Customer Story | Hospitality Management

Unleashing Financial Efficiency: How Nivea Hospitality Benefits from AP Automation 

“The thing that we see companies trying to do, they’re trying to make it more difficult than what it actually has to be. It is very simplified. It’s absolutely amazing how simple [accounts payable] is and how difficult people are trying to make it. Because it is accounting, and accounting is supposed to be hard –– but Ottimate is not.” 

Karen Troyer
Executive Director
Locations managed







Nivea Hospitality: A People-Centric Approach


In the busy world of hospitality management, Nivea Hospitality stands out with its unique, people-centric approach. Focused on delivering exceptional experiences to both guests and staff, Nivea consistently prioritizes its people, which has proved to be the key to the company’s financial success. “We focus on reputation, which in turn brings revenue,” says Executive Director Karen Troyer. 


Nivea’s success also relies on operational efficiency. Developing the right processes supports day-to-day operations, while also offering smoother career pathways for team members. But some areas are harder than others to streamline — particularly when it comes to creating better accounts payable (AP) workflows.


The Challenge


Manually processing invoices and payments takes time and increases the risk of errors — and Nivea struggled with both of these obstacles in its former AP processes. 


With twelve locations, countless vendors, and over 500 invoices to manage each month, the decentralized nature of Nivea’s operations further complicated the AP workflow. Reviewing, coding, and entering invoices into their M3 accounting software was time-consuming. Invoices were sometimes lost in the shuffle, resulting in missed payments and inaccurate data. And the lack of a formal approvals process made tracking errors difficult — especially with a lean finance team of two. It quickly became evident that a better approach was needed. 


The Solution


To address these challenges, Nivea’s leadership decided to seek out an AP automation software that would streamline invoice and payment processing. They needed a solution that would not only change how they handled invoices and payment transactions, but also bring efficiency, accuracy, and transparency to the forefront of their financial operations. 


They found what they needed in Ottimate. 


With Ottimate, Nivea knew they’d be getting a full, end-to-end AP automation solution that would streamline every step — from uploading invoices to paying vendors. Ottimate also promised compatibility with M3, a widely used accounting and financial management system in the hospitality industry and an integral part of Nivea’s day-to-day operations. 


“We have had calls where we’ve been asked to do referrals for Ottimate. And then usually the company asks how many people are on our payroll staff and our accounting staff, and when we say “two,” they can’t imagine we can do that work. Without Ottimate, that wouldn’t be possible. It’s very simplified.”

— Karen Troyer, Executive Director

Exterior of the Wallhouse Hotel

The Results


Since implementing Ottimate in July 2022, Nivea has taken their AP processes to the next level. They’ve seen success in all areas of their accounts payable, including saving time, promoting accuracy, and offering better work-life balance for their finance staff. 


Increased Efficiency with Invoice Automation 


With Ottimate’s invoice automation feature in place, Nivea Hospitality has seen a remarkable reduction in the time and resources needed to process invoices. Uploading invoices, coding line items, and securing approvals through Ottimate’s single system has allowed Nivea to create a more efficient workflow — making invoice processing a breeze for Nivea’s small but mighty finance team. 


Ottimate’s user-friendly system has also made tracking invoices across Nivea’s twelve locations easier, ensuring all invoices are accounted for and preventing any information from going missing.  


“Before Ottimate, we would have the GMs at each property email the invoices to us at accounting, and then we would manually enter them in M3, write the checks, and send them. One of the problems we were having when we had people emailing invoices is that they would say they emailed it. But then the invoice wasn’t paid, and it would get lost and the shuffle. Now, we have the GMs just upload to Ottimate. And if it’s not uploaded into Ottimate, obviously nobody has uploaded it and it hasn’t just vanished. So the GM’s upload to Ottimate, we look at it, process it, code everything, export into M3, and then process the payments through Ottimate.”

— Vanessa Troyer, CFO


Automating the invoice lifecycle has also uncovered an unexpected benefit for Nivea: a standardized approvals process. “We didn’t really have an approvals process before Ottimate,” explains Nivea’s CFO, Vanessa Troyer. “We just knew that if someone emailed an invoice to us, then a GM had obviously approved it and whoever entered it had looked at it. But now we have just that one extra person looking at them and making sure that everything’s good. So that is good to have!” 


