Accounts Payable Automation Visibility Builds Company Growth

Tim Nissen | Accounts Payable Automation Visibility Builds Company Growth.

Growth stories inspire hope in all of us.

This one’s built around an unexpected outcome; as Accounts Payable automation visibility builds company growth. The realities of AP automation’s process cost savings and contracted discount capital achievement are advantageous yet typical outcomes of ERP-ECM integrated automation.

This company’s story is one of growth.

This US-based manufacturing and business services category leader has exhibited consistent annual revenue growth and expanded their personnel base. Their business plan’s commitment to strategically increasing market share through sound investment in employees, facilities and technology, has proved successful.

With manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US and Europe, and regional offices globally, they’ve displayed dizzying new product development depth. Much of that is a result of hiring people with vision. Their 34% personnel base growth during the past five years is, ironically, rooted in automation. While increasing their headcount, they did so smartly by investing in people whose brainpower was needed, while simultaneously adding automation to areas that made sense.

People and automation mutually exclusive? Not to their thinking.

Accessible Accounting

The company’s move from manual to automated document management and workflow began as they commenced ramping-up staffing. From their success story, this probably isn’t a coincidence. After surveying the enterprise content management marketplace, they selected IntelliChief ECM, based on the system’s integration ability with their ERP, coupled with IntelliChief’s depth of knowledge of AP workflows, and began document management automation in their Accounts Payable department. “We noticed an increasing number of companies going paperless, and calculated it would be a wise move for us, commented the company’s Director of Accounting. “It’s proved to be – IntelliChief has saved us considerable resource time and cost over our previous manual processes way of running our business, both in the AP department and in all others throughout the company utilizing the ECM system.”

In AP, 500 transactions are processed daily, typically a 50/50 split of purchase order and non-purchase order activities. “Having the ability to capture and organize all payables documentation through automation simplifies everything,” the Accounting Director highlighted. “It’s a more efficient, cost-saving way to process.”

“Automating our workflow with IntelliChief has provided us the ability to map our goals and targets, with visibility to processing status of daily tasks,” they stated. “This has provided us a phenomenal advantage with reviews and approvals, and with our cash flow management.”

Paper’s lifecycles are now able to come to an end. Once the mandatory storage window has closed, the files are off to recycling, while a digital copy is kept in ERP-IntelliChief archive. “We have paper storage both in-office and off-site in our warehouses,” they mentioned. “Freeing the space is allowing valuable square footage to be utilized more profitably.”

Adding Productivity to Production

Witnessing the benefits of IntelliChief with Accounts Payable, interdepartmental expansion was the company’s next move.

IntelliChief also enabled the Production department to collectively assemble all documentation per project within the system, allowing access and real-time visibility with cross-departmental workflow of every project. It also facilitated an archive of each projects’ details, accessible for future jobs.

Extending Production’s usage, IntelliChief provided Quality Control provision to manage work order documents electronically, enabling on-demand access of all records per project as needed. “The Production and Quality Control groups together have benefitted from tandem use of IntelliChief; it continually helped with project organization and oversight,” commented the Accounting Director. “Maintaining all project records together in a single repository, with automated workflow among those involved with each project, has simplified communications and enhanced delivery times notably.”

The Distribution department was a natural next-step of the company’s IntelliChief usage. Shipping and Receiving documentation is electronically captured at each logistic location, where it is routed through the system to either AP for matching and payment, or Customer Service for collection and archival with related information of each order. With both capacities, “workflow automation facilitates a welcomed reduction of footwork by our staff – all documentation is accounted for and routed where it needs to be,” they added enthusiastically, and somewhat relieved…

Assisted Audits – Accounting and Regulatory Affairs

Within their industry’s highly regulated environment, internal and independent audits occur with regularity. They saw this as an opportunity to reduce time and cost of these activities by establishing an auditing workstation on-site, where auditors have searchable access to any documentation they require via IntelliChief’s archive. This added organization to audits, eliminating the need to physically source documents from a file cabinet or warehouse in some corner of the world. “Single-point access had been an immense help with both Financial and Regulatory Affairs audits; the added convenience and time savings – both with auditors and our staff – is greatly reduced,” relayed the Accounting Director.

