Payables, Payroll, And Contracts Streamline Transactional Processing Where It Counts Most-bloxorz

For manufacturers, streamlining is nothing new. Cars today are aerodynamic, with slick curves replacing bulky angles. Flatscreen TVs require less space than their larger predecessors. Water heaters re-use surrounding air rather than electricity. Though they comprise a small percentage of our economy, manufacturers have embraced the need to streamline. Unless they produce unique products everyone wants unchanged, to remain viable they must continually modernize and simplify. Wherever possible, manufacturers confront, test, and improve efficiency. They have little choice. Streamlining is their partner in the fight for survival. Successful manufacturers: what we can learn from them All companies have a similar labyrinth of transactional processes that drive business forwardsales, marketing, human resources, accounting, legal, and more. Since most processes operate in the background, its easy to ignore procedural imperfections until mandates are missed, people complain, or litigation becomes a viable threat. We can learn much from manufacturers savvy moves, analyzing, documenting, streamlining, and optimizing our processes just as they do with their productsso we can become be more cost-efficient, compliant, and market-responsive. Manufacturers simplify and improve where the impact is greatest; so must we. Opportunities for process improvement may be less obvious than with physical goods, but careful digging pays off. Fast, accurate processing: benefits of automation This article examines three areas of transactional business that entail significant data and documentation: payroll, invoice processing, and contract renewals. (Human resources would easily qualify for inclusion, but we already dedicated a separate article series to the subject). Whether you use paper documents, online forms and digital documentation, or a combination of paper and electronic methods, web-accessible electronic document management (EDM) and business process management (BPM) software deliver significant benefits: * Reducing or eliminating paper at the point of creation or receipt; * Centralizing access to information; * Strengthening security; * Enforcing governance controls; * Enabling instant, remote access to tasks and related documentation; * Automating real-time, paperless reporting; * Providing detailed audits and proof of effective governance; * Turning costly storage into revenuegenerating space. Payroll, invoicing and contracts require knowledge workers to juggle workloads, prioritize tasks, gather scattered documentation, and search for data isolated in legacy and line-of-business applications so they can finish complex tasks, route work appropriately, provide timely reports, and more. In contrast, EDM and BPM push appropriate information directly to your workers, giving them the information theyre authorized to work on at exactly the right time, wherever they are. Streamlining the flow of work and removing extraneous information from task queues keeps employees focused and productive. Knowledge workers can complete higher-level tasks for which they were hired rather than frantically searching for relevant information so they can begin. Employee Payroll: Cost-efficient Processing, More Productive Employees Payroll processing requires secure, swift, and accurate communication. Just as you depend on your employees for first-rate work, their lives depend on quick, correct remuneration. Whether you store documentation in an electronic document management repository or use EDM to point to data within other applications, one-click access to your digital documentation saves time. It also eliminates redundancy and loss, making processing easier, faster, and less expensive. Lets examine a challenge many payroll departments face: the need to reduce overhead costs. Scenario: Payroll management has become expensive for ABC Office Supply as the company has grown. Since ABC is no longer the only game in town, management must reduce overhead so the company can compete. Challenges: Management needs a better, less expensive, sustainable model for matching scattered documentation, packaging and processing payroll paperwork for hourly workers, answering employee inquiries, and handling reports. With EDM, BPM, and smart integration, ABC Office Supply: o Centralizes access to payroll-related documentation—time sheets, attendance records, tax forms, check images, deposit records, email correspondence, and more. o Automatically verifies payroll submissions against contracts, time sheets, W-4s, and other documentation. o Generates automatic reports showing discrepancies or incomplete documentation. o Responds instantly to employee inquiries. o Produces real-time reports for individuals or groups of employees, ensuring sensitive data is secure. o Assembles, packages, and routes payroll documentation and reports to appropriate parties for approval upon completion, eliminating manual intervention. o Flags and routes reports of missing documentation to an exception queue where they are personally reviewed, then routed electronically for approval and payment. o Enables self-service via a secure, employee-accessible portal, reducing support costs and allowing payroll employees to focus on other tasks. The results: 1. Payroll turnaround is faster, improving worker satisfaction while lowering costs. 2. Problems are resolved quickly, ending cumbersome searches and return calls. 3. Sensitive information is securely searchable, enforcing governance requirements. 