“Direct Commerce made the supplier on-boarding process easy,” explained Donald Sands, Director of Accounts Payable at Memorial Hermann. “Within two months they had hundreds of suppliers trained and using the portal. Direct Commerce’s friendly and responsive approach to training and support—in addition to the very intuitive nature of the Portal itself—helped our suppliers get comfortable quickly. In addition, Direct Commerce does not charge suppliers to use the portal so suppliers were highly motivated to enroll and get started.”
In the end, not only was Memorial Hermann able to increases its daily cash on hand but also pay its suppliers in a timely manner.
Solution success: essential ease of use
Memorial Hermann has a strict policy of only making payments against accurate, validated invoices. The Direct Commerce supplier portal ensured financial integrity of the four-way match process.
Direct Commerce was able to seamlessly integrate data feeds with Memorial Hermann’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and display MHH purchase orders on the portal. In one step, these purchase orders could be “flipped” into an invoice by the supplier. The invoice was accurate because it was identical to the purchase order and—through electronic submission—the invoice was validated quickly and was less expensive to process.
Logging into the portal and tracking invoice status and payment information is now easy. With Quick Search capabilities and reports organized by date, looking up information is fast. The supplier self-service portal also includes an innovative dialog feature through which suppliers send messages to Memorial Hermann and get timely responses to their questions. All data is cross-referenced and linked to the appropriate invoice and purchase orders for easier information access. For each purchase order and invoice, a document “history” section is logged in order to identify all data exchanges between MHH and the supplier.
“The portal is intuitive and easy-to-use for suppliers,” said Daron Whisman, CPSM, Director of Financial Services for Memorial Hermann Healthcare. “And because there are no fees to the supplier, they’re eager to use it. Within months of going live with Direct Commerce, suppliers were trained and operating in the self- service business model reducing end-to-end costs dramatically.”
Memorial Hermann experiences reduced invoice approval cycle times and lower processing costs because of its supplier self-service portal. It is also able to manage cash flow more proactively. The P2P automation project provided a sustainable competitive advantage that maximized working capital, reduced processing costs, increased productivity and enhanced customer service.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” Whisman noted. “The P2P automation project was a collaborative win for our suppliers, our departments and Memorial Hermann Healthcare.”