In addition to audits, their Regulatory Affairs department has added IntelliChief for a safe, updating repository for all product and procedure information related to their governing Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Supporting Cast

A rarity amongst business software companies is one with reliably helpful Technical Support. IntelliChief has proven to be an exception. “They’re excellent,” the Accounting Director conveyed. “I can count on them for rapid, informed assistance at any time. They’re on it; committed to keeping us up and running consistently.”

Five ECM Benefits You Can Achieve Within a Year

If you’re considering an enterprise content management system, you probably have an idea of what it can do for your business. But have you wondered just how quickly you’ll start to see a change? Companies usually see the benefits of ECM starting on day one – and continue to enjoy them well into the future. Keep reading to discover five advantages that you can expect to achieve within a year of implementing an enterprise content management system.

(Note: for the examples below, we’re assuming implementation across Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Order Processing. The more processes you automate, the more benefits you’ll see.)

Benefit One: Lower Processing Costs

ECM BenefitsProcessing an invoice takes quite a bit of time – and therefore, quite a bit of money. For most organizations, a salaried AP employee has to collect, sort, and distribute paper invoices, bring them to the appropriate individuals for processing or approval, and key them into an ERP. These are all routine, low-value tasks, but they must be completed.

ECM software can handle most – if not all – of this process without an employee’s input. This makes the process much more affordable.

A study from the Aberdeen Group found that the most advanced companies – presumably including those that used software to automate the process – spent just $3.09 to process an invoice. In contrast, companies that had no solutions in place were spending an average of $38.77. Saving around $35 per invoice processed is no small sum – especially when you consider the impact of thousands of invoices per month.

Benefit Two: Increased Accuracy

Here too, we see how manual invoice processing can hold a company back. When AP clerks have to type out all the information on an invoice, it’s easy to key the wrong number (or address, or vendor name…you get the idea.) That invoice will eventually get identified as incorrect, and someone has to take the time to find (and resolve) the error. That’s not just inconvenient; it can prevent you from paying your invoice on time, which can in turn prevent you from capitalizing on early payment discounts.

Benefit Three: More Early Payment Discounts

For companies that aren’t quite sold on ECM, this is one of the benefits that stands out the most.

Many vendors offer discounts to customers who pay their invoices within a specific period of time (such as 10 or 15 days). But, companies that don’t have a streamlined process in place often struggle to meet these deadlines. Unfortunately, doing so is leaving money – and lots of it – on the table. At IntelliChief, one company that we worked with saved $5.4 million in early payment discounts in their first year using our ECM software.

Enterprise content management systems make it easy to capture these discounts. They can get invoices to the appropriate processors as soon as they’re received, so that they’re not just sitting around waiting to be distributed. IntelliChief’s system can also speed up the process by:

  • Automatically performing the two- or three-way match
  • Sending a manager a notification (as well as a follow-up reminder, if necessary) if the invoice needs approval or GL coding
  • Scheduling prompt payment with your ERP

Learn more about how ECM benefits your bottom line through early payment discounts.

Benefit Four: Lower Employee Turnover

There’s a common misconception that automation will take the place of actual employees. ECM software, though, isn’t designed to replace humans – it’s designed to help them have an easier time with what they already do.

When highly trained employees (like accountants) aren’t burdened with repetitive, low-value tasks (like distributing invoices), they have more time to focus on work that actually reflects their education and experience. In turn, they tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, and less likely to leave for more rewarding opportunities.

Benefit Five: Higher Customer Satisfaction Rates

Your customers expect quick turnaround times, shipment notifications, accurate invoices, and fast responses when they contact you for support. If you’re not able to meet these expectations, you may be missing out on repeat business.

ECM benefits your customer service team by helping them better manage each of these important touchpoints. It helps you start processing orders as soon as they’re received, proactively communicate with customers when their items are on their way, and confirm that your invoices are accurate before you send them out. And, if a customer calls to ask about their order status, you’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips. This gives your customers a much better experience.

