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Posts by Howie Hahn

Improving Your SAP AP Process Can Be A Doozie

Learn more about Howie Hahn.

Have you convinced yourself that your current SAP accounts payable (AP) process is not that bad? Even if you acknowledge:

  • that accruals take hours and sometimes days;
  • that you’re constantly chasing down invoices for vendors and approvals;
  • that many invoices are being paid late or just barely on time;
  • that SAP itself is running a little slowly;
  • and that auditors are on your back day and night demanding tighter controls.

I suppose if you are able to acknowledge all these problems, at least you understand your current process, right?

Change. Risk. Mistakes. Budget in a death spiral. Failure. With entrenched systems, no matter how problematic, the fixes can seem more terrifying than the solutions. Too many companies, despite their long-term financial detriment, opt for the safest route, which is to do nothing. Instead, everybody holds their breath and just hopes that their AP challenges don’t get any worse.

Assessing Your Accounts Payable Process

But if you take a step back, breathe deeply, and force yourself to take a look at your current process, you’ll see that there are options to fix your SAP and AP woes. You might start thinking along these lines:

  • Add additional head count to help speed things along.
  • Upgrade SAP to run on Hana.
  • Focus your vendors on EDI.
  • Improve your purchase requisition or purchase order process.
  • Automate your SAP accounts payable process.

Read more

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In your next project, don’t even worry about Change Management!

Written by Howie Hahn.

Does this sounds like you? – You have a high-visibility project with a tight budget and timelines. You work hard—You push hard. You dedicate every waking moment to ensuring the project’s success.You do whatever it takes because only relentless momentum moves the company’s bottom line. And frankly, your job is on the line too. A successful project can make or break your future. Sure, you might have to step on a few toes or maybe a few co-workers might quit over it. But after all, working to make process improvements is only for the good of the company. There’s a lot of visibility on this project so you know you have to do whatever it takes to complete this project—and you only hope that when it’s finished, at least “things went okay”. You know the harder you work, the more you push, the more focused you are the better chance you have of to make this project a slam-dunk.

There’s got to be a better way?

Ever wonder why some projects fail while others succeed? Why employees back some change but resist other changes? Or how about the projects that are going great and then lose steam as they go along. How about the project that separates your team against each other or the one that suffers from over budget or way past your projected timeframe? Have your projects ever suffered from one or maybe all of these symptoms?

But wait?  What could you expect if you do manage change

  • 85% more likely to have a successful project
  • Increased moral of all employees who are affected by the project
  • More likely to be within your budget
  • More likely to finish within your time frame
  • Less stress before, during and after your project
  • The project will have increased legitimacy
  • Managing change is much easier than putting out fires

Managing change does take time, but as you can see… the benefits outweigh the time. If you are in a company that already focuses on Change Management, you are all set to ensure the success of your future projects. If you don’t have an in-house team who manages change, insist that the vendors you use are trained in change management. Make change management part of your methodology and insist on help from your vendors—add it to the contract!. Don’t leave your next project to chance. Work smarter on your next project and create a coalition for change within your company to create the synergies to move your next project from planning to success.

Talk to your vendors and see what they can do to help you prepare for a successful project. Change management starts way before your project does so make sure you hit the floor running.

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For the Cloud… The Future was Yesterday

Written by Howie Hahn.

I was reading some online discussions about how Cloud Computing is the future, and how if companies don’t adapt and change, they will be left in the dust. Some of the posts I read within the discussion were referring to a huge shift toward cloud computing “in the future.”

Are you kidding me?  Look around folks…

Cloud Computing has been around for Years

Companies like Google, Microsoft and Esker have had huge infrastructures and have been automating business processes for years in the Cloud. This is not new technology—this is mature, fast and cutting edge stuff.

So what can Cloud Computing offer you?  How about things like:

  • Lower upfront costs with no internal architecture costs
  • Lower IT resources needed
  • No more headaches trying to upgrade to new versions
  • Security that is as tight or tighter than your own network
  • Inbound processes, outbound processes, workflow…… You can have it all
  • Subscription: pay-as-you-go models which help you budget and get projects approved
  • Flexibility: easy to expand and easy to access Read more

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E-Invoicing … Don’t be a wimp like some others

Written by Howie Hahn.

I was asked to present the results of an Accounts Receivable (AR) Automation survey done by IFO at their 2013 Fusion event in Orlando a few weeks ago.  I immediately agreed to the offer to present, but when I later started thinking about it, a few words came to mind: “Sleeper.” “Boring.” “Snore.” I’m a tech guy; how can I make this dry data interesting to my audience?

After reading the survey to prep for the presentation, I thought to myself, “Whoa, there really are compelling reasons to move to an E-Invoicing solution based on the startling results other companies have achieved by automating their Accounts Receivable processes.” Read more

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AP Automation…All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Given that I’m a “tech guy” and not a “sales guy,” I often get asked as to why companies are now making the move to automate their Accounts Payable (AP) Processes.

To answer that question, let’s take a walk and see accounts payable through my eyes.

In my role, I am fortunate to see hundreds of AP processes throughout the world. Some good, some bad and most are somewhere in between.  Read more

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