A good product is just a small piece of a successful business process automation puzzle. Implementation is often played down by some companies. If so, you get just a well-written code and a look and feel of the user interface. Even areas of business activity like Accounts Payable and Invoice Management with pretty clear business processes and a small number of participants require a strategic approach and a qualified implementation.
Why is professional implementation of business software so important? As for Accounts Payable and Invoice Management systems, the most likely reasons are:
- Chaotic approval process. The existing invoice processing seems chaotic and badly organized. The approval process of a typical invoice is more or less clear, but in unusual circumstances approvers act in a haphazard manner. It takes a long time to form a business process. Oftentimes, it’s almost impossible to find out why the process actually works like that. Professionally implemented Accounts Payable systems help you avoid all possible issues when approving and paying invoices.
- Unclear roles. All too often, we can see that roles in a company are not so clear-cut. Lines of responsibility are often blurred between the roles so that even senior managers are not aware of the limits of her/his authority. Others, in contrast, avoid taking responsibilities. In this case, implementation is a good opportunity to determine these lines which allows the software to be correctly configured.
- Company growth. Usually businesses discover the need for process automation when they grow significantly. With professional implementation, you can easily automate business processes: not only rectify obvious business problems, but also provide opportunities to foster professional growth.
Here are some useful best practices that will be valuable for a customer implementing an Accounts Payable & Invoice Management system:
- Get support from senior management. Nothing in the company can change by itself. Even a slight redistribution of responsibilities within a team or changes in routine procedures should be supported, if not initialized, by senior management.
- Document the current process: commitments and changes. The process documentation should contain an accurate description of which role performs each task. This will help a customer and an integrator determine responsibilities for each member of a group, track project timelines, and coordinate decisions across the entire project.
- Conduct a process analysis. Regular meetings and reports ensure attention to the project and show the big picture of the implementation process to each team member.
- Avoid multi-project implementation. Implementing multiple projects at the same time can be a nightmare. One project at a time is much simpler to implement than many. Try setting another timeline in a different project in order not to be distracted from the project goals. If projects are closely related, manage them by the same implementation team.
- Become a business process expert. More often than not, a customer does not always have an in-depth understanding of business processes. The organization of the integrator team has to start with a fundamental understanding of customer business processes; meanwhile, customer staff should follow the integrator team and become experts with a solid understanding of both traditional and new approaches.
I’m sure we are going to get back to the topic of implementation again later and we will definitely increase our list of best practices.
The Orienge team and I are always ready to listen to your specifics and help you with your processes! Please feel free to contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a member of the Orienge team at 917-727-3278 or email@example.com.