Learn More About the Advantages of IntelliChief’s Enterprise Content Management System

More satisfied customers, more satisfied employees, and an improved bottom line – what’s not to love? At IntelliChief, we can help you discover the benefits of ECM for yourself. Contact us today, and we can introduce you to our time- and cost-saving enterprise content management system whenever it’s convenient for you.


National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day

Tim Nissen | National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day.

IntelliChief ECM announces the creation and sponsorship of National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day, celebrated the third Tuesday of June (June 19, 2018), to acknowledge the contributions Accounts Payable (AP) professionals make toward their company’s growth by optimizing cash flow, and their utilization of enterprise content management (ECM)-driven AP automation to achieve it.


IntelliChief ECM will set aside this day every year to celebrate AP’s dedication, drive and accomplishments as financial operations professionals. National Accounts Payable Appreciation Day highlights their impact on cash flow management; their utilization of ECM-powered AP automation enabling internal cost reduction and vendor discount capital achievement.

AP professionals provide peer-driven guidance, assisting one other with strategy to decrease their invoice processing time and cost, increase visibility to payables progress and corresponding cash flow, while bolstering early pay discounts received from agreements with vendors, all through ECM utilization. Transactional documentation is digitally captured and archived in a secure centralized repository. Key data is indexed and integrated into the user’s core ERP/financial applications, verifying each purchase with contracted terms. Completing the cycle, it enables automated workflow for review, notations and payment approvals, achieving their organization’s cash flow-favorable payables schedule.


Use #NationalAccountsPayableAppreciationDay to post on social media.

For a look at how an AP peer is utilizing ECM throughout their organization, see

Accounts Payable Automation: Leverage the Poser of Technology to Streamline your AP workflows

What to Expect When You Transition to a Paperless Accounts Payable Process

If you’re thinking about adopting a paperless accounts payable process, you probably have questions. How much is it going to cost you? What’s is it going to mean for your day-to-day workflows? When will you see a return on your investment?

At IntelliChief, we’ve helped hundreds of companies automate their Accounts Payable workflows. If you’re considering a paperless transition, we can help – and in the meantime, we can tell you exactly what to expect from the process.

What Does the Paperless Accounts Payable Process Look Like?

Your accounts payable department has a number of responsibilities – but let’s use invoice processing as an example.

When you process an invoice the traditional way, your employees have to manually:

Traditional Accounts Payable Process

With so many different touch-points – and so many places where documents change hands –this approach is delay-prone and inefficient.

With automation, however, you can significantly speed up the process. IntelliChief’s automated invoice handling process is simple and intuitive. Scan your invoice in, or let IntelliChief automatically import it from your email or fax system. From there, our program:

Paperless Accounts Payable Process

By handling the most time-consuming aspects of the process, our paperless invoice software frees up your team to deal with other responsibilities, like exception handling and analyzing expense reports.

How Long Does Paperless Invoice Processing Take?

Automated invoice processing is much faster than traditional invoice processing. (It’s significantly less costly as well).

Even for companies at the top of their industry, it takes upwards of four days to manage a paper invoice. (It can take significantly longer for companies with less efficient processes in place.)

With invoice automation software, however, this number can be instantly reduced. In some cases, invoices can even be processed automatically, without any input from an employee. This is sometimes referred to as “straight-through processing” – and it’s the gold standard for AP efficiency.

In situations where an employee needs to manually check an invoice (e.g., our software detects a duplicate change), IntelliChief puts all the information they need right at their fingertips. They can access purchase orders and receipts with a single click, and IntelliChief clearly highlights the fields that require attention. This makes exception handling a breeze.

What Other Accounts Payable Functions Can Be Automated?

Invoice processing is just one of the Accounts Payable workflows that IntelliChief can help with. Our paperless accounting software can also be used for:

  • Remote GL coding
  • Submitting purchase requisitions
  • AP audit preparation

Before you go paperless, you’ll want to look at your current Accounts Payable process and figure out where your trouble points are. Is it getting approvals for non-PO invoices? Is it keeping the approvals process moving smoothly when your managers are out of the office? Evaluating your workflows before you make any major changes can help you figure out where to focus your efforts.

