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Improving Cash Flow with Accounts Payable

Tim Nissen | Improving Cash Flow with Accounts Payable.

Founded in 1934 to make steel castings for the U.S. Military, this company has grown to be a top specialty manufacturer in the US. Their continued growth is based upon acquiring new customers while maintaining and growing loyal accounts through investments in innovative production abilities and proactive customer service.

A Paper-Based Problem

Improving cash flow with Accounts Payable.

One area of inefficiency this company realized was its plethora of paper processes. According to their Database Administrator, “We had a real need to go paperless to enhance accuracy while saving time and money.” The DBA and the company’s Controller agreed that an automated, paperless flow would benefit Accounts Payable (AP) and their interdepartmental colleagues, making sure that important documents never sat on anyone’s desk too long. It would also help the company with issues involving multiple document copies, outdated information circulation and duplicate payments.

The DBA indicated they had been using Quadrant Software’s Formtastic™ and FastFax™ solutions when they began their quest to go paperless, and they were excited to discover that IntelliChief enterprise content management (ECM) was a partner product of both Formtastic and FastFax, and could help them reach their document management and business process workflow goals. At first glance, the solution seemed like a perfect fit, but the company decided to evaluate other ECM options for comparison. In the end however, IntelliChief’s process workflow-matching configuration, and seamless integration with the company’s enterprise content management (ERP) system, made it the right choice for them.

“All the paper was costing us a lot of time and money,” the DBA relayed. It also resulted in too many mistakes. “We ended up double paying vendors two or three times a month, well, that we knew of. We had a team of four in AP who were struggling to keep-up with the increasing paper volume. They were doing the best they possibly could, though the backlog of ERP information keying and constant ‘walking-workflow’ put them in an unwinnable cash flow situation. IntelliChief was our way to fix this through automation.”

Piles (and Piles) of Paper

Before the IntelliChief implementation, all purchase orders were created manually. An initial requisition was drafted, and once approved three copies of the document were made. One went to AP, another to Purchasing and the final to the requestor. The information was then manually keyed into their ERP to create an official purchase order for the requisition. This PO would then be printed in triplicate and distributed. At this point in the process, the DBA explained that, “at least six pieces of paper had been generated to secure a single item.”

Once the item requested arrived, its receipt would be entered into their ERP. The receiver who signed for the goods would, according to the DBA, “hopefully be able to send the packing slip over to AP that day, preventing processing hold-up, or worse – documentation loss.” If the packing slip made it there, AP would then attempt to make a 4-way match, trying to marry up the original requisition, the PO, the packing slip and the inbound invoice from the vendor. Often however, all four documents did not make their way to AP, causing AP to have to request new copies from various parties within the process. If any originals did resurface, some items were entered twice, and invoices paid twice.

The time was right for the company to implement IntelliChief and activate additional tandem features within their ERP that would enable them to reliably go paperless.

Paperless Purchasing

The first thing the company did was to activate the Requisition Approval function within their ERP. This ability automates the requisition process, meaning no hard copies are produced. Once the requisition is approved in their ERP, a PO is generated within the system and faxed or emailed directly to the vendor through FastFax. No copies of the PO are required – every document within the purchasing process is archived within the IntelliChief system.

The company also activated the Receiving function within their ERP that’s integrated with IntelliChief, which allows the company to scan a packing slip at Receiving. AP no longer must wait for the physical slip; once it’s scanned it becomes available electronically via IntelliChief to all authorized users. When an invoice arrives (whether via fax, mail or email), it’s captured by IntelliChief and made available via their ERP screen, often with touchless, straight-through processing, eliminating data keying. Users can retrieve all related AP documents quickly on the screen together, making the 4-way matching process a snap. Also, there are no more checks to print, copy and file, as IntelliChief retains copies of each payment’s documentation, through automated capture and archival.

If a snag ever arises within the purchasing process (IE. the quoted price on a PO doesn’t match the price on an invoice), IntelliChief makes it easy to resolve the issue, through item cross-reference normalization. There’s no more walking paper across the building; instead AP simply forwards the item within IntelliChief’s process-specific workflow to the proper parties to resolve the issue. The best part, said the DBA, is that “all transaction documentation history is organized and stored in IntelliChief, making it very easy to archive and retrieve any aspect of any transaction, with all the steps and notations added in workflow retained.”

Automated Cash Flow Improvement

The DBA feels that IntelliChief has fundamentally changed the way the company conducts business. Most of their AP filing cabinets are gone. Everything and everyone are comfortably more efficient, helping to add dollars to the company’s bottom line. According to the DBA, “IntelliChief has really streamlined the invoice matching process and approvals, and payment scheduling, greatly enhancing our cash flow. We’re also benefiting from vendor discounts for the first time in our company’s history and finding them to be significant in our case. The multi-pay errors are virtually non-existent now.”