4. Massive paper reports are eliminated, saving time, space, and money. Invoice Processing: Faster Turnaround, Fewer Resources Accurate, timely invoice processing is critical for your business to run smoothly, yet it steals precious time from other vital tasks. Automating the process gives A/P staff what they need to make informed decisions so they can work quickly and effectively. ROI begins by making information electronic before the document processing cycle starts, centralizing access to invoices, purchase orders and requisitions, delivery and packing slips, receipts, and more. The value of EDM increases exponentially when meaningful data is extracted as documents are generated and captured, and their contents are re-used efficiently to support smart and timely decisions. Consider how a time-sensitive, cumbersome invoicing process is reformed by adding EDM and BPM. Scenario: ABC Office Supply receives an extensive order from Smart Retail for office supplies and equipment which will be distributed among 14 affiliate stores. ABC fills the order promptly and sends a $37,000 invoice terms 2/10, net 30. Challenges: Cash flow is tight this month. Smart Retail elects to forego the 2% discount, preferring to pay the net due in 30 days. Payables staff is tasked with scheduling the invoice for timely payment, along with several hundred others that are due that same week. Smart Retail wants to avoid late penalties at all costs. The challenge: pay promptly—but at the last possible moment—while avoiding late payment. With EDM / BPM: o Data from ABCs invoice is extracted during the capture process. The invoice is routed to the appropriate processing queue, ensuring all bills are reviewed in the order in which they are due. o The purchase order number lets the appropriate clerk pull up an image of the associated files, including the purchase order, packing slip, and delivery slip. o An email is automatically generated to the appropriate manager with a link to associated documentation. o Since all documentation matches, the manager approves the invoice for payment. o Data pertinent to the invoice is captured and pushed to the payables software, informing the system (and staff) when payment will be due and for what amount. The results: 1. Invoices are paid promptly, at the last moment, assisting cash flow. 2. Automated checks for discrepancies improve accuracy while using fewer resources. Invoices lacking sufficient or matching supporting documentation are flagged for manual handling, reducing mistakes. 3. Processing is quick: a process formerly requiring days is handled in a fraction of the time. Third-party Contract Renewal: No More Missed Opportunities Limited-term offers, exclusivity clauses, and other conditions or limitations in third-party contracts shape the way you do business. Just as you dont want to be penalized for unintended late payments or missed discounts, you also dont want to miss opportunities presented by your contracts. Important data such as dates typically define the term of opportunity. Juggling the details demands valiant efforts and a watchful eye. In this situation, ECM and BPM automate business rules—capturing, organizing, and acting on data relevant to contractual review so opportunities arent missed. Scenario: ABC Office Supply has a contract with an office furniture supplier whose yearly agreement will soon be due for review and possible renewal. The contract is lucrative for the furniture supplier, but it limits the suppliers distribution options locally. If the contract is renewed on time, the supplier wont be allowed to sell to other office suppliers within a specified area. If the deadline is missed, ABC can retain the supplier, but the contract will no longer be exclusive, letting the furniture company peddle its high-end wares to competing retailers. ABC could lose loyal customers. Challenges: ABC must manage all deadlines within a short window of time in order to retain the exclusivity clause in the contract. With EDM and BPM: o The supervisor is alerted when its time to review the contract. o S/he checks out the document, reviews supplier certification documents, and extends contractual terms for one year. S/he signs the document, which is electronically date/time stamped for accuracy and easier auditing. o Annotations and date changes are highlighted for easy review. o The supervisors approval automatically instructs workflow to send a copy of the contract to the finance director for signature. o Her approval instructs workflow to create a PDF of the faxed document, ensuring the correct version is stored in the EDM document repository. o Receipt of the second signature instructs the system to fax a copy of the signed contract to the supplier, guaranteeing continuance of desirable business if the supplier agrees to exclusivity by the stated date. Data documenting when the contract was faxed to the supplier is stored in the repository with the contract. o The signature page of the contract contains a bar code. When the signed document is received, it instructs the system to store the contract renewal date in the vendor file so the system knows when to activate the review process next year. The results: 1. Deadlines are met without fail. In this case, ABC renews the offer of lucrative business to its favored furniture supplier, raising the likelihood of a renewed exclusivity contract. 2. An electronic audit trail proves timely compliance with contract deadlines. Knowing what to streamline (and where to start) requires understanding where your company is headed. It also means knowing where your greatest opportunities for improvement lie. Like scrutinizing the complex aerodynamics of a car, it entails bringing together people with diverse skills and knowledge to examine your processes from top to bottom. Finally, it means laying your productyour organizations everyday processes on the table, making them transparent, and exposing them to criticism and improvement. Whether your path to transactional efficiency begins in payroll, payables, contracts, or another area, centralizing access to information, creating a platform for exchanging valuable data, and orchestrating the movement of documents and tasks will transform your world. Business processes will advance quickly and consistently. Efficiency and accuracy will rise as time-consuming search, redundant work, and error-prone manual intervention lessen. Most important of all, your staff will be free to focus on carrying your business forward so you can be competitive and successful, now and in the future. About the Author: Laurel Sanders joined Optical Image Technology as the Director of Marketing in August, 2004 and was named Director of PR and Communications in January of 2008. Business articles by Laurel have been featured regularly in imageSource, Office World News, TAWPIs today, document, and ECM Connection. .docfinity.. Article Published On: 相关的主题文章: