GXS Adds e-Settlement Capability

Payment service can cut costs of manual PO processing, provider says

Gaithersburg, MD  October 31, 2002  e-Business connectivity specialist Global eXchange Services (GXS) this week rolled out new payment and expense management capabilities through its Electronic Commerce Service Center.

GXS, which split off from GE last month, said it has integrated the ePcard XML electronic settlement tool developed by GE Capital Financial, the corporate card unit of GE Consumer Finance, with the capabilities of its own EC Service Center.

ePcard XML is an electronic settlement tool that digitizes the purchase order handling process. The tool allows suppliers to accept and process orders, while automatically reconciling transaction costs.

The service center allows buyers and suppliers to interface with the ePcard XML service in a variety of data formats, including XML, electronic data interchange (EDI), proprietary formats or facsimile. GXS asserted that dollar- and date-range limits on the transaction reduce potential payment mistakes or abuse.

The new service can help purchasing professionals simplify the purchasing process, reduce costs and speed payment by automating the settlements process, GXS said.

GE Transportation Systems, a supplier to the railroad, transit and mining industries, is the first customer to use the combined services, automating processes associated with the 100,000 invoices it processes annually. In just nine months using ePcard XML, the business has seen the amount of work associated with incorrect invoice reconciliation drop by 75 percent and projects annual savings of $900,000, according to GXS.

"ePcard forces us to validate prices with suppliers," said Ken Marshall, the business leader of indirect sourcing for GE Transportation Systems. "It locks the pricing with the supplier. If we agree on a dollar amount, that's all the supplier can charge when they get the account number."

The potential benefits for suppliers include faster payment.

The cost of the ePcard XML service for users of GXS's Electronic Commerce Service Center will be $2.25 to $3.50 per transaction, in addition to a minimum monthly fee of $5,000 for outsourcing services through the service center. By contrast, various industry estimates have put the cost of manual processes at somewhere between $75 and $200.