On-Demand Webinar

Automating AP with Completely Paperless Invoice Processing

Learn how to go paperless in AP
August 9, 2018


Your Accounts Payable document solution should save you money, time, and errors. A comprehensive solution will improve your data integrity, speed up your document routing, and make payment processing painless. 
In this webinar you'll see how to:

  • Capture and routing methods for secure yet simple processing 
  • Data integration for better management and visibility 
  • Processing solutions for faster payment and maybe even some profit 

Watch the webinar to start making AP headaches a thing of the past. 

Greg Schmidt:                    Good morning and afternoon everyone, and welcome to our webinar today. I'm Greg Schmidt, coming to you from the headquarters here at Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and I'm joined today by Bill Whalen, the Sales Manager for the Document and Forms Management brand here Help Systems.

                                                We will both be the presenters for today's webinar titled Automating AP with Completely Paperless Invoice Processing. Today you're going to be learning about how you can get started in your organization with AP automation.

                                                Again, my name is Greg Schmidt, I'm the Senior Technical Solutions Consultant for the Document and Forms Management brand here at Help Systems. I've been with the Document and Forms Management brand for over 19 years now, specializing in pre sales, demonstrations, and POCs, business process requirements gathering, implementation, and best practice guidance with an organization.

                                                And my co presenter today is Bill Whalen, Bill, why don't you introduce yourself and give us a little background.

Bill Whalen:                        Thanks Greg, yes, as Greg said, my name is Bill Whalen. I am the Sales Manager here at the Document and Forms Management group, I've been with the group for 14 years, very similar to Greg, helping customers go paperless, implement and automate certain business processes, and various business processes, and that's what we're all about today is to learn how to make AP a little bit better for everybody.

Greg Schmidt:                    All right, thanks Bill. All right, let me get started here.

                                                So, for the agenda today, we're gonna start with a quick overview of our Webdocs for AP solution, and then some industry trends and fun fact that Bill will be covering. Today, we'll also be walking through the purchase to pay process as an example, and the inner workings of each step from PO requisition, document capture, ERP integration methodologies and best practices, and also the payment process. And then, last of all today, we'll be talking about the implementation process.

                                                We will end today with a few minutes of Q and A so we can answer any questions that you might have, feel free to enter any questions into the chat window as we go and I will address them towards the end of the webinar, if time allows, please select all presenters so all the questions are directed to me and Bill. We'll also plan to complete this session in about 30 to 40 minutes so you'll have plenty of time to make your next important meeting. Also, today's event is being recorded and you will receive a link after the webinar to share with anyone in your organization that could not attend today's session.

                                                I'm gonna start with this overview slide that describes the different areas of the Webdocs for AP solution. One of the main things about our Webdocs for AP solution, it has flexibility. With its flexibility, it gives you the capability to set standards which brings consistency to the process along with best practices that helps your organization's enforcement of processes.

                                                Capture is one of the main areas that we have the most flexibility. Flexibility at this stage is very important, because organizations are getting documents from all kinds of different sources like incoming paper invoices from mail or email, or you might even have a vendor portal that you need to log into every day to download invoices from it one by one.

                                                We have interactive methods that you can drag and drop documents to be processed all the way to fully automated options like report capture from your ERP, or even the top tier of automation like smart document processing, sometimes referred to as advance capture or forms processing. This can monitor and capture documents into the system from email accounts, network folders, paper documents that might come in via the mail. No interaction from users is needed except for exception documents in this process.

                                                Going a step farther, it also has the capability to OCR the complete document and classify the incoming documents. Data extraction can be done at the header footer and line items detail level. It can also do two and three way matching, and after the data is validated and matched, it can also be passed to the ERP system, so no re keying of the data needs to take place.

                                                ERP integration is another flexibility that we have. We applied best practices around the integration part of the ERP integration, so we don't duplicate efforts and functionality that your ERP system already has today. Later I'll be talking more about the ERP integration methodologies and best practices.

                                                In some cases, we might even start before capture and start the process with being able to create and enforce the process around the PO requisition. That's if your ERP system doesn't already have a way to do this today, or maybe even your ERP system's PO requisition process is hard to manage and you need to simplify it.

                                                And at the last step everyone forgets is the payment process. Today you might have a way you're handling this with your ERP system, or you have a custom program that you built to create that, we go a step farther and turn the AP into a profit center with our AP payment solution with our premier partner Commerce Bank. Bill will be giving more detail on this later in this presentation.

