May 1, 2020
Due to widespread transportation cancellations and restrictions related to COVID-19, USPS has announced interruptions to international mail service. Delivery to over 70 countries is temporarily suspended, as well as Priority Service guarantees to several Asian and European countries.
COVID-19 has introduced widespread disruption to established billing and payment processes that go beyond USPS interruptions. State-wide, stay-at-home orders mean that accessing physical mail and sending checks from office locations is unfeasible. Dispersed A/R teams are working hard to remain efficient and productive when they aren’t co-located. Additionally, your buyers may be looking for flexible payment terms so that they can manage their cash flow.
Now is the time to make the change to electronic billing and payments.
The practice of moving paper-based processes to electronic channels is often referred to as eAdoption and it is one of the most critical actions you can take to maintain cash flow, while providing your customers with flexibility.
Motivating your buyers to digitize has become essential
The percentage of customers that accept electronic invoices is also referred to as our eAdoption percentage. We support suppliers to customize and execute branded eAdoption email campaigns targeted at their buyers that encourage and promote electronic invoice delivery in lieu of paper.
We make the process to digitize simple by providing a customizable registration link that can be completed in a few seconds, often delivering an almost immediate savings to our clients.
eAdoption communications also encourage electronic payments in addition to electronic bills. By opting for this service, Billtrust customers can recognize dramatically decreased postage costs and a reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) while at the same time improving customer satisfaction.
In addition, our supplier directory details the companies that accept electronic payments so you can pay them directly, without needing to reach out individually to collect payment preferences.
On average, customers receive electronic invoices 3-5 days faster than printed invoices. As a result, payments can be received more quickly as well.
How much will my company save?
Historically Billtrust’s eAdoption experts have averaged a 68% success rate in getting our customers’ customers to sign up for electronic invoice delivery. That means if a company is sending 10,000 paper invoices per month, at 68% success invoicing costs could decrease by as much as $40,000 per year. That’s not counting the additional savings that could be recognized from reduced overhead related to managing 68% fewer paper invoices. In addition, eAdoption customers often get paid faster, particularly with the acceptance of electronic payments, which can result in a reduced DSO and increased working capital.
How can Billtrust help?
Your Billtrust support team is standing by to help. To learn more about your 3 months of FREE digital transformation or to get any of your other questions answered, please contact your account manager to get started.
The Billtrust Team
April 10, 2020
Postal Delays Related to International Invoice Delivery
The U.S. Postal Service received notice that various foreign postal operators are no longer able to process or deliver international mail or services originating from the United States due to service disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Billtrust’s international mail processing partner has advised that they will hold mail intended for these countries until restrictions are lifted at the local level.
We recommend reviewing your accounts in your ERP or billing system to determine if any of your customers will be affected by this service delay.
Billtrust can help
COVID-19 is adding unique stress to mail delivery. Additionally, many business customers are unable to retrieve mail from their physical office locations due to stay-at-home orders.
Billtrust can help you stay ahead of these issues by enabling your customers to receive their invoices via email. Our eAdoption team is available to conduct a free assessment and a free initial campaign to get your customers set up with electronic invoicing.
Please contact [email protected] or (855) 950-2525 if you would like to discuss eAdoption or have any other questions. We also encourage you to visit our site to learn more about how we are helping companies like yours manage their order-to-cash process during these challenging times.
EVP, Client Success
March 25, 2020
USPS Continuity of Operations Update as of March 19, 2020
The Postal Service has developed localized continuity of operations plans that are employed in the case of emergencies to help ensure that the nation’s postal system continues to function for the American people. With a longstanding history of quickly adapting its operational plans to changing conditions, the Postal Service maintains steady communications with mailers during natural disasters or other events that require emergency responses and advises residential customers, business mailers, and international mailers with regard to postal facility disruptions that may impact delivery in an affected area via its USPS Service Alerts webpage at: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/.
In the event they are required, the activation of localized continuity of operations plans depends on the specific effects of an emergency in an impacted area. Due to the variance in possibilities and factors, it would be impossible to predict what the effect of such emergencies would be on a specific customers’ mailing prior to the event, but the planning enables us to continue or quickly reestablish mail operations in regions facing the impact of strong hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, etc., and they have been prepared to respond to pandemic-related circumstances as well. As a result, we recommend that customers refer to USPS Service Alerts for service-disruption updates. Another key component of our communications portion of USPS contingency plans remains the Industry Alert.
For those business mailers who utilize the Business Service Network (BSN), we encourage them to continue to maintain the line of communication with their representative on changes to the postal system. If a customer or mailing partner needs to shut down its operations due to the current situation, they should contact their BSN contact, Sales contact, or their local Business Mail Entry contact to discuss their plans. These local contacts will notify the Districts, Area, and Headquarters of any needed assistance or broader impacts.
