Boosting Supply Chain Efficiencies with eDocuments in Utilities


As utility services grow, so does the supply chain network and the complexities of accounts payable. Invoicing and payment for services provided by a mostly mobile workforce has become time-consuming, especially with traditional paper processing.

The first step to faster invoicing and payments is to eliminate paper. A paperless workflow means less errors, pre-validation of information, quick delivery of invoices for review and approval, faster payments, and automatic integration with back-end systems.

In today’s economy, some of the best-in-class companies aren’t just digitizing their invoices, they’re digitizing other documents and automating their AP workflows to save costs, improve procure-to-pay processes, and ensure transactional information complies with required standards and agreed upon terms.

Switching from Paper to Electronic

Paper invoice processing is slow. It invites errors and delays when manually entering data into your system. Inefficient workflows lead to lost discount opportunities, late payments, and even damaged company reputation.

The costs associated with managing those paper invoices add up. According to Ardent Partners[1], in 2014, the average cost to manually process a single invoice was $14.21. Automatic invoice processing with an e-payables platform can cut invoice costs by 70 percent.

Electronic invoices promote paperless transactions, eliminating the risk of lost paperwork or delays in processing. Machine-to-machine processing eliminates unnecessary steps, creating a more efficient, faster, and fully auditable system. Faster access to information, quicker invoice dispute resolution, and automated validation of invoice information result in quicker approvals for payment and increased savings through early pay discounts.

Easier Invoice Management

As utility companies grow, paper-based invoicing can become unmanageable. A digital procure-to-pay system eliminates paper and manual invoicing, substantially reducing the time needed to issue an invoice with electronic data transfers and approvals. This allows for a reduction in average days to payment, fewer lost invoices, and a decrease in suppliers calling for invoice status.

Contractual Compliance and Greater Visibility

Price compliance validation can be very time-consuming and complex. The more contracts and suppliers you have, the more unique contractual terms and exceptions you have to track. If you fail to account for those exceptions, it creates additional delays for validation, not to mention problems with under- and over-billing.

Electronic AP solutions allow companies to specify individual contract terms and exceptions. The system can distinguish differences between vendors, identify matching failures, and flag potential issues before they become problems. Exceptions can be dealt with automatically to streamline business processes.

Companies also have better visibility into more accurate contract data. It becomes much easier to identify profit and loss and isolate contracts that should be renegotiated.

Why Oildex?

For over 15 years, Oildex has offered premier cloud-based accounting software with workflow automation and electronic document exchange. Powered by an extensive community of suppliers, owners, and operators, Oildex’s software solutions enable customers to improve operational efficiency, have better visibility into cash management, and create more profitable business relations.

With the addition of ADP’s OpenInvoice last year, Oildex provides an unparalleled product portfolio for industries with complex supply chains. The company now has more than 1,100 customers and a network of more than 50,000 suppliers with key operation centers in the United States and Canada.

Investing in automated business processing will ultimately result in substantial savings that will become crucial when profits are down. Oildex clients report that automated processing and workflow not only saves money but shortens transaction times to improve cash flow and operating efficiency.

Click here for more information about how you can partner with Oildex to accomplish your company’s long term goals.

[1] Ardent Partners, “ePayables 2014: The Quest – Top Priorities”,