Bill Whalen:                        Thanks Greg, I'm gonna cover some of the business challenges, some of what we're seeing in the industry, and there's, really to tee up what this solution really is all about. Number one priority that we tend to see with businesses today is doing more with less. Paper itself doesn't promote the mantra in today's business culture of being efficient. Businesses are expecting more out of our investments in who we hire, what technology we use and the resources that are just available to us today, and that's where automation comes in and that's where the industry is going.

                                                Document management in areas like AP can help streamline and automate where historically they couldn't, so there's a lot more innovation happening in these markets now today. Cost savings multiplies in environments where you have multiple locations or where there's people sharing work between locations and even departments. It's very common for us to see things where folks are printing documents just to process them and then scan them back, and then email them to another person in the workflow. That's a very common thing, we joke about it, but it happens at almost every business that we see where the print, process, scan and emailing. That creates multiple copies of documents and just inefficiencies in itself.

                                                These things aren't only time consuming, but they're very insecure. So, security being of the utmost importance today, we want to see your document management strategy become even more effective than it has been. Legacy applications, things that you've been using, either ERP or accounting applications become even more effective, and the nice thing about document management and workflow technologies, especially in AP, is we can now make those applications work harder for you, or in a transition period, get replaced a lot more easily.

                                                Some of what we're seeing in the industry, Greg, if you can go to the next slide, that'd be great, organizations are starting to do this but it's still not that effective. So, documents are hard to find even if they're electronic, so you may have technology in place to store things electronically, but people still have a very hard time finding what they're looking for. There's too many options, and we see this today where you've got network folders where documents are stored, you've got email boxes, you've got things like SharePoint, you know, where do I go, how do I find it, and the reason for all that is that it's not standardized.

                                                There's no enforcement and behavioral expectations of where documents are going to live so that the approval processes can happen more efficiently. Most organizations start with AP as their first place to go paperless, and that's obviously not where they tend to stop. So, the goal is to make the implementation as easy as possible so that it's smooth, natural, and just now part of your business. Similar to what I mentioned on the last slide, security is obviously a top priority, it's pretty much any organization out there. One area people can't fully control is documents, the data on documents and the storage that documents get stored onto are very open, anyone can create and control a network folder that they might have access to independently, so the standard policies are key to make sure document management implementations go smooth.

                                                Some of the general benefits we tend to see, obviously everything I just mentioned, so, making everything more efficient in general so people can find documents when they expect to, so if there's a question they can answer it quickly. Where some of the benefits you'll see through our presentation today talk a lot about streamlining the process so that we can realize cost savings. When we talk about the overall workflow for purchase requests or payment processing or even how do you classify data inside of an invoice, all those sorts of things today typically take more time than they should. So, the industry knowledge leads our customers to conclude that AP automation pays for itself, and that's because of streamlining workflow, capitalizing on the people that you have, the systems that you have, and making the process work harder for you. And at the end of the day, we should be able to do this from wherever we are, whether we're sitting at home, on our cell phone, or otherwise.

                                                If you look at the next slide, the upper left corner talks about the types of records that are electronic today, so this kinda backs up what I said before. So, a large portion of what we're seeing and receiving today, whether it's coming through email, you might still have a fax, inbound fax coming in that either goes to a printer or goes to email, you might have documents showing up electronically. 90% of these records are now electronic but people are still printing them, they're still processing them manually. So, this is where we're here to help solve some of these problems [inaudible 00:09:52]. How can concepts with AP automation help organizations like yours realize and streamline and automate the business process so that you're no longer thinking about $8 to $12 per invoice when we manually process a piece of paper, but $1 to $2.

                                                We can focus more of our time on how do we realize discounts and benefits from our vendors that we couldn't before because if people involved in the process can now spend their time on those more valuable activities, and that's really what this whole AP process is all about is, making sure we're streamlined to the point where we can make decisions now so that the AP department can see some profits.

Greg Schmidt:                    All right here, like I mentioned earlier, now we'll be covering an example of the purchase to pay process and walking through the inner workings at each step of the process here from the PO requisition, documents received, invoice verification and matching, and then all the way down to the payments part of it. I'll have Bill start us off here.

Bill Whalen:                        Thanks Greg. So, AP processes are interesting because most of them look pretty similar on the surface, but at the end of the day, there's left and right turns that people take because of your unique business that the processing roles get flexed one way or another. We're gonna talk a little bit first in generalities to discuss how a typical paper process looks, and then we'll dig into how an AP automation solution can help streamline different aspects of that.

