Terrus Real Estate Group Incorporates PaperVision® Enterprise WorkFlow to Streamline Processes


Terrus Real Estate Group

Digitech Systems Reseller:



Paper invoices and multiple copies of leases slowed processes for the accounting department.


ImageSilo®PaperVision® Enterprise WorkFlow and PaperVision® Capture

Recognized Benefit

Streamlined invoice and lease processing and enhanced productivity for the accounting department, management and other employees.

Terrus Real Estate assists its tenants in many areas, including keeping the electricity buzzing and water flowing. Terrus Chief Financial Officer Phil Akason, knows that paying for city services means the accounts payable department must process invoices in a timely manner. When Akason realized that their existing document management system was hindering productivity, he knew it was time for a solution.

Invoices are entered and approved 2 days faster than before and management saves 1,150 hours annually.

100% of records are protected from disaster.

AP experienced a 30% productivity gain, saving $75,000 a year! Terrus sold custom integration for $12,000 profit.

After implementing a complete Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system from Digitech Systems, Terrus saves time and money by improving accounting processes.

The Situation

Terrus Real Estate Group (www.terrus.com) offers a full range of commercial real estate services for clients across the United States. Founded in 2000, Terrus is located in Des Moines, IA. From strategic real estate planning and real estate brokerage to commercial construction and property management, Terrus is experienced in all aspects of the real estate life cycle.

Before implementing an ECM system, the accounting department was burdened by paper processes, including the 20,000 invoices they received annually. Most documents were manually processed, because their existing document management system didn’t offer the integration features and functionality they needed. Employees were invoicing information twice – once into the accounting software program, Sage300, and again into the document management system.

In the paper-based process, managers spent up to five minutes verifying and approving each invoice and often had to search for support documents. Staff members sent so many invoices through the approval process that sometimes they fell into “the black hole.” When vendors asked about unpaid invoices, staff members spent hours investigating to find out who handled the invoice and why the approval was delayed. To add to the challenge, Terrus customers were also requesting online access to leases and other documents.

Terrus manages 1,300 leases and accompanying documentation, and multiple copies of these leases in filing cabinets on- and off-site were impossible to keep up-to-date. Each time lease revisions were made, employees spent hours making duplicates for tenants and employees.


The Solution

Both Akason and Jim Struve, Chief Technology Officer at Terrus, began searching for technology that would allow Terrus to easily track and manage leases and invoices. They sought an ECM solution that would route invoices through standard processes, expedite approvals and integrate with their Sage300 accounting software. Struve contacted Imagetek, a Digitech Systems reseller, and was impressed. Ultimately, they chose ImageSilo, because it offered online access to documents, rapid implementation, seamless integration and add-on WorkFlow capabilities to automatically route invoices. Imagetek scanned and indexed 21,000 pages of lease documents and then implemented the new system in December 2006. Terrus began scanning incoming documents internally using PaperFlow and then converted to PaperVision Capture in 2009. The scanned documents are automatically uploaded to ImageSilo. From there the WorkFlow engine identifies and sends invoices through defined approval steps.

Terrus implemented and customized an ECM system that meets their unique needs, streamlines the accounting department and boosts efficiency. Now, employees use the ECM system to process documents faster, improve customer service, enhance collaboration and avoid duplicate data entry. Since the new system was put in place, invoices are entered and approved two days faster than before, and management saves 1,150 hours of productivity each year in approval processes.

For Terrus, operating within an ECM system provides more control and better security for documents. Property managers no longer keep lease copies on their desks. Instead, they log into ImageSilo and retrieve electronic documents online, without risk.

Invoices and accounting records are also managed electronically, and PaperVision Enterprise WorkFlow automatically initiates approval processes and reports on progress. Therefore, invoices pending approval no longer fall into the “black hole.” In fact, managers can use the annotation feature or a textual note index field to leave comments regarding an invoice and to explain any reasons for delay.


“Approving invoices is a lot more enjoyable with PaperVision Enterprise WorkFlow. I open the email and have all the supporting documents and accounting codes I need to verify and approve invoices. I don’t have to go back to the accounting system to search for information. I just click OK and the invoice is routed to the next step in the process. It couldn’t be easier.”

-Phil Akason, CFO

Now, when clients ask for electronic access to documents, Terrus can serve their needs. Clients receive login information and secure access to their appropriate documents on ImageSilo. Integration between Sage300 and the ECM system makes double entry a thing of the past. “With the integration capabilities, we do the work once, not twice,” said Akason. Plus, staff can be working in the Sage300 software, select a keyboard shortcut and easily retrieve documents from the ECM system. Since implementation, accounts payable employees have experienced a 30% productivity gain by adding more leases without hiring additional staff, saving Terrus $75,000 each year. Terrus makes even more money, thanks to the nifty integration they authored. Another property management agency in Des Moines had a similar need to control invoices using ECM and Sage300, and Terrus was able to sell them the integration they wrote for a $12,000 profit!

Today, tenants are enhancing disaster preparedness by sharing building floor plans with employees and emergency responders. And, with information at their fingertips, the accounting department retrieves and sends information quickly, which improves customer service. During the 2008 Midwest floods, Terrus was able to provide clients and insurance agencies with more than 20 leases in less than five minutes.

About Imagetek

Imagetek is a full-service provider and national leader in ECM. Today, Imagetek markets in 17 states and customizes software solutions for companies of all sizes in the government, banking and healthcare industries. With more than 400 customers and approximately 100 ImageSilo clients, Imagetek manages nearly 10 million documents on ImageSilo. To learn more about Imagetek’ s document scanning software, as well as their other products and services, visit their website at www.imagetek-inc.com or call 1.800.422.1330.

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