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There’s Never a Bad Time to Overhaul Cash Application

In an article about application consolidation of ERPs (CIO Magazine, March 2010) author Thomas Wailgum compared consolidating an ERP with having to cut off your own arm to save your life.

(You know, like in the book 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a hard Place, in which our hapless and hedonistic hero goes hiking by himself and becomes trapped by a boulder after falling into a slot canyon and has to break — and then sever — his own arm with his multi-tool in order to escape. Sounds delightful, right? Eh, not so much. But hey, his experience was the subject of a Hollywood film so it’s not all bad…)

As Wailgum gamely explains, many companies find themselves in an analogous position: They’re trapped and burdened by the weight of too many applications attempting to do too many things. Or, you’ve got many systems trying to do the same thing. For example, if your company has grown through acquisition, you might have ended up with half a dozen incompatible accounting systems. And so while some of these applications are useful, others are simply resource hogs, and, well, they may not be doing anything at all and no one can remember what they’re there for… In other words: application bloat.

And so these companies are willing to cut off their arms (metaphorically) in order to prevent a deteriorating system. New ERP, here we come.

No time like the present

When you’re considering, or even on the threshold of, embarking on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) consolidation or new install, you’re already mired in product planning, implementation, roll out, and of course budgetary concerns. It seems the last thing you want to do is think about how the receivables and cash application process is going to work.

But this is exactly the time to think about it because how you transition your cash application and the processes you have in place while the roll out is happening will set the stage for how future cost savings will — or will not — ensue. Normally you’d need to update your cash app process after each step in the process. With the Open Scan solution, your cash application process is stable. We simply update the export file after each change to direct results to the appropriate system. It’s a flat file sharing process that is as simple as it gets.

A cash application system worth its salt is not a wrench thrown into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. If it’s a simple file sharing process, it’ll slide onto your ERP project and you’ll start seeing a return on your investment (ROI) almost immediately.

Configuration of an auto cash program can get very expensive, what with all the customization involved, and when does ROI (return on investment) happen? Open Scan is unique in that it’s ERP-agnostic and it doesn’t require full integration — it uses a simple file share approach that can be implemented with minimal IT resources. What this means is, if your ERP can ingest a data file, then Open Scan can work for you. It provides almost immediate ROI because it’s a low impact, high yield solution.

Meet a living example

Several months ago, a leading supplier of uniforms, work wear, and related products had a legacy ERP and was just about to implement a new one. Open Scan convinced the company that it could justify the cost savings — the entire project — based on the time and money we’d save them by working with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor. When we compared our 30-60 day, low IT-resource implementation to the 18 months+ ERP install, the uniform company realized right away that Open Scan’s solution was a low impact-high yield one.

By reaping the benefits of cost avoidance by handling exceptions in the workflow, and because Open Scan caught this company at the beginning of its ERP install, we literally saved it hundreds of thousands of dollars — almost immediately.

So do your research before embarking upon that painful ERP install and make sure you won’t waste money implementing other resource-heavy financial modules and still not get the hit rates you were hoping for. Open your mind and consider implementing Open Scan’s cash application processing services before you undertake that behemoth of an ERP overhaul. Your A/R department and your CFO will thank you.

“I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” —  Joan Rivers

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