Another thing to keep in mind: many companies use automation software in Accounts Receivable, Order Processing, Customer Service, and other departments. If you’re looking to automate more than just Accounts Payable, you’ll need to find an enterprise-level solution that you can easily scale.

How Long Does it Take to Implement an Accounts Payable Automation Solution?

In most cases, you can expect it to take about a year to transition to a paperless accounts payable process – but that includes time spent researching vendors, getting quotes, and working the cost into your budget. If you need more time to get everything in order, that’s normal too – it’s crucial to think everything through before making a commitment. But, once you’ve chosen a solution and signed a contract, you’re in the home stretch. It’ll take just a few months to have your software set up, and a few weeks of training to get your employees up to speed.

At IntelliChief, we’ve designed our paperless accounts payable solutions to be as simple as possible. Because they look just like your enterprise resource planning screens, your employees won’t have to get used to an entirely new program. And, our team can schedule on-site training to show you how to make the most of all your new features.

Take the First Step Toward a Paperless Accounts Payable Process

We get it: change is never easy. But when time- and cost-saving measures are eventually implemented, most companies wonder why they waited so long. That’s something we hear from our customers all the time.

If you’re ready to learn more about AP automation, just reach out and let us know. IntelliChief’s document management experts can help you implement a paperless Accounts Payable process that’s customized for your specific business.

How Logistics Uses ECM

Tim Nissen | How Logistics Uses ECM.

Accounting for logistics processes and procedures is complex, and it’s common to still see physical shipping documentation sent by express service to points of receipt, including your Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Customer Service departments – domestically and internationally. The manual handling of these printed documents is admittedly fraught with expense (time and money) and risks.

Having a clear picture of your distribution operations with all involved departments is crucial for your business. Though a challenge to this is managing logistics operations that are driven by paper, restricting the movement of every inbound and outbound shipment. Paper-based processes are slow and create bottlenecks in productivity, making important data contained in physical shipping documents—bills of lading, manifests, delivery receipts—difficult to process and track.

Capabilities have expanded to include automated documentation capture and company-specific processes workflow. This streamlines tasks related to shipping and receiving goods, enhancing the functionality of your existing platforms – ERP, SCM, WMS, Accounting systems and related business applications you use. Distribution is an industry benefiting from enterprise content management (ECM).

How Logistics uses ECM: to automate capture of all formats of shipping documentation in both paper and electronic formats, assembling complete document collections from every source per transaction. Accuracy is validated with vendor and customer information stored in your ERP or SCM, and workflow automated with all departments involved in each transaction. Detailed visibility is provided throughout your distribution channel.

This document management capacity makes information easy to retrieve with automated organization for faster and more efficient content management. You’ll have instant access, with improved colleague and vendor-partner collaboration, and responsiveness to your customers, directly through your ECM-integrated desktop and mobile screens.

Collectively, ECM facilitates a solution to assure accuracy and security throughout distribution, as the foundation for building transactional transparency and trust, while streamlining business processes across your company’s fluid area of operations. Global trade logistics relies on a web of disparate systems across freight forwarders, custom brokers and port authorities, involving ocean, rail and trucking carriers. With ECM, you’re able to digitize the process to collaborate across companies and authorities, reduce the paperwork, streamline cross boarder movements, and limit fraud and errors.

Advantages encompassing how Logistics uses ECM:

  • Quicker outbound turnaround – leading to improved delivery efficiency, and stronger customer (and vendor) relationships
  • Documentation security – nothing is lost with ECM, with the people you need accessing your distribution documentation having it on-demand
  • Assured accuracy – with ECM syncing with your business system’s databases, all documentation is digitally captured with content data indexed and verified, alerting users of any discrepancies. Little or no system data keying is required; it’s simply straight-through processing into automated workflow
  • Lower document distribution costs – automation negates physical document shipping, and all associated costs
  • Faster notifications and approvals – with ECM’s automated workflow, everyone in your supply chain on the need-to-know does so quickly through automated notice, hastening processes and fulfillments
  • Document append abilities – as amendments, updates and approvals need to be added to original documents, they’re able to be, while maintaining the document’s integrity. Users can enter notes either in a pre-set field, or in a digital post-it note placement adjacent to the information being addresses. The document’s original data doesn’t change, though helpful information may be added and tracked by ECM and line of business system users throughout your logistics workflow.

