You might want to click on the link for this one if you are reading this on email or a mobile phone… I think the image is really interesting.
I almost didn’t write this article because I don’t have the permission to talk about the five companies. I ultimately went ahead with it because whenever I am in a situation with a company that is struggling or concerned with making an Accounts Payable Automation decision, the thing that comforts them are conversations (stories) with other companies. I guess you can consider these mini case studies. I am going to give you their goal, implementation and outcome, but unfortunately I can’t give you their names… enjoy!
This is a large real estate company that in 2006 decided that they wanted to cut cost by closing eight regional offices that had accounts payable staff and functions… it was almost like they had eight separate corporate locations.
The implementation was smooth. The smoothest they had (and I for that fact) had ever been a part of. It was so smooth that the CAO (Chief Accounting Officer) was in disbelief of the progress. As one of the consultants on the project I really wanted to take credit for its success (doesn’t it make you feel good that a consultant wrote those honest words), but the fact is it was a combination of factors. Chiefly the fact that two years previous they had tried and failed (miserably) to automate accounts payable. They used all of their negative experiences and made sure they didn’t repeat them.
The outcome were savings to the tune of $275,000 per month… not bad.
This was an insurance company that in 2002 that needed to grow without adding any additional staff.
Compared to the first company this company didn’t have the advantage of newer technology. Things change so fast with Accounts Payable Automation that a few years would make a difference. During implementation there was a lot of starts and stops and a tremendous amount of hand hold.
The outcome (over ten years later) is the company has grown by four times and they have not added any additional accounts payable staff.
This company was a medium size commercial real estate company that wanted, in 2005, to modernize their their accounting process. They felt the best way to do this was using automated workflow.
The implementation was fast and to the point. The team was all on the same page so it made change not such a big deal. This company was also used to change… they just had one of those cultures.
The outcomes… was… well something we never imagined as being a positive outcome to automation. About two years after being automated they had a fire and all of their paper cabinets were destroyed… that is everything that was not in their automation system. Because that was stored in the cloud (offsite) they didn’t miss a beat with their payables.
This company was a single location of a nursing home that in 2010 had an enterprising accountant that really hated filing and filing cabinets. I had a conversation with someone last week, and I asked them why they hated filing cabinets so much and she said because of filing.
The implementation was fast… real fast, about 12 days. There was only six people that were involved with the entire project.
The outcome to this 75 a month invoices company was no more filing cabinets and guess what? No more filing… he was very excited.
In 2004, I really can’t remember why this company wanted to automate. They were in New Jersey and had a very strange business model to deal with mortgages.
The implementation was terrible. The staff was unclear on the outcome and ultimately the project went south fast and ended with its cancellation. This was the only time I had worked with a company that didn’t go live.
The point when I knew the implementation was going to fail was when the CFO of the company was put in jail…
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