                                                So, on the very left, we've got places where documents show up, we've already mentioned most of them already today. We've got paper, we have mail, we have email, we have fax machines, so, we just have documents. And if you had multipliers on some of these boxes, you might consider an emailed invoice multiplied by three or four, 'cause if there's a couple of people involved in the workflow process, you may have to email that to several people, which they then print and write on the document, scan it and then email it back to the AP department. So there's all these mechanics going on.

                                                Typically the first thing that happens is that document is captured in some way, it's sorted into some type of group, they're gonna match it to something. So, AP is tending to look at the data on the invoice to determine, do we have a purchase order that matches this, do we have something we received that matches this, so we wanna make sure the inventory, if it is an inventory based item, is accurate. And, we wanna make sure what we thought we're buying actually is what we bought, and if there's a variance involved in any of that or there's some data issue with the invoice, maybe the vendor information is incorrect or they invoiced against the wrong location, then we're gonna flag that record as needing some additional help.

                                                Now, at the end of the process, the Xs you see on the screen here are where we can streamline and eliminate some of the workflow. So, you still have paper coming in at times that you're gonna have to scan, but at the end of the day, we wanna electronically route a document so that it can be captured quicker, the data can be extracted so we can make some better decisions about how to route it and hopefully eliminate a number of the documents that everybody has to look at, in general.

                                                If you go to the next slide you'll see a little bit more of what we tend to see a common implementation look like. So, on the left, again, we're gonna have document capture, you've got emailed and faxed documents coming in which we can electronically archive, at this point you'll start to coach vendors a little bit. You tell 'em, hey, you know what? We're processing these things differently today and we want you to send us your invoices as an email attached, the PDF, this is the format we want it to look like, does it have the quality standards, here's what we want the subject line to look like, and here's the email address you should send it to. Just that little bit of coaching allows you to automate more of the capture process sooner, because now we can expect certain vendors will send us information in a more standard way. Doing that allows us to capture those documents earlier in their life cycle, get better quality records, better data out of the documents, which we'll cover in a moment here, and then be able to facilitate matching and workflow a lot more efficiently.

                                                In this example, we're routing these documents electronically, so people aren't floating paper copies around, they're not printing and scanning and emailing, they're just using the system, an Accounts Payable Automation System, to make better decisions about the documents they have, and at the very end everything's archived, checks are cut electronically, or the payment process will happen as we describe it later, and that's how the workflow would operate.

                                                What we're gonna cover next is really the first step in the process, is the purchase request, or purchase requisition, if you do POs, you may be an inventory based environment, everybody has some level of PO and non PO purchasing going on. And a lot of times we talk to customers and they say, well, we're talking about AP automation, we're not talking about purchasing, but in reality the purchasing process affects the AP process just as much as AP affects purchasing, so really, we have to start there. So, what we start with and we take a look at is, how do you make purchase requests, how do those purchase requests get approved? Many times there's a current accounting system or ERP system that has a PO request process, and if that is the case, when the invoices show up, we wanna match those documents against some PO information in the system, and that's gonna be where typically your first level of matching happens. Did the quantity match of what we ordered, and were the amounts in some level of tolerance?

                                                Now, if you don't have a purchase request system, or you, say you have a PO system for certain items, say inventory, but everything else is kinda loose, it's more email approvals and napkins and word of mouth, that's where a purchase request process like this might come into place. This is what we call Webdocs forms management, but it's the ability to design a purchase request where you fill out a form, that form would go into a workflow process, be approved, and then by the time the invoice shows up, we now have the ability to match that invoice against something. This is a unique part of how our solution works. Not all document management and AP automation systems have this, many of them will require some individual in the organization manually approve invoices that don't have a PO to ensure that they're supposed to be paid.

                                                So, essentially what we're doing is trying to create a scenario where the highest probability of invoices showing up is gonna have some sort of match on a PO level so that we don't have to require Accounts Payable or the resulting managers review those invoices later down the stream. Documents received is a second step, so, you've got the purchase order happening first, or some sort of purchase request, if it's not a PO based item that goes into capital request. Then, you have documents that show up and these could be various kinds of records, they're gonna be invoices that are typically sent to you in the ways we already mentioned, receiving paperwork if it's inventory based or the warehouse is receiving packed goods and they need to log those in the system and make sure that we receive it in the inventories that they're gonna get matched up later.

