Eventually, all business will be e-business, but transitioning over from the world of hard-copy invoicing into an electronic equivalent isn't always easy.
Credit professionals attending NACM's ongoing Credit Congress received a wealth of information on how to smooth out the wrinkles in this process during “Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment,” held this morning. Organized as a panel discussion led by United TranzActions' own Rudet Fountain, the presentation found that attitude went a long way toward getting one's customers to make the leap to e-billing.
“I personally believe that your success moving customers from a manual process to an electronic process depends a whole lot on whether or not you think they'll do it,” said Fountain. “If you do, they will. If you don't, they won't,” he added, offering a story about one particular credit professional who realized that the thing preventing their customers from transitioning to e-billing was her. “[They] told me that they needed to get out of the way,” said Fountain, adding that the particular professional really committed to the process and eventually took steps to “remove the hurdles” for their customers.
On the other hand, credit professionals looking to convince their own company to make the switch to an electronic billing environment often needed hard numbers in order to do so. “That is a critical first step in this process: how much are you paying today?” asked panelist Tom Sacher, CCE. “You want to be able to show hard costs savings.”
Although this idea is intuitive, having the hard numbers just greases the wheels, Sacher noted. “I think we all instinctively know that if we delivered all of our invoices electronically instead of manually there would be some savings,” he added. “It makes it much easier when you have those hard costs in front of you.”
Credit Congress continues for the remainder of today. Look for further coverage here on the NACM blog, LinkedIn and Twitter feed.
-Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer