Case Study

Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation

Calgary Sports Scores Big by Investing in Cortex E-invoicing

Company: Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation
Industry: Entertainment
Date Joined Cortex Network: September 22, 2015

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“Cortex simplified our complex and time-consuming paper invoice handling processes. As a result we gained better visibility into monthly operational expenses, how our business operates and have improved efficiency across the organization. Now our finance department has time to focus on more strategic tasks.”

Ken Zaba, VP Finance, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation



Executive Summary

When Calgary Sports and Entertainment (CSEC) began looking for a way to improve their complex invoicing process, it became apparent that they would need a solution that was capable of simplifying an unconventional accounting setup, without adding considerable cost to their operations.

By introducing the Cortex Trading Partner Network and having Suppliers send invoices electronically, CSEC was successful in simplifying their accounting processes, improving relations with their Suppliers, and reallocating resources to other areas of the business, all while saving money.

Just as smart sports organizations are embracing Big Data Analytics to generate enhanced insight into athletic performance and translating that into measurable team performance, the Cortex solution provided CSEC’s finance group with a 21st century solution that quickly delivered meaningful results to their organization’s bottom line.

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By operating on a mandatory per-event accounting model, which treats each team within the group as a unique business unit, CSEC was managing a very complex and exhaustive manual process for all of their invoices. 95 percent of CSEC’s entire accounts payable process was paper-based, which required a team of 4 full time employees dedicated to managing the process and was estimated to cost approximately $300,000 annually.

Receiving and processing over 2,000 paper invoices per month took an extensive amount of time. For CSEC, the average total cycle time to process a paper invoice was between 30 and 60 days prior to Cortex. The length of this payable cycle put significant strain on CSEC’s relationships with Suppliers. In addition to the cost and time implications of the manual process, CSEC needed to strengthen their compliance rules as well as reduce the amount of lost documents and breaks in the approval chain.

The Solution

Cortex’s e-invoicing solution was scalable to CSEC’s particular AP needs, with 100% invoice capture and processing through the Network from day one. Integration to their Workflow and ERP allowed for seamless transition to in-house operations at CSEC and set them up to take advantage of early pay discounts offered by their Suppliers. The ease of data input to the web-based Cortex Workbench and increased visibility into the invoice approval process in real time (Received, Rejected, Approved, and Paid responses), significantly reduced Supplier inquiries.

In addition to the technical solution provided, Cortex offered comprehensive professional services support, focused on the onboarding of CSEC’s Suppliers to the Network. By running early adoption campaigns, and post go-live support to Suppliers, CSEC saw increased adoption rates which improved their automation numbers immediately.

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Measurable Success

Since joining the Cortex Network, CSEC has seen an immediate positive impact on their day-to-day operations. Successes include:

  • FAST IMPLEMENTATION - Automated approvals, e-Invoicing and document management was fully integrated with Workflow and ERP in 60 days, ensuring a transition could take place during the slow months in order to be fully functioning prior to the start of the 2015/16 season.
  • EFFICIENCY - Able to achieve an average Days Payable Outstanding of less than 31 days. The approval cycle has declined from 30+ days to 7 days, saving valuable time through highly efficient invoice routing and Management approval processes.
  • SCALABILITY - Hours required for CSEC to process their invoices dropped from 8,000 man hours a year to 4,000 man hours.
  • VISIBILITY - CSEC’s monthly spend had been improved due to the transition from monthly summaries, to the ability to report on real-time spending.

CSEC Corporate Overview:

Founded in 2012, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) is a privately owned professional sports and entertainment company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. CSEC owns and operates four franchises based in Calgary: Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League, the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey league, the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League, and the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Additionally, CSEC owns the Flames’ minor league affiliates based in California and New York state. CSEC has a management agreement with the City of Calgary to operate the Scotiabank Saddledome arena which serves as the home venue of the Flames, Hitmen, and Roughnecks.


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