                                                You're gonna have other supporting documents which are more miscellaneous where maybe a user gets an email with an attachment, and that document needs to get part of the system so that during the workflow process these things can be reviewed together, because it's going to affect the matching, it's gonna affect the approval in general, and if there's, say a deviation in an approval status, like maybe the invoice shows up and it's outside of a certain tolerance level, we need to be able to have some back up as to why, so these other documents might affect that.

                                                Next, Greg is gonna into a bit more about the overall capture process. Before we do that, there are different levels of capture. So, what capture basically means is, I need to take in a number of documents, it could be one or many, with various numbers of pages, I need to be able to classify those records in various ways. In a typical world, for an AP document, you're gonna classify an invoice number, a vendor, an amount, and various other index terms or metadata to tag with that record so somebody knows what to do with it, and then they're gonna be stored and pushed into various workflow processes, whether it's actually for workflow approvals, if there's an exception, or if it's just simply pushing data into other systems like an ERP or an accounting system.

                                                Now Greg's gonna go into the levels of AP automation and what different capture options exist, and help you determine what's best for your organization based on where you're at with AP.

Greg Schmidt:                    All right, thank you Bill. Like Bill said, now I'm gonna move on to the capture and some of the different layers of capture inside of our system, and in the AP world here too as well. But one of the things I get asked a lot when we're on demonstrations and working with customers and looking and expanding their solution, the biggest, that one big question people ask is, what level of capture is right for me, today and then in the future? And that's always a great question, and to answer to that question, we really need to understand a few things.

                                                The level of capture is really dependent on some of the following, right? So, it's like invoice volumes, so how much you get daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly from a count standpoint. Percentage of paper versus emails coming into the organization, number of AP processors that you have in your organization, number of vendors you have in your vendor master that you actually make payments to during a month, during the year even. Percentage of PO versus non PO based invoices, the matching process, do you need to do a two way match or a three way match, data extraction requirements, we look at do you just need the header/footer information? Or do you need to extract all the way down to the line item detail and match that line item detail with the two or three way match process?

                                                Some of the other questions we need to understand as well is what level of automation do you really want to achieve after implementation? So, do you want this to be a fully automated system? Do you want users to interact in the process? And at what level do you want those users to interact in the process? So those are just some of the questions and some of the things to think about when you're looking at your AP process here. We offer a variety of capture options with our Webdocs for AP solution, like I mentioned earlier, and like Bill has mentioned here as well, interactive methods like user based capture that allows users to drag and drop and index documents into the Webdoc system, print driver capability that lets you directly print from any application to Webdocs, or even access and capture documents from your Microsoft Office products. And also, the base Webdocs solution has the capability to scan and index documents with application and OCR barcode capability.

                                                The OCR and barcode technology is a template based system, so you can create templates to capture directly off the documents to use for automating the index process and the metadata retrieval for searching. And also, application integration allows you to connect directly to your ERP system to validate and do back filling of OCR that was captured. The fully automated is the top level tier that gives you the capability to automate the capture of documents as well as the indexing of them with minimal or no user interaction. I'll be talking more about this in the next upcoming slides here, so you'll get a little bit more detail on that. Sort of moving into that next challenge that we're gonna be talking about here is the invoice verification and matching.

                                                The main challenge at this step of the process that companies are running into is manually entering the data and validation of the data. In many processes today users are still manually classifying documents and still hand keying data off of the invoices into their ERP systems. OCR technology has tremendously changed over the past five years and advanced over the past five years, and with the advancement and introduction of the business rules and classification engine even takes it a step farther to solve that problem around data extraction and validation. And then, updating of the ERP system with the extracted data has been streamlined as well with ERPs capabilities to be able to import standard files like csv files and xml documents directly into the database themselves. And if that's not enough, we still have the capabilities around ODBC and ODBC data connections, and also cross platform REST API capabilities to directly import data no matter what platform your ERP lives on today, if it's IBMi, Windows, or Linux.

                                                How we solve this challenge is really by using our advanced capture system and ERP integration. Being able to capture those documents from all those different kinds of source, auto classify, and then extract the data off the incoming documents, and then use the ERP systems data to validate the information extracted, and then pass it all back to the ERP system. Two and three way matching can take place at this time, and also GL coding if needed can take place in our application, or in the ERP systems application screens. This is one of the areas we look at a little bit more from the standpoint to make sure that we're not redundant on certain things inside the organization and look at what's working and what's not working and advance it with our ERP, or advance it with our AP technology.

