Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (Gateway Casinos) is one of the largest and most diversified gaming companies in Canada. Operating in British Columbia, Edmonton, and Ontario, Gateway Casinos has 9,000 employees and operates 27 gaming properties with 77 restaurants and bars, and more than 500 hotel rooms. A multi-pronged growth strategy has seen Gateway Casinos diversify and expand its product offering — improving the gaming customer experience while attracting new customers. To speed and simplify its complex procurement processes, Gateway Casinos picked a winner in Paramount WorkPlace.
Handicapped by Lack of Automation
Dennis Yu, Manager of Financial Systems and Information for Gateway Casinos, recalls the difficulties the company was experiencing as it began searching for an eprocurement solution, “We are growing quickly, adding new properties to our portfolio, and each property had its own way of handling procurement — from entirely manual systems to various levels of automation. As a result, we had very little visibility into the purchasing actions as our properties, which made reporting and budgeting extremely difficult.”
In addition to the lack of visibility, each location negotiated contracts with a separate set of suppliers, depriving the company of the opportunity to centralize its purchasing power and negotiate more competitive pricing with its vendors. Gateway Casinos also struggled to communicate and enforce budget spending limits for various purchase categories.
Betting on a Winner
The company went in search of an eprocurement solution that would help centralize its procurement tasks, adding defined approval workflows, flexible requisition handling, and integration with its Microsoft Dynamics GP business management software. “Paramount WorkPlace offers the best integration we found with Dynamics GP, and their approval workflow engine is robust enough to handle the strict controls we wanted to put into place,” explains Yu.
Gateway began rolling out Paramount WorkPlace to its properties, and immediately realized benefits in the form of improved spend visibility, purchasing control, and cost reductions.
The seamless integration between Paramount WorkPlace and Microsoft Dynamics GP keeps both applications up-to-date and accurate, and eliminates the need for duplicate data entry. “The integration is real-time, so both applications are always drawing on current information,” notes Yu.
With nearly 200 users, Paramount WorkPlace is proving to be a cost-effective solution for Gateway Casinos. “We might otherwise have to buy Dynamics GP licenses for each of our users to allow them to enter or approve requisitions,” explains Yu “But using Paramount WorkPlace, our staff can enter and approve requisitions from their desktop or mobile devices without the need to access our ERP. It’s a significant cost savings for us.”
Flexibility is in the Cards
For many of its day-to-day purchases such as food and beverages for its restaurants, Gateway Casinos does not typically use the requisition process. Instead, restaurant managers place daily orders and create a check request in Paramount WorkPlace, attaching the vendor invoice to the request. “This works really well in our restaurant operations, where creating a requisition isn’t a necessary step but we still want the tracking and control the software provides,” says Yu.
For most purchases, though, the company has established three- or four-tier approval process to maintain effective yet efficient control over and visibility into its purchases. “We base the approval routing on the user’s role, the dollar amount of the requisition, and the department or general ledger account it’s being charged to,” explains Yu. During requisition entry and approval, the users are warned if the purchase exceeds the budget category, keeping spending firmly under control.
Gateway Casinos relies on the invoice matching function in Paramount WorkPlace, which compares incoming invoices to the issued purchase order or check request to ensure accuracy and avoid the potential for duplication.
The highly-configurable role-based approval routing options in Paramount WorkPlace have proven especially beneficial for the company. “Our industry has a relatively high turnover, so establishing approval routings based on a user’s role is much more efficient for us,” says Yu.
Paramount WorkPlace Ups the Ante
Using Paramount WorkPlace, Gateway Casinos has been able to centralize much of its purchasing, which has allowed it to reduce its number of suppliers, bring more spend under direct control, negotiate more favorable pricing, and reduce overall purchasing costs.