Automating AP at Laidlaw Education Services

School bus operator taps Xign to transform paper-based operation into automated process, lower costs, capture discounts

School bus operator taps Xign to transform paper-based operation into automated process, lower costs, capture discounts

Pleasanton, CA — June 28, 2005 — School bus operator Laidlaw Education Services has selected Xign to automate its accounts payable (AP) operations, with the goal of transforming its paper-based operation into a completely automated process that will lower costs and expand early payment discount capture.

Headquartered in Naperville, Ill., Laidlaw is the largest contractor of student transportation services in North America. Laidlaw has a fleet of more than 40,000 school buses and a daily passenger load of more than 2 million schoolchildren.

The company is looking to the Xign solution to assist in consolidating its AP operations into a shared service environment and accelerating the reduction of invoice processing costs. In addition, Xign said its solution will allow Laidlaw to pursue early payment discounts on a large percentage of its corporate spend.

"Driving efficiencies through accounts payable automation is one of our top priorities as we move to automate and centralize administrative services," said John Miller, chief financial officer of Laidlaw. "The Xign shared supplier network is a tremendous asset that will help us achieve results quickly."

Xign provides an "on-demand" service for B2B commerce. The solution provider said that, unlike EDI and other fee-based networks, the Xign service delivers value to suppliers, including no transaction fees, real-time transaction visibility, delivery of detailed remittance information with every electronic payment, and the opportunity to get paid faster.

Buyers sign onto Xign to compress and streamline the settlement cycle, reduce processing costs by more than 50 percent, and capture substantial savings from early payment discounts, the solution provider said.

"Laidlaw is a classic example of how the transformation from paper to electronic payables unleashes tremendous value for the enterprise," said George Fan, Xign vice president of marketing. "The fact that this initiative is a top priority for Laidlaw is further evidence of the rising impact of payables automation within corporate finance."

Additional Articles of Interest

— For more information on the current state of the payment solutions market, see the article "The Analyst Corner: Payment" in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— P-cards continue to advance, and e-payables solutions are making headway, but the convergence of the financial and physical supply chains is still a work in progress. Read more in "Enabling the Financial Supply and Demand Chain," in the April/May 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.