                                                Now, taking a little deeper look at the advanced capture and what companies are moving to because of the automation level it gives them. Advanced capture allows you to capture documents from any source, like I talked about earlier, like paper, email, fax, FTP locations we can monitor, network locations, or even EDI transactions can be processed in there as well. When the documents are captured from one of the sources, it can then process the information to the server, and the server does the image cleanup, does the data extraction from the document like the header/footer information all the way down to that line item detail extraction, document classification takes place, and the business rules can be applied to the data to make sure the data passes all the companies business rules.

                                                If all the business rules are passed and the data is cleansed from that standpoint, comes back with all the different validations, the data can go to the ERP system and the document can be passed to Webdocs for secure storage, or even workflow approval or review. Exceptions that don't pass all the business rules, or OCR confidences, confidence levels, are passed to user for validation review, so that's where the user interaction would happen at that point. Verification of the data is done at the ERP level, or at the time of capture, by the AP clerk. After that data is extracted and validated, that's where that direct flow to the ERP system happens so that no re keying of that data has to take place. Our advanced capture system also has built in AP classification recognition with our invoice actions module, so it helps you get up and running quickly out of the gate.

                                                This is a sample screen of a verification station, so this is what a user would be using to do the validation and verification of exception documents. It could also be used for GL coding of the document at this time too, so the screens can have GL code drop downs and different kinds of menus that are configurable inside those screens. This interface is client based, or even better yet, you can use the web browser interface so no application needs to be installed on the verifiers desktop. All right, and now, looking at the matching process a little behind the scenes, let's take a little deeper look at this.

                                                Our capture products have the capability to do validation at two different points. There's a pre check in and a post check in, a post document check in process, this gives you the capability to validate before the document is checked in. So, as we're retrieving the data from the documents and stuff like that, and validating the OCR information, we can take that information and process it against your data, or it might even be a document that lives inside of the Webdocs system, that that might have been checked in before. So, like in the PO process we can take POs and automatically capture 'em into the system, that might be one of the checks for a two way match that we do, we wanna validate that a PO is correct. And we validate the PO number's correct in the ERP system and also validate that we have the document in the system. So we do have that capability as well.

                                                When connecting to do validation to the ERP systems, we can use any standard ODBC data connection, or if your system has the capability, we can also use the cross platform REST API or web services to create that connection, so you do have some different options there depending on where your ERP system is at technology wise. Talking a little bit about ERP integration and best practices, ERP integration is very important to almost every AP project that we do. 95% plus of all implementations we do do some kind of integration into their business system, from simple validation and look ups to importing and exporting data from the capture process directly to their ERP system, like I was just talking about earlier. And even more popular today, I would say, is the look up of a document directly from their ERP application screen by pushing a button or a function key from like an IBMi green screen.

                                                Our integration can happen in many different ways too, just any application screen technically, from Windows, IBMi green screens, or any web browser based application, so you have a wide variety of different options that you can integrate into from your screens. And we do have some customers that might have a mixed environment where if they're on an IBMi, they might have green screen but then they might also have web browser screen, so given the capability and flexibility to implement this in different phases into their organization. By doing the integration into those screens, that's usually what we call usually a quick win at the beginning of the process from the usability standpoint as well, because it gives fingertip access to any document that a user's trying to get to at any time when they're in their ERP screen.

                                                When a document and the data break validation now, so when a user has to interact with it and it goes into a workflow, we built into our Webdocs for AP, there's a workflow engine built into the core application, but we also give access to a single interface, and the big part here is, when we route a document around, we're not just routing the document around. We're routing the document around with [inaudible 00:29:07], so in this visual here you'll see that we have the approve reject options up on top, they're on a hold button, there might be a status flag or something like that. We have all the data that was extracted from the document along with any notes, as it's being passed around inside of this process, and then also, GL coding and line item entry. So, if you're extracting the line item information from the document in the beginning, we're extracting that information and putting it down there so you can actually select GL codes from the drop down menus that might be coming from your ERP system. We do have those different [inaudible 00:29:42].

                                                But the big thing here is we wanna make sure that we're giving that single interface for viewing and approvals, and also GL coding, so as this document is flowing around and this form is flowing around to our system, we're capturing that information, and at the end of the process, or during the process even, we're pushing that data over into the ERP system.