Adds Karen: “I approve each invoice that comes through. And even though it sounds like a lot, it’s fairly simple and fast because everything’s on one page. I like how it’s set up. You can see the invoice, and [next to it] you have all your information and can see what it’s been coded to and that it’s in the correct month. Prior to having this, I wouldn’t see the invoices until the month-end financials. If something had to be corrected, I had to go back and go through all that general ledger stuff. So that part I really like.” 


Implementing Ottimate has also had personal benefits for Nivea’s finance team members. With less time spent processing invoices, Nivea’s dedicated Accounts Payable employee has successfully reprioritized her time, resulting in better work-life balance. “We actually just had our AP person go from full-time to part-time. She had wanted to be more of a stay-at-home mom, and now she works remotely from her home an average of ten hours a week,” shared Karen. This positive change has proven Ottimate’s impact beyond operational efficiency — seamlessly aligning with Nivea’s people-first philosophy. 


Streamlined Payments with VendorPay


One of the key advantages Ottimate offers is its VendorPay payment automation solution. VendorPay has helped Nivea automate their entire payments process. They’re able to enjoy accurate, on-time payments that align with their newly minted approvals policies — all in a single system and with the click of a button. 


With VendorPay, Nivea no longer has to worry about writing checks, mailing them, or waiting for mail delivery. It’s a time-saving and hassle-free solution. “Because I’m the one that processes payments to the vendors, I used to have to be at my desk and have to write the checks,” comments Vanessa. “So, I like that I can be on vacation and still get my check runs out or whatever else I need to do — I can do that from anywhere. That freed me up a lot.” 


Nivea’s team also enjoys the payment options available through VendorPay — especially the ability to make ACH payments. “The ACH in VendorPay is wonderful,” touts Karen. “Instead of sending checks, our vendors are able to get payment right away. We’ve also utilized it for our staff expense reports. We really enjoy the ACH part of it.” 


Optimized Efficiency Though M3 Integration


For Nivea, choosing an AP automation solution wasn’t just about finding the best option for processing invoices and making payments. They also needed to make sure that whatever they chose could easily integrate with their M3 accounting software — and Ottimate fit the bill. 


The smooth integration between Ottimate and M3 has enhanced Nivea’s financial operations in many ways. What used to be a time-consuming manual process has become much more efficient, allowing the team at Nivea to focus even more on building a great customer experience, rather than slogging through data entry and fixing errors. 


They’re also able to leverage M3’s powerful features while simultaneously benefitting from Ottimate’s end-to-end AP automation technology — ensuring a seamless flow of data between the two systems for an up-to-date and comprehensive view of their finances.


Finally, this integration allows them to avoid working with disjointed systems. Instead, they have a cohesive system where they can easily export information from Ottimate to M3, which fosters data-driven decision-making. 


“With Ottimate, it’s simple. It’s super easy to pull a report, and I don’t have to change anything in the report. I can just export it into M3. It’s been pretty smooth and everything has been pretty simple.”

— Vanessa Troyer, CFO


Guests walking through a hotel lobby


A Model AP Process 


Thanks to Ottimate, Nivea Hospitality has significantly enhanced their accounts payable processes. The success they’ve achieved through invoice automation, payment automation, and easy M3 integration has boosted their operational efficiency, while also underscoring the impact and importance of AP automation. 


As Nivea Hospitality continues its journey towards excellence, the commitment to a people-centric approach remains unwavering. By leveraging technology to streamline operations, the company not only ensures operational efficiency, but also enhances the overall experience for both guests and staff. The success of their AP automation implementation serves as a testament to Nivea’s dedication to innovation and continuous improvement in the dynamic landscape of hospitality management.


As similar organizations look to revamp their own AP processes, Nivea offers a model strategy for implementing an efficient and scalable AP workflow. 


“Ottimate makes it easy to scale as you add properties, without adding more staff. Because a lot of times as a management company, especially if you’re smaller, as you add properties, you’re really deciding, ‘When can we afford the next person?’ You don’t have to worry about that with the Ottimate.”

— Karen Troyer, Executive Director 


Ready to transform your AP process? Schedule a demo and learn how Ottimate can help your hospitality management company today!