Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Top 3 Lessons Learned from ePayables Adoption
posted by: Susan Fletcher, accounting supervisor, CryoLife Inc.
Like most manufacturers, CryoLife has been challenged to increase operational efficiency and cut costs without negatively impacting product and service quality. Upon examining our processes, we identified accounts receivable (AR) as a significant area for savings.
We manually processed a wide range of payment forms from customers: credit cards, automated clearing house (ACH) payments, wire payments and checks. Payment processing was time consuming, labor intensive and costly. We spent $1.4M annually in credit card processing fees, budgeting $100k per month – that caught the attention of the C-suite.
In an effort to streamline AR processes, cut costs and reduce waste, we implemented the GHX ePay solution in March 2017, and began transitioning customers from credit cards to the ePay program. As of January 2018, we only have two customer groups still paying by credit card, and have cut our payment processing fees by 94 percent.
With any project that you undertake you always come out on the other end with things that worked, and things you could have done differently. Here are the top three lessons learned from our journey to ePay:
- Executive support is critical: With a project like this that touches so many aspects of a company’s operations, including customer service, securing senior leadership support is critical. In order for our CAO, CFO and controller to serve as spokespeople for ePay throughout our organization, we needed to first gain their buy-in, and next work closely with them as we rolled out the solution.
- Communication is key: Something we could have done better was communicating with other departments earlier in the process. Individuals in customer service, legal, marketing and sales were finding out about ePay after the fact, which caused some friction. So we took steps to educate them. For example, in response to questions we were receiving from our sales team, we conducted a webinar for our sales reps where we described the solution, why we were implementing it and how it would benefit the company.
- Accept the challenges that come with the transition: The most important thing that we learned and what I would recommend for anyone going through this project is to sit down and talk about the anticipated challenges– identify those issues and understand that you will need to address them. For example, you will likely get push back from departments internally and customers externally, so plan for change management. Be prepared to explain why change is necessary. In our case, we explained our need to increase efficiency and reduce costs, and how the ePay program would allow us to achieve these goals in a significant way.
Susan will be on hand at the GHX Supply Chain Summit to share more details about CryoLife's strategy to reduce credit card fees through robust payment automation, keys to success and where CryoLife stands today as a result. Don't miss this session -- Tackle Credit Card Fees and Maintain Customer Relationships: ePayables keys to success