Bill Whalen:                        Thanks Greg, so I'm gonna finish us off on the process, so talking about payment processing. So, it's observation that a lot of our customers still process payments exactly how they have for many, many years. So, sometimes people don't think about, what can we do differently to make this process even better or realize more benefit out of a process that seemingly might just need to be the same, like cutting a check. So, what I'm gonna cover next is, how do we streamline and automate payment processing and how do we get benefits out of that? That might be a little different than what we're used to historically.

                                                So, as I said, most people tend to stop at the payment process when they're looking at implementing a paperless solution. So, whether you're looking at AP, or another area like payroll, I mean, typically you process the invoices and matching up until the end of the workflow, and then you feed that data over to the ERP system and then cut checks like you normally have. That's what most people assume, and that's historically what we had done, is we tended to stop there. But if you think about the payment process a little bit more wholistically, there are partners like us out there that now extend themselves beyond just the final approval into that payment process, and the real benefit is you can start to use electronic payment as a way to financially gain, and turn your AP process into more of a ROI center where you're actually getting revenue sharing as part of the experience.

                                                And how this really works is you sign up for the program and for every dollar that's paid through our partnership, you actually will see some financial benefit in the end. You'll also be working with your vendors more closely so you can realize things like your net terms, discounts, and other sorts of benefits like that much more quickly. How this process works is, you start with an enrollment campaign, and Greg, I'll have you flip over to the next slide. So, we take a look at your vendor pool and up front we'll determine some of the potential benefits you'll see, and once you're ready to go, you do this enrollment campaign where we reach out to your vendors and we try to get them to answer, will you take electronic payment on behalf of XYZ, which would be our customer using the AP automation solution. And many times we already have a number of people that say yes, and this is through a partner of ours called Commerce Bank.

                                                So they have a very large knowledge base of who will accept electronic payment, who might, and who probably will not, and based on that data they have a whole reach out program where they're gonna communicate and reach out to your vendor to try to get them to say yes. And for vendors that already say yes all the time and have told them, hey, just any time you have a new customer that wants to use the AP payment card program, just go ahead and sign me up, they'll just automatically flip on. For people that say maybe, they reach out to via phone and then try to get them to commit and say yes, 'cause sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no, so they need to confirm that and then they have the typical no's. After everybody's enrolled and the program is humming, they go ahead and start to remit payments electronically, so this happens through an email where they're paying on an electronic card, and the vendor gets paid in your typical terms, so you get to control your payment process just like you do today, but you just add another payment class type in your ERP system that says electronic card, or if you already have a card program, your Commerce Bank card program, and then everything happens naturally as it would today.

                                                You send Commerce a payment file, they process those payments, the payments go out and then there's a reconciliation at the end of the month, and out of that you see financial benefit. Now, to help realize [inaudible 00:33:46] how much potential is out there, before you even start as part of our AP solution, you do a free analysis. So, Greg, go ahead and go to the next slide. So, this vendor analysis will look at your vendor base, your payment and typical spend, and determine out of what you typically spend, what's potential and what could we tend to see in a program. If you already have a program, Commerce Bank is confident enough in their data, and this is one reason why we decided to partner with them, that they can find more financial benefit than you're getting today. And the reason being is if you work with a larger bank, you're typically not gonna see the personal touch that they put forward into reaching out to customers. They'll actually reach out to anybody over, I believe, 10,000 in yearly spend, whereas most other vendors are a much higher threshold so you're gonna hit a larger section of your vendors because they realize that there's more benefit out there than what you're likely getting today.

                                                The best part of all this is it doesn't cost you anything. So, our goal through this payment program is that you can actually fund the technology acquisition for an AP automation solution through the whole process. So, you start with PO req, you do capture, you do workflow and matching, you end with payment but that's where you tend to see some payback because you're getting money back in your pocket. Up next, we're gonna cover the implementation process, something we call solution design, and some reasons why we tend to take that approach, and then we'll wrap up with some Q and A. So, it's our belief that there's obviously multiple ways to implement the solution but we've built a model that we think works very well because of just history, we've tended to see customers go down a bunch of different types of paths, the model I'm gonna describe through our solution design is intentional to make sure we have a successful implementation with folks.