These are particularly useful with Distribution’s transactional interaction among colleagues in Accounts Payable, Orders Processing and Customer Service departments; all areas of shipping document’s origination, destination and notification.

IntelliChief ECM and SCUG Examine JD Edwards AP Automation and Orders Automation

Tim Nissen | IntelliChief ECM and SCUG Examine JD Edwards AP Automation and Orders Automation.

IntelliChief ECM and SCUG examine JD Edwards AP Automation and Orders Automation at the Southern California User Group’s meeting June 14th in City of Industry, CA.

IntelliChief ECM, an Oracle Gold Partner provider of enterprise content management (ECM) for JD Edwards systems, will discuss automating documentation capture and management, validating and updating of JDE-based data, and facilitating company process-specific workflow.

AP automation elements include cost reduction associated with vendor invoice processing and filing by removing time consuming manual data capture and workflow, utilizing analytics reporting to provide invoice approval and exception handling progress visibility. Ultimately, reducing risk of late payment fees while increasing capital received from early payment discounts is achieved.

Automating sales order processing leads to decreased Days Sales Outstanding by reducing manual processing steps. Lowering cost while raising accuracy, automation enhances order process control and visibility interdepartmentally, as they’re routed for review, exception handling and approval. Customer Service experiences are also improved through gained awareness of each project and transaction’s status in real time.

Unable to attend? Contact IntelliChief ECM for JD Edwards AP Automation and Orders Automation information:

About SCUG – The User Group bring together JDE users in the Southern California regional area to meet and discuss similar experiences, challenges and best practices related to their EnterpriseOne and World systems. Oracle representatives and Certified Business Partners also participate relaying system usage strategy from a variety of business vantages, enabling users to maximize the value of JDE within their organization.

SCUG, an affiliate of the 55,000+ member Quest International Users Group for Oracle’s JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Cloud Applications users, leverages education, networking and advocacy in a user-driven environment. SCUG is run by volunteers who utilize these Oracle systems, meeting quarterly in small-group settings promoting peer interaction. Quest supports SCUG and other regional user groups with an online user community, focused content and education, as well as international conferences annually.

Best Practices for Paperless Accounting

In recent years, more and more companies have transitioned to paperless accounting departments. You’ve probably heard plenty about the benefits – and the promise of improved cash flow has you intrigued. But what about the potential downfalls?

It’s much more likely that you’ll experience significant – and immediate – benefits when you move away from paper invoices and purchase orders. (Even 7/11 is in on the trend, with their Japanese convenience stores saving about 220 million pieces of paper per year!) But, as with any major organizational change, proper planning is crucial. Before you go all-in, make sure you’re following the best practices for paperless accounting:

Best practice #1 – Decide which accounting functions you want to automate.

Do you want to start small, with just one things that’s been giving you trouble? (i.e., approving non-PO invoices within Accounts Payable, or managing collections within Accounts Receivable)? Or, do you plan to overhaul your entire accounting department?

Paperless Accounting Best Practices

It’s important to keep in mind that if you plan to use your paperless accounting software for several purposes – either now or in the future – you’ll need a system that can accommodate that. If you choose a challenge-specific solution now but eventually decide to expand, you run the risk of having to scrap everything and start over. That’s why it’s widely considered a best practice to map how your entire process works today (and what sort of exceptions you face) so that you can solve all of your problems with one investment.

Best practice #2 – Brainstorm a list of must-haves for your paperless accounting software.

Once you’ve decided the “why”, it’s time to decide on “how”. You’ll want to figure out:

  • What types of documents do your accountants currently use? Which ones (if not all of them) will you want to store electronically?
  • How long do you need to keep those documents (both for auditing purposes and for regulatory reasons)?
  • Will you want to have different approval permissions so that certain documents can only be accessed by certain employees?
  • Do you want your team to have the ability to access and approve your accounting documents on their mobile devices?
  • How are you going to get your documents into your paperless archive? Do your employees have the time to manually collect them and scan them in, or would you get more value from a software solution that can automatically do that for you?

