Officeworks has always been focused on delivering a wide range, low prices and great service for their customers.
As the leading destination for stationery, technology, furniture, art supplies and education resources, Officeworks also offers helpful services like Print and Create and a new B2B offer, Flexiworks, to help support Australia’s hybrid workforce.
If you’re one of these people who relies on Officeworks, you’ve no doubt entered the store and noticed that everything is clean, the shelves are well-stocked and the in-store technology works. That doesn’t happen by magic, and Officeworks relies on a large supplier base and a regular cadence of preventative and reactive maintenance to make it all hum.
But like any business, contracts need to be checked, services need to be confirmed that they’ve been completed, and transactions and invoices reviewed. It all sounds simple until you consider the sheer number of suppliers and services Officeworks relies on to keep their facilities and equipment clean and working.
Compliance - The devil's in the detail
“We have a team of five managing all of our facilities, and each member has a broad range of responsibilities,” said Belinda Be, Facilities Manager for Officeworks, who oversees all the facilities across Australia – not just the stores, but fulfillment centres and support offices too. “We oversee preventative maintenance services, reactive works, cleaning facilities and more, and with that comes all the administration for those services.”
Preventative maintenance is a key aspect to the role, and one in which the team cannot always have direct oversight across; this includes routine safety checks for the organisation’s forklifts, for example. These services are scheduled to be undertaken on a routine basis and are essential to maintain compliance, and all suppliers are required to confirm the completion of the service with Officeworks.
Preventive maintenance is one thing; reactive maintenance is another, in which something needs to be done on an as-needed basis; for example, if forklift tires are somehow suddenly deflated.
Officeworks also relies on essential services, such as cleaning which relies on a “clock on, clock off” procedure.
“Cleaning is a challenging space, due to the sheer number of hours and the costs involved for all facilities across Australia,” said Be.
So they turned to the folks at Profectus, who have proven time and again, their ability to take the load off their clients’ shoulders.
Profectus: helping make bigger things happen
Profectus, the leading technology-driven services provider of compliance and recovery solutions, has worked with the transport and logistics side of Officeworks since 2003, so the company knows the retailer inside and out.
It’s that level of knowledge and comfort in working with Profectus that led the Facilities Management team to turn to Profectus, which manages everything from the contract compliance aspect to the audit of transactions and advising of potential discrepancies in payments versus terms.
Profectus’ Rebate Deal Management and Contract Compliance solutions ensure that all contracts, deals and invoices are accurately recorded and kept in the one repository and can be easily searched for. And granular line item data analysed at a moment’s notice.
“Profectus take care of everything; for example, when we’re sent an invoice, we get Profectus to take care of the contract compliance aspect before the invoice gets to the point of being approved for payment,” said Be. “They’ll only ever approve an invoice if it comes with a certificate of completion, and they automatically cross-reference the invoice with the contract terms to ensure the rates charged are accurate. In addition, if there have been incorrect charges for completed services, they’ll identify those and liaise directly with the suppliers too, doing the chasing on our behalf.”
For example, a supplier had invoiced for cleaning when the services had not been undertaken. Profectus was able to recover those funds for Officeworks without the retailer having to lift a finger.
“There are about 20 suppliers Profectus takes care of, and their doing so has achieved ROI,” said Be. “But the biggest benefit for us has been on the compliance side of things. They make sure that we’re only getting charged for services that have been completed and flagging them to ensure that those incorrect charges have been followed up.”
Profectus’ accuracy in identifying these errors has led to an often under-discussed benefit: the knowledge from suppliers that errors can and will be caught and rectified, which in turn leads to those suppliers looking to minimise the errors in the first place.
“They know now that if they don’t provide the right information, don’t complete the services required or charge a different rate for services from the one they agreed to in the contract, they will be identified and the invoice won’t get paid,” said Be. “They know that errors now lead to delayed payments, so they’re now trying harder to get things right the first time.”
While many businesses of this size and with this many suppliers might be tempted to rely on large-scale enterprise software platforms or procurement solutions to undertake this task, these expensive systems are not built to navigate complex contracts nor to identify anomalies in charges versus agreed-to terms. Furthermore, they don’t liaise with suppliers.
“These large-scale platforms don’t have the ability to cover these volumes of transactions, nor can it deal with the complexity we require,” said Be. “There’s no analysis, no contract checks or rate card functionality. They can pay the invoice, sure, but they can’t check if the invoice it’s paying is accurate.”
It’s why a company the size of Officeworks relies on the dedicated team at Profectus.
“Ultimately we want to pay our supplier accurately and quickly for work they complete,” said Be. “And Profectus helps us ensure everyone gets what they’re after.”
Let us get you on the path to complete compliance assurance
Does your organisation employ the services of a number of different suppliers and contractors just like Officeworks? Our contract and invoice compliance solutions take control of your different data sources, supplier agreements and rate cards for complex contracts (contract labour, travel expenditure, freight & logistics, cleaning, etc) to uncover errors, duplicates and overpayments. We’ll also recover any lost funds we find during the process.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll get you on the path to complete compliance assurance.