Field services agencies can greatly improve productivity levels by implementing an automated accounts payable function.
An article on Sharedserviceslink.com shares how Invensys, a process systems provider for the rail, oil and gas industries, increased productivity to 18,000 invoices per full-time equivalent and reduced its invoice processing time from 33 days to 12 days.
“They have also significantly reduced the number of non-[purchase order] invoices coming into accounts payable. Overall, with the mailroom and workflow solutions working in tandem, Invensys have streamlined their entire P2P process, to make end to end a reality,” the article explains.
For service providers, putting yearly pricing agreements together and letting a service contract management software system manage the dispatching, verification and payables creation drives considerable efficiency.
Remember, creating invoices that don’t need POs is very desirable because POs cost money. In fact, some service providers won’t take orders from a company if they’re not big enough because it costs so much to create the PO.
This is why service providers that are able to put pricing agreements together with payables creation earn a huge efficiency gain. As the percentage of contractors increases, this will become more important.
The Sharedserviceslink.com article outlines five factors critical to project success:
1) Define the global business process first: You don’t want to try automating a bad process.
2) Set global standards: Ensure that all business unit CFOs agree to abide by “the big rules.” To ensure compliance, senior managers must serve as ambassadors for the project.
3) Establish clear SLAs: Make sure that third parties are aware of any penalties.
4) Work closely with your internal IT organization: While implementing a software-as-a-service solution usually is quick, you want a single point of contact to help with the project.
5) Use a phased approach for implementation: Choose one or two places, get it right and prove that it works before moving on to the next place.
Source: Sharedserviceslink.com, November 2012