Semine automates the posting of half a million invoices for OBOS
By choosing SEMINE, OBOS now has an automation rate of 83 %, freeing up more than seven FTEs.
When OBOS – one of the Nordic region’s largest homebuilders and one of Norway’s largest accounting firms – changed its invoicing system, they could have chosen to continue using a traditional solution. However, they chose to think innovatively and use the opportunity to digitalise what was largely a manual process. They selected Semine’s solution, which has built-in artificial intelligence, and after less than one year, they had an automation rate of 75 per cent. Now, less than two years after implementation, their automation rate has increased to 83 per cent, and they have freed up more than seven FTEs.
– Our somewhat ambitious goal was that our solution should make it more enjoyable to approve invoices, says Hilde Rannem Rostad, Director of Digitalisation of Financial Services at OBOS.
The housing association has an ambitious group strategy where artificial intelligence is defined as a priority area.
– When we planning to replace our invoicing system, it was natural to search for new technology and new solutions that would carry our processes and solutions well into the future, while also being able to deliver added value to our customers. And that’s how we got in touch with Semine.
AI is a strategic choice for OBOS
Hilde Rannem Rostad’s department provides accounting services for more than 5,000 housing associations and joint ownership properties, with more than 22,000 board members responsible for approving payments in OBOS’ proprietary portal, Styrerommet. OBOS processes more than half a million invoices every year, and it was previously not uncommon for the advisors at OBOS Eiendomsforvaltning AS to spend several hours each day on relatively simple posting tasks.
– We are highly aware that board chairs and board members of co-operative housing associations put in an enormous amount of volunteer work. They perform a socially important task and ensure that the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of people follow an orderly framework. So naturally, it is an important for us to help make this job as simple and hassle-free as possible. This is especially true when it comes to managing finances and administration.
– OBOS has made strategic group-level choices and decisions to make this a reality. One of the most important choices we have made is to digitalise everything we can in pursuit of simplification, streamlining and smart processes.
– We have stated that artificial intelligence is a priority area for OBOS. I can’t think of a more suitable area to start with than accounting – with numbers and columns, predictable quantities and often fixed structures, says Hilde Rannem Rostad.
A glimpse of the future
In short, the implementation of the SEMINE platform has freed up almost six FTEs that were previously spent processing and posting incoming invoices. “I would estimate that each advisor used to spend a couple of hours a day on this task, which they can now spend on work that creates more value.
– Already less than two years after implementation, 83 per cent of invoices flow through the system without us having to deal with them.
– We address any invoices that need attention – and because the artificial intelligence in Semine’s platform learns from our feedback, we rarely encounter the same issue twice. This means that our advisers have more time for the joint ownership properties and housing associations for which they are responsible, which increases the quality of our services.
– Semine’s solution reads invoices down to the line level, and this generates more data than in a traditional solution. This will enable us to deliver reliable predictive analyses to our customers,” concludes Hilde Rannem Rostad in OBOS.