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Archive for November, 2006

Drive Savings with Account Payable Automation

November 18, 2006 3 comments

Accounts payable departments require tremendous overhead – without generating revenue for an enterprise. For this reason, many view the AP department as a revenue sinkhole. However, your AP department may provide an opportunity to drive dramatic reductions in operating expenses.

Most account payable departments rely on expensive paper-based methods. Data entry operators key data from stacks of invoices into their ERP systems. Managers receive photocopies of invoices for approval via inter-office mail. Finally, invoices are archived for a decade in room full of file cabinets – or worse, sent to an off site storage location.

An average invoice cost $10 to process (IAPP, 2003). Consider an organization with a volume of 25,000 invoices per month. The overhead of paying these invoices will reach 3 million dollars per year. Organizations have reported between 40% and 60% savings by implementing an invoice automation solution (Aberdeen Group). If we assume only a modest 20% reduction in cost, this AP department can yield $600,000 in savings per year. Even a company that processes 5 thousand invoices per month can benefit from AP automation.

I shall discuss strategies that can be used to achieve such success in later posts.

Categories: Articles

Corporate Espionage

November 9, 2006 4 comments

A couple weeks ago I attended the Lawson Mega User Group (MUG) conference in Indianapolis. This conference included Lawson users and vendors for both the Lawson Great Lakes User Group (LGUG) and Lawson Mid-America User Group (LMAUG).

The keynote speakers were Lawson executives speaking about the new international corporate structure. Lawson acquired Intentia International, an ERP solution provider based in Stockholm, Sweden late last year. Their combined enterprises launch Lawson into the number three spot for ERP solution providers, behind SAP and Oracle.

Many of my customers utilize Lawson for their ERP solutions. Next year I will most likely be an official vendor for a few user group events. This year I spent a lot of time researching my competition in the document imaging arena.

I have to admit, I felt like I was engaging in pure corporate espionage. In my defense, I was very up-front with all the other vendors. There were two heavy-hitters in the imaging market: ImageNow and BasWare.

ImageNow has been a partner with Lawson for many years. They provide a solution to seamlessly integrate document imaging with Lawson. They appear to be a good solution for companies looking only for document imaging solutions.

BasWare, on the other hand, has a focus on automating the accounts payable processing of vendor invoices. They do not have an integrated retrieval solution for Lawson. In other words, a user will have to user a separate application to view a document.

I would consider DocEdge closer to BasWare than ImageNow. However, this gives me a lot to think when designing the next round of feature enhancements. A solution that provides integrated document imaging and AP automation would be received very well by the user community.

Categories: Articles