As you define your requirements, you’ll need to look out for “tribal knowledge” – information that isn’t documented as part of an official procedure, but that’s common knowledge for the employees who are involved in the day-to-day work.

Best practice #3 – Get feedback from more than just your accounting department.

While your accountants will be using the ones actually using your paperless accounting software (and it’s crucial to ask them what features would make the most difference in their day-to-day productivity), you’ll want to get input from your IT team as well. Some accounting automation programs integrate with ERPs and line-of-business systems right out of the box. Others require custom coding – and your IT team might end up being responsible for it. Let them evaluate each potential solution’s technical specifications so that you find the right one for your organization’s needs.

Best practice #4 – Speaking of ERPs…choose a paperless accounting solution that can make the most of yours.

JD Edwards’ accounting modules are significantly different than SAP’s – and little quirks can make a big difference.  When you choose a paperless accounting solution, it’s a good idea to find a vendor who has specific experience with your ERP.

Think of it this way: if you drive a Mercedes, you wouldn’t get it serviced at a Toyota shop. Sure, a car is a car – but you’re going to get the best service from a mechanic who understands the unique parts. The same concept holds true for accounting automation. You’re likely to have the best experience if you choose a vendor that knows your software inside and out.

Best practice #5 – Know your timeline.

Once you realize how much a paperless accounting department can transform your organization, it’s normal to want to get started right away. But, a truly thorough implementation process –  one in which your new solution is custom-configured and extensively tested before it goes live – can take time. After you officially choose a vendor, plan on four to six months to get everything properly set up. But, once you’re up and running, your accounting department won’t look back.

Interested in learning more about paperless accounting? Contact IntelliChief’s team of experts and let us know where you’re having trouble. We can help you customize an AP automation solution for your company’s specific needs.



How JD Edwards Customers Automate Sales Order Processing

Tim Nissen | How JD Edwards Customers Automate Sales Order Processing with IntelliChief!

Join us for a 30-minute web presentation on a focal point topic: How JD Edwards Customers Automate Sales Order Processing with IntelliChief.

Together we’ll cover:

  • Automating the Order Entry Process to Decrease manual processing time and cost (the statistics are alerting)
  • Increasing order fulfillment accuracy by automating order documentation collection, with workflow mapped to your specific processes
  • Order status reporting, analytics of Open Orders, Days Sales Outstanding, etc.
  • Desktop and mobile accessing of fulfillment visibility, interdepartmental input, faster reviews, exception handling, approvals
  • Improving relationships between Sales, Customer Service and valued clients
  • Electronically file all the documents related to a Customer’s order transaction.

Space is limited with this one, register your access today.

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time: 2:00 – 2:30pm EST


Unable to attend? Contact us for an on-demand viewing link:

Early Payment Discount Revenue Reality

Tim Nissen | Early Payment Discount Revenue Reality.

An underutilized method of impacting working capital is capturing early payment discounts, providing you the ability to impact your company’s cash flow and allocation.

Your vendors often add contractual provisions for early payment, offered either when they’re aiming to reduce the recorded amount of their receivables outstanding, or are seeking an improvement in their cash flow. With both scenarios, you’ll benefit from their discount offerings.

Early payment discounts provide a facet of capital management your organization can leverage to generate a higher rate of return, an option to parking cash in low-yielding accounts. These available discounts offer a significant annualized return that’ll put money back into your enterprise for needed utilization. It’s a compounding sidebar opportunity to impact cash flow.

Discounts terms vary, allowing you to prioritize. Credit terms such as 2/10 net 30 enables you to deduct 2% of the amount owed on an invoice if payment is made within 10 days rather than paying the full amount in 30 days. You save 2% of the amount owed by paying 20 days early. A $1,000 obligation with terms of 2/10 net 30 will be settled in full for $980 if paid within 10 days. If your company has adequate cash or a readily available line of credit, that 2% early payment discount for paying 20 days early, occurring 18 times in a fiscal year, equates to an annual return of approximately 36% – terms firmly in your favor.

