ECM from ePlus

Provider wraps software, process outsourcing and services into enterprise cost management solution

Herndon, VA  May 30, 2002  ePlus this week rolled out its ePlus Enterprise Cost Management (eECM) solution, which combines software, business process outsourcing and services with the goals of automating and streamlining the lifecycle of indirect purchases.

A recent study conducted by technology consultancy Aberdeen Group found that enterprise costs represent one of the largest opportunities for savings and improvement. Indirect operating costs include those associated with the purchase, management and financing of non-production goods and services, and according to Aberdeen, these costs represent a large and poorly controlled expense at most enterprises.

ePlus said its eECM offering addresses this problem, minimizing financial and operational costs while providing a high degree of integrated business automation and outsourced services to yield measurable cost savings. eECM integrates with existing customer IT infrastructures, internal business processes and preferred suppliers, according to the solution provider.

Tim Minahan, senior vice president at Aberdeen, noted that ePlus offers a subscription based license that lets customers amortize payments for the ECM solution over a multiyear contract. "This flexible business model also better positions companies to take a measured approach to ECM, using savings from one area of ECM  such as e-procurement  to fuel investments in other areas, such as asset management," Minahan said.

eECM includes business process outsourcing, with ePlus providing such services as payables processing, supplier management, contract compliance, invoice reconciliation and document imaging. The solution further includes Procure+, ePlus' e-procurement software for automating the procure-to-pay process, as well as Manage+, the providers asset management software, which streamlines tracking of corporate assets and provides business intelligence for compliance, reporting, budgeting and planning.

ePlus also offers supplier enablement through its Content+ catalog and content management software, strategic sourcing services and financial services supporting a range of leasing and financing options for a variety of fixed assets.

Amy Pullman, manager of information technology acquisition at ePlus customer Michael Baker Corp., reported that the eECM solution shortened the company's purchasing cycle by 50 percent and improved contract compliance by nearly 60 percent, along with producing savings in procurement costs.