Virgin Voyages is positioned for future growth while reaching 74% touchless processing
Virgin Voyages is a unique and luxurious cruise line company that was founded in 2014 by Sir Richard Branson. They were preparing for ships to start sailing again after Covid and were looking to sail away from its manual AP process. Virgin Voyages knew that an AP Automation solution would help improve efficiency, reduce costs, and position the Accounts Payable department for growth as the company expands its operations. They carefully evaluated potential AP automation solutions that had the ability to integrate with Workday Financial Management.
Virgin Voyages, established in 2014, is a modern cruise company that has experienced growth and standardization of its operational processes in the years following the impact of the pandemic on the cruise industry.
The accounts payable (AP) team is composed of specialists, coordinators, supervisors, and managers, responsible for processing and managing invoices.
Prior to implementing Ascend's AP automation solution, Virgin Voyages' AP team relied on manual processes for handling invoices. Suppliers would send invoices via email, and a dedicated team member would download the files, convert them to PDF if necessary, and upload them to a Google Drive folder. Another team member would then manually enter the invoices into the accounting system (first QuickBooks, then Workday) and route them for approval.
The manual process was time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to human error. As the company grew and the number of invoices increased, the AP team needed a more efficient and automated solution to manage the increasing volume of invoices.
Virgin Voyages implemented Ascend's AP automation solution, which uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to streamline the invoice processing workflow. Ascend's Elevate app was integrated with Workday, automating the invoice data entry and approval process.
During the implementation phase, Virgin Voyages communicated the upcoming changes to vendors and business partners, encouraging the adoption of new processes such as submitting invoices in a specific format and using a dedicated email address. The Ascend team provided support and guidance throughout the implementation, addressing any questions and concerns promptly.
"The implementation process was carried out seamlessly and efficiently. The team appreciated the clear and organized communication, as well as the weekly reviews, which made the process painless to carry out. The implementation was a success thanks to the efficient and effective work of the team." Gaudy Grullon, AP Supervisor
With the implementation of Ascend's AP automation solution, more than 70% of invoices are now processed without manual intervention. The team's tasks have shifted to managing the few invoices that require additional input or review, significantly reducing the workload and allowing for greater visibility and control over the entire AP process.
Virgin Voyages has experienced several benefits from the implementation of Ascend's AP automation solution, including:
Improved efficiency in invoice processing
Reduced manual errors
Better visibility and control over the AP process
Enhanced communication and collaboration with suppliers and partners
By implementing Ascend's AP automation solution, Virgin Voyages has transformed its AP process, achieving greater efficiency, visibility, and control. With continued growth and operational expansion, Virgin Voyages plans to further enhance its AP processes through automation and collaboration with Ascend and Workday.