The Future

With IntelliChief, the company now operates a paperless Order-to-Cash operation. While they haven’t had the system in place long enough to fully calculate its payoff in this area, they’re already benefiting from on-screen visibility to order projects that they, and all their colleagues involved in fulfilling each order, haven’t previously had. The days of running between departments to retrieve, review, add notations and secure approvals are over. The Shipping Department is also better equipped to work with Customer Service, with both having real-time access to each order’s status. Any customer-requested order documents may be sent to them directly from IntelliChief by email or fax.

When asked if they would recommend going paperless with IntelliChief to other companies, the DBA responded, “Absolutely! Get rid of the paper – it will immediately save you time, money and frustration!” They also said that for most people letting go of paper was easier than had been expected, and that the few who struggled were convinced after just a few days, as they realized how easy it was to retrieve a document from IntelliChief. The DBA stated, “the IntelliChief search function is as intuitive as an Internet search engine. Whether the documents are linked to their ERP or they’re stand-alone items created within IntelliChief, the system makes it very easy to search for and access them right away. We’ve moved in the right direction – away from filing cabinets.”

AP Automation Actuals Calculator

Tim Nissen | AP Automation Actuals Calculator.

Using your actuals to discern if AP automation makes fiscal sense for your company, allows you to know for sure if it’s worth the pursuit. Will it also add value to your ERP system investment?

Now there’s a convenient way to find out. IntelliChief ECM’s AP Automation Actuals Calculator factors all cost savings related to moving from manual to automated processing in your environment, utilizing verification and validation from your ERP’s tables.

The calculator includes all aspects of AP processing, comparing your costs projections from years’ 1-5 of automation’s implementation. You’re able to see where AP Automation’s efficiencies affect your organization, providing guidance for process automation optimization when mapping your workflow, in-tandem with ECM system integration with your ERP.

Costs calculated include:

  1. AP Statistics and Measurements – In-depth analysis of invoice sources and formats, quantities, data capture methods, resource/storage/labor cost (internal and outsourced), late payment fees paid and early pay discounts available
  2. Hard Dollar Costs – Determining manual processing actuals
  3. Staff Time – Often the hidden expenses associated with AP processing – time and cost of employee/contract staff in processing tasks, encompassing invoice printing, ERP/business system keying, approval routing, exception handling, data conversions, resolving duplicate payments, researching internal and vendor inquires, audit preparation, tracking and reporting on all activities.

Purchasing and Receiving’s related costs also are factored, including these department’s labor cost of transactional documentation workflow routes.

Once these figures are entered, the Calculator progresses to both hard dollar savings/gains and efficiency savings for each year 1-5, per line item allocation. It provides a comparison of your current costs to what they would be in an automated environment.

With these calculations completed, you’ll know what impact AP Automation will have for you. If the outlook’s favorable, the data accumulated will be foundational for your business case.

For your free Calculator, contact IntelliChief.

Oracle Presenting at 2019 Southeastern Regional User Group

IntelliChief, an Oracle Gold Partner, will be presenting at the 2019 Oracle Southeastern Regional Users Group.

The meeting is scheduled for March 14th at MATRIX Resources in Atlanta.

Our presentation, Oracle Advancing AP and Order Automation Abilities, will show JD Edwards and PeopleSoft users how to:

We hope you see you there.

Live at RMOUG Training Days: Orders Automation for JD Edwards, PeopleSoft

IntelliChief, an Oracle Gold Partner, will be presenting at RMOUG Training Days. We’ll be hosting Order Automation for JD Edwards and PeopleSoft, an in-depth discussion about:

You’ll learn how you can reduce your processing time, increase accuracy, and improve customer satisfaction – all through a single integrated solution.

We’ll also be on-site at the expo center, providing real-world advice and one-on-one recommendations for Oracle automation.

About RMOUG Training Days

Oracle’s RMOUG Training Days provides EBS, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards users with the latest strategies for using their enterprise resource planning systems more efficiently.

This year’s event will be held from  February 19-21, 2019 at The Westin Westminster Hotel in Denver.

How Optimized Are Your AP Processes?

Tim Nissen | How Optimized Are Your AP Processes?

Your Accounts Payable processes probably fit your specific organization reasonably well; having been honed over years of company growth. Though at this juncture, are they optimized?

Consider where you’d like to advance –

  • Do your AP procedures need updating to suit current and future needs?
  • Which parts of the process should be prioritized?