The Postal Service continues to use its existing processes for many of the more common impacts customers are concerned about. Some questions that have been raised are:
1) How is USPS handling mail for closed businesses?
Mail on the delivery route is returned to the Delivery unit and will be held for 10 days under current policies. Customers can request a temporary hold for their mail up to 30 days. Caller Box customers should contact their local office to discuss how they will handle the pickup of this volume. Any high-volume customer will be contacted to discuss pickup options as well.
2) How is USPS delivering mail under shelter in place declarations?
The Postal Service is classified as an essential government service operation, which allows us to continue operations.
3) How safe is the mail and mail transport equipment?
Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance continues to indicate there is no evidence the virus is spreading through the mail. According to WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low. This guidance remains true for mail transport equipment.
4) Is the USPS experiencing capacity issues due to reduced airline routes?
There are no domestic air capacity issues at this time. The Postal Service continues to work with International air carriers and contract air carriers to keep mail moving.
Industry and commercial customers can email questions or concerns about COVID-19 and the mail to [email protected] with COVID-19 in the subject line. Mailers can also sign up for Industry Alerts at [email protected].
For more information, see the USPS Coronavirus Statement at https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements.
March 18, 2020
We are all going through unprecedented times. Our thoughts are with you, your co-workers and your families during this crisis. We know many of you are struggling with how to operate effectively with a remote workforce, changing customer behavior, supply chain uncertainty and the unknown duration of this crisis.
The digital business transformation that has been underway for some time is accelerating. While the underlying drivers are not new, the current global turmoil is increasing the urgency for businesses to take actions that mitigate risk and increase efficiency.
We want to help and have identified a few ways that we can immediately support your team and business:
- eAdoption – Moving customers to electronic delivery is always a good idea and now it is even more important. The Billtrust eAdoption team is available to conduct a free assessment and a free initial campaign to drive your desired customer behaviors across invoicing and payments.
- Virtual Credit Cards – Many of you are receiving credit cards – single use or virtual – via email or over the phone, making it particularly difficult to maintain PCI compliance with a remote workforce. Billtrust’s Business Payments Network (BPN) solves this problem. We are offering free BPN enrollment and will process these payments for free for the next three months.
- Buyer Portals (Ariba, Coupa, etc.) – Our direct processing relationships with the leading Accounts Payable portal providers can quickly eliminate the cumbersome requirement to manually key invoice data into these portals. Our Customer Portal Automation solution uses the same invoice data you already provide Billtrust to post invoices. We are waiving setup fees for our billing customers during the next three months and can implement quickly.
- Print/Mail – If you are a current invoicing customer but also print and mail in house, remote work requirements are likely a challenge. We are offering this service at a very low cost (primarily postage and materials) for the next three months to help you through the crisis.
Please contact your Account Manager, send a note to [email protected] or call us at 855-950-2525 so we can help. If there are any other ways you think we can be helpful, please discuss them with your Account Manager, or as always, feel free to contact me directly at [email protected].
We will continue to provide updates via email and at billtrust.com/covid19.
Founder & CEO
March 11, 2020
Protecting your business, as well as the health and well-being of our employees, customers and partners, is our utmost priority. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending all businesses be prepared for the potential threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This communication provides an update on our current state of preparedness and ongoing management of potential risks.
Billtrust has a documented pandemic plan as an element of our enterprise risk management policy. The plan is tested periodically, most recently in December 2019 when a significant portion of our team performed their jobs remotely. In addition, our executive team is convening daily to review any new information and revisit our action plans. When changes occur, we will provide updates via email and at billtrust.com/covid19.
To ensure business continuity:
- Because Billtrust SaaS solutions are hosted in the cloud with tier-1 vendors, your teams can work from remote locations.
- For customers with significant reliance on print rather than electronic invoicing, Billtrust print facilities are geographically distributed with operational redundancy, enabling us to move production quickly should we need to cease operations in one location. We have doubled our paper and ink supply levels to help mitigate any potential supply chain challenges, and we have in-house mechanics and spare parts for equipment maintenance and repair.
- We have taken the following measures to protect our team and help reduce spreading of the virus:
- We have suspended all international business travel for employees and have cancelled our upcoming Billtrust Summit.
- Employee domestic travel has been dramatically curtailed, and we have directed our team to limit physical contact and conduct meetings and events virtually, even within our offices.
- Employees who can work from home have been encouraged to do so. Our team has been educated on the symptoms of COVID-19 and instructed to take any signs of illness seriously and seek medical attention.
- We continue to review information from the CDC and local departments of health to ensure our policies and procedures align with the latest recommended preventive measures across all our office locations.
We are ready to help customers avoid supply chain disruptions by accelerating the digital transformation of their order-to-cash processes, ranging from electronic order placement and digital invoice presentment to accelerating cash flow through electronic payments.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures to support our customers and communities as needs arise.
For additional information about COVID-19, get the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov or your local health department website.