities and shareholders.
It is currently contracted at Anglo American’s Moranbah North, Grosvenor and Aquila mines, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA)’s Broadmeadow mine, Fitzroy Group’s Carborough Downs mine and Glencore’s Integra and Ulan mines.
This story also appears in the March issue of Australian Mining.