                                                So, on the left we've got requirements, we wanna start with a planning phase, implementation would be all about expectations, what we expect of our customer and what you expect of us, and then, in the end you're focusing on value and ROI, how are we delivering the true value of this solution to an end department like AP. Now, the reason we do this, a lot of people would not start with planning, they would really start with the application, is because we've seen historically, and these are proven statistics by people like Gartner and IDC, that if you start with your business process and understand, what do we do today and what do we wanna do tomorrow, and then, evaluate business applications and business processes like what we just went through, in that lens you're gonna realize a 20 to 30% savings. But if you start with the application and then force the process into it, you're gonna actually see a cost increase and it becomes harder to implement the technology, so that's why we start with planning.

                                                What that really means from a design perspective is, we use what we call a solution design and we look at the processes from a user level and from an executive level. So, this example shows what an executive sees the AP process looking like, so you've got a lot of linear steps, a lotta lefts and rights when we hit a decision point. If you go to the next slide you'll see the actual user process, and we see this very often when we interview customers during this design process, that the business process in reality is a lot more complex than most people believe. And the reason for that is that we tend to invent ways, system was down one day and we now invent a new process, it becomes the standard. Or, maybe a piece of technology you use isn't as effective as it was intentioned to be and now we've created two or three workflow work arounds that are just the standard process now. So, we wanna identify where those areas exist and we wanna eliminate 'em, kind of like what I touched on earlier on at the beginning of the presentation.

                                                What this looks like with our solution is, first, we wanna give you documentation about what do you expect from us when we implement a document management solution, so we have a number of documents you'll see on the left which is, what do you expect from us and what do we expect from you. And any vendor implementing a solution like this likely should give you things like this so that you can understand, how are we gonna engage together, and how are we going to communicate and make sure that we can meet the requirements around the table. Documentation to the right is a write up that we provide, so, what we do is, we come on site, spend some time with your people to analyze the current process and understand what they want in the future process, we write up all of that into a goals statement and the solution design is a write up of your current state and future state so that you and us can understand, where are we heading with this, where are you at today, and what parts of the process are gonna flex. Both phase one, phase two, and creating a bit of a roadmap for where this is heading so that you can realize the benefits in the end.

Greg Schmidt:                    All right Bill, thank you. Just take a little bit of time here for some Q and A, I know we ran overtime here today, but just to wrap it up here, there's a couple of questions that are coming in here, and there's actually quite a few questions I will not get to, but just to start off here, and if I don't get to all these questions, which I won't, we will be following up with you after the webinar as well just to get those answered here. But, I'll start with a couple of questions here.

                                                What platform does your Webdocs for AP run on?

                                                Yeah, that's a good question. So, from the standpoint of what systems it runs on, we can run native IBMi, and we can also run native Windows. So, we can run on two different platforms from that standpoint. Integration into any business system from the standpoint of where it's running, so if it's running on the IBMi or Windows side, we don't care, it's really agnostic from what standpoint we're gonna connect to it, as long as you have access to the information as well, and the system on the back end.

                                                Another question here about the payment process here. My company already has a current P card program that we use, can we use both?

                                                The answer is yes, actually you can use those both together. Your current program your using might not cover all the vendors that we cover with ours, and most companies see more financial benefit from having two programs like this, so you do have capability there as well.

                                                And I just answered this one here, does Webdocs integrate with my IBMi business systems?

                                                The answer is yes to that one, so we can integrate into the 5250 screens, we can also integrate into the DB2 database in the background or any web services or calls that you might have in the background as well. So, we do have some different integration, or even through RPG programs as well.

                                                And the last question here, then I'm gonna let everybody go here is, what types of documents can it capture?

                                                The answer to this one is, any kinda document, so we are a non proprietary system and we can manage any type of content securely with version and audit control, so it just depends on what you're capturing for those standpoints. So, we were talking email capture and document capture via scanning, we might be looking at even audio video files at some point, and some drawing documents and stuff that are attached to different things. So, there's just a wide variety of stuff that we can cover. Contracts in Word and Excel documents that might be part of the process, we can collect those all into the system directly.

                Again, there's still lots of great questions out there, but I'm not gonna get to them all, so we will follow up with you after the webinar here just to get those answered for you. I just wanna thank everyone for attending the webinar today. I hope you learned some helpful information on the AP process that help you in your journey. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to Bill or myself or our sales team here at Help Systems, and we can also schedule a free consultation or a live one on one demonstration to address any of your other questions that you might have. Again, you will receive a link after the recording to share the webinar with anyone in your company who could not attend today's session. Again, thank you for attending today's webinar, enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your week.