Your company may have difficulty processing invoices quickly enough to achieve discount revenue. 10 days isn’t a lot of time. It’s imperative that good processes be established regarding the collection of invoices and corresponding transaction-supporting documentation, and how much time executives require to review and approve for payment.

Aggregate industry research confirms the average invoice processing cycle is currently 12.4 days from invoice receipt until payment is scheduled, missing the 10-day capture early payment discount window by a mere 2.4 days. If this sounds all too familiar, consider automating Accounts Payable processing to quicken the pace while assuring contractual discount parameters are met.

There’s your early payment discount revenue opportunity – utilizing process by date targets chronicaled in your ERP/business system-stored contracts, through enterprise content management (ECM). Cash flow objectives are met by automating payment scheduling through an ERP/accounting system integrated with an ECM system, for documentation capture-collection, contractual validation and approval workflow. You’re able to clearly identify and select the vendor terms most favorable to you.

A working example: a company utilizing IntelliChief ECM noted their early pay discounts achievement of USD$5.4 million in fiscal 2016. That’s a substantial number – what would yours be? Probably significant to your scale. That company’s strategy incorporated IntelliChief ECM’s ability to streamline workflow processes and reduce payment cycle time by an average of 80%, allowing them to meet any vendor’s sales discount timeline through ERP-ECM integration, providing payment rules establishment and processing progress visibility.

For more, see IntelliChief ECM for Accounts Payable:


Automating Workflow Activates Collaboration

Tim Nissen | Automating Workflow Activates Collaboration

Business process workflow’s most daunting hang-ups have manual processing roots. While the processes themselves may be sound for a specific organization, the myriad of methods connecting people to projects and transactions continues to impede progress.

Moving toward automating workflow, Deloitte relays that for organizations having applied technology to business processes using ERPs and other business applications, some of the same companies still have a patchwork of less-than-optimal applications that do not talk to each other and rarely ease the workload of generating meaningful insights—which translates into increased costs, unnecessarily high-cycle times, inconsistent quality and impaired agility.

One explanation for this is growth—few companies manage business growth systematically. Even organic growth often results in expedient solutions to problems, inadequate attention to scalability of processes and technologies, and ‘siloed’ applications. Inorganic growth presents an even larger problem; bringing two disjointed organizations together and combining multiple sets of operations is difficult to achieve.

A noteworthy solution: Deloitte states that automating workflow typically reduces business process cost by 30% vs. manually-driven steps. While that figure’s largely reflective of staff time savings, automation also provides consistent precision of accuracy – related document collections remain contiguous and accessible throughout process lifecycles.

Further, McKinsey notes benefits beyond labor cost savings, expanding workflow automation’s breadth to regulatory compliance, securing required documentation for reporting and auditing. They found manual data processing most readily automatable, beneficial to 69 percent of US companies, with data collection automation useful for 64 percent of organizations. Applicable to workflow, the data-oriented positions are not just related to entry-level jobs; people whose annual incomes exceed $200,000 spend some 31 percent of their time involved as well. These senior level staffers are on the strategy and approval end of workflows; their time is required with projects and transactions and is mission-critically yet costly. Limiting the physical paperwork of workflow frees them to focus on their primary objectives.

Enterprise content management (ECM) has become the go-to for providing digitized end-to-end workflow. Basil functionality of ECM encompasses automating documentation information capture, organization, lifecycle archival and content amendable workflow, all enabled with mobile capability.

To date, organizations have responded to these challenges with ERP-ECM integrations, including benefits beyond cost reduction:

  • Thorough data capture, updating synchronized databases, monitoring and recording every step, producing valuable data with an audit trail that supports further process improvement and helping with regulatory compliance
  • Improving processing accuracy
  • Decreasing project and transaction cycle times, improving throughput
  • Enhancing flexibility and scalability for process functionality with company growth
  • Improving employee morale; refocusing them on more rewarding and higher value activities.

Key to automating workflow is mobile access. Most executives are on-the-move, requiring team collaboration ability wherever they may be geographically. They require a system providing workflow on the go – allowing them to provide project and transaction counsel and approvals at times decisions are needed.

Automating workflow activates collaboration. The integration of ERPs/business systems and ECM facilitates it.