The Buyer and the Supplier, The Cash Rich and Cash Poor, On Time and Past Due, With or Without Payment Terms, In Boom Times and During Recessions, You have to PROCESS YOUR INVOICES.


When Bert Zerk arrived in Rickie Crane’s office, he was caught by surprise. Rickie was gazing into space, with a troubled look on her face. “Are you OK?” he asked her.


Without answering or even looking at Zerk, she tossed him the memo from Allie Greenspan. “Read this,” she said. Zerk did, and when he was done, he looked back at Rickie and said, “Looks like we’re moving in a new direction.”


“Do you know what this means?” she responded, and only then turned her gaze to Zerk. “It could unravel everything we’ve done to improve accounts payable.”


The effort began with the scanning of paper invoices, and continued with an investment in OCR technology to capture data from invoices for processing. It was an investment that Crane considered vital to improving invoice processing performance. Without Zerk, though, it would have failed miserably. He was the technical expert and only person on her team that could master the OCR data transformation. He hadn’t had a vacation since the system went into production.


“We have to sabotage his plan,” she continued.


“What?” said Zerk. Now he was turning pale.


Without skipping a beat, Crane added, “Here’s what I have in mind.”


(What does Rickie Crane have in mind? If you have a good idea, post it here. I could use one for the next episode.)


(Miss the first two episodes? Click on a link for Episode 1 and Episode 2)