Assess these areas –

  1. Operations: Your efficiency in tracking, searching and viewing transaction documentation.
  2. Working Capital: Your challenges in scheduling and monitoring payments, and ability to capture early-pay discounts while avoiding late payment fees.
  3. Security: Your system’s capability to modify, monitor and grant or restrict access to AP documents and workflows.
  4. Compliance: Your ability to manage internal controls, to mitigating fraud, abuse and regulatory risks.

AP automation provides the ability to optimize. As your current processes are mapped to replicate in automation, you’ll see your exact flows as they currently occur manually. This visibility is an eye-opener: you’ll readily see areas of impact previously overlooked. The effective aspects of your processes will benefit from automation’s mapping, and time/cost inefficiencies will be highlighted for action at this juncture, creating methodology that makes sense.

Functionally, AP automation encompasses capture of each transaction’s documentation in any format – paper (mailed or faxed) and digital (email and attachments) with all uniformly standardized through image file creation. The information needed for processing is recognized in type, handwriting, barcodes and images, populating enterprise content management (ECM) fields. This data is verified and validated with account information stored in your ERP or line of business system through ECM integration, and then archived.

Once the capture stage is accomplished, your newly optimized workflow enables efficient, automated reviews and approvals throughout your organization.

How optimized are your AP processes? Now’s an advantageous time to see, through AP automation’s process mapping’s visibility.

 

Related: Accounts Payable Automation: How Software & Technology Can Streamline Your AP Workflows

AP Automation for MatrixCare Answers on Demand (AOD)

If you’re using MatrixCare Answers On Demand (AOD) to manage your senior living or long-term, post-acute care facility, IntelliChief can help you use it more efficiently.

Our solutions integrate directly with AOD, helping you spend less time on procure-to-pay administration. On November 15, 2018, we’ll show you how to:

We’ll also show you how other Answers on Demand users have used IntelliChief to capture more early payment discounts, reduce their late fees, and spend fewer resources on invoice processing and payment.

Join us and learn how to free up more of your valuable resources for patient services – or contact us directly for more information!

IntelliChief Presenting at 2018 MK & Associates-Guide Technologies Infor XA User Conference

IntelliChief will be presenting at the 2018 MK & Associates-Guide Technologies Infor XA User Conference, October 8-9 in Grand Rapids, MI.

Our presentation, Advancing AP Automation with Infor XA, will show you how to:

You can learn more about our Infor content management software here. For more information, contact us today.

IntelliChief ECM Peer-Driven Sales Order Automation, AP Automation JD Edwards INFOCUS 18 Feature

Both Sales Order processing and Accounts Payable processing were forefront with the IntelliChief ECM Peer-Driven Sales Order Automation, AP Automation JD Edwards INFOCUS 18 Feature, delivered by the Oracle Gold Partner and JDE-integrated enterprise content management system’s creator.

IntelliChief presented Successfully Automating Sales Order Processing for Emser Tile with JD Edwards and IntelliChief ECM, providing insight to a peer user’s strategy to move Orders from manual management to automation, and the benefits they’ve achieved.

For organizations that want, or need, to automate their Accounts Payable process, there are many options to consider, with examination given to solutions that can integrate seamlessly with JDE EnterpriseOne or World. Functionally, what type of system best fits a company’s AP department, their specific business processes, and the organization from the enterprise prospective? Addressing this, IntelliChief presented JD Edwards: Automating Accounts Payable

INFOCUS 18 facilitates an international technology and applications forum for the JD Edwards community through the Quest Oracle Community, bringing together users of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World, engaging peer knowledge exchange.

Unable to attend? Contact Intellichief for these presentation’s recordings.

Related: Oracle JD Edwards Content Management Software Can Help You Make the Most of Your EnterpriseOne or World ERP

IntelliChief Presenting at JD Edwards INFOCUS 18

IntelliChief, an Oracle Gold Partner, will be presenting at JD Edwards INFOCUS 18.

Leverage more than a decade of experience in enterprise content management (ECM) and workflow automation, expert speakers will be sharing the “wants” and “needs” of an Accounts Payable automation project.

With so many solutions on the market, it can be difficult to decide which features are truly necessary. Companies that plan to automate their AP process in JD Edwards have to consider options such as:

If you’re considering AP automation, this must-attend presentation can help you streamline your list of must-have features.

About InFocus 18

INFOCUS 18 facilitates an international technology and applications forum for the JD Edwards community. Made possible by the Quest Oracle Community, the event brings together users of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World applications, allowing peers to share their knowledge and learn from industry experts.

The conference will be held from August 20-22, 2018 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

IntelliChief ECM will present JD Edwards: Automating Accounts Payable, Tuesday, August 21st 11:15-12:15 in Plaza Court 4. An overview’s located here.

For more information, contact IntelliChief .