As many people familiar with workflow technology know, AP document management technology is only as strong as the procure-to-pay (P2P) processes. Technology won’t solve a process problem, so closely evaluating the accounting process before implementing an AP/AR automation solution is critical.
A few years ago The Accounts Payable Channel published an article on technology implementation that still rings true today. In the spirit of looking back as a means to be smarter about moving forward, we wanted to highlight this piece again for those who may be on the cusps of implementing new technology.
Here are five simple, yet critical questions you should ask your prospective AP technology provider:
- PROCESS: How in depth will your evaluation of my organization's P2P process be before implementation of AP document management technology?
The processes and expenditures that underpin your P2P process must be evaluated to uncover and address process issues before technology is implemented. The outcome of the evaluation process should help ensure your organization is equipped to extract maximum value from your AP technology investment.
- CUSTOMIZATION: How will your solution adapt to my organization's unique operating environment and supplier ecosystem? For example, "intelligent" technology is available that can be customized to the format and manner in which individual suppliers prefer to receive and act upon P2P information. A technology provider's ability to customize its solution not only supports lasting efficiency, but also keeps suppliers happy and willing to engage in an automated AP environment.
- WORKFLOW CAPABILITIES: How will your solution move my organization beyond only eliminating paper to also addressing the workflow behind it? Eliminating paper is only one component of AP document management technology's value. Your AP technology partner should offer solutions that address the workflow behind the paper, and offer insight into how efficient your AP operation really is.
- ERP INTEGRATION: How will your technology integrate with my ERP solution to boost my organization's return on investment? The technology partner you select should be equipped to make the AP department an ERP champion in the eyes of the C-suite. For example, technology can enable full-text search and sharing of AP information throughout both the AP and ERP solution. That means information is keyed in only once, yielding true savings. Is the provider you're considering up to the challenge?
- SERVICE AND SUPPORT: How will you ensure your solution continues to deliver value long after the sale? Your technology provider's answer to this question will determine whether you'll receive a solution that addresses a "moment in time" in your organization's evolution, or one that is equipped to grow as your organization grows.
You can read the full piece here.
Have you recently implemented new technology within your business and have insights you would like to share? Feel free to leave your comments below in the comments section.