Launching an AP Automation initiative can be a daunting task.  From analyzing business processes, building the business case, and investigating providers, the process can be overwhelming, but there is a powerful resource most people forget to tap into -- their suppliers.   

OfficeMax’s Director of eCommerce Multichannel Business Relations, Joni Anderson recently participated in our webinar series on Smart e-Invoicing and provided some great insight on electronic integrations as a supplier.  As a leading provider in office products, furniture and technology, OfficeMax processes 82% of their orders electronically through their website and 3rd party integrations like supplier networks.  With over 600 connections, OfficeMax has seen it all when it comes to electronic integrations. 

The most compelling example of Smart eInvoicing Joni shared was the example of a customer before and after their eInvoicing integration.  Before, the OfficeMax AR representative was on the phone with their customer’s AP representative from 2 to 4 hours a day, trying to reconcile payments (over half of which over 90 days past due). After their customer implemented their eInvoicing solution with OfficeMax, the AR representative was able to manage the account though a supplier network, giving her visibility into the invoice status and problems, and reducing the amount of time on the phone to 30 minutes a week, giving the clerk more time to work on other accounts.  Plus, they were able to reconcile all of the overdue payments in a short period of time.

Joni also offered great advice on how to work with your suppliers and leverage their experience with e-integrations.  Check out the recorded webinar at: http://www.ariba.com/resourcelibrary/views/resource_library_asset_brief.cfm?asset_id=664