2205, 2019

The Amazon Effect Pushes Wholesale Distributors into New Territory

By |May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Wholesale distribution e-commerce sites that offer buyers a seamless user experience are rapidly gaining market share. You need a plan to compete – or risk lower margins. Or even worse. You’re facing increased competition from e-commerce sites that make it easy for business customers to buy anything that they need online. In particular, Amazon Business is rapidly gaining market share. The marketplace now has hundreds of thousands of sellers and is set to hit $10 billion in sales – up from $1 billion just three years ago. Some analysts believe that Amazon’s business sales will soon surpass its consumer sales. As Amazon expands into more markets, you may feel the crunch. In 2016, revenue in the wholesale industry segment fell by 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, a leading distributor saw its Q2 2017 earnings per share drop more than 40 percent from a year earlier, which it attributed to price reductions and online sales pressures. Analysts predict that through 2022, “The business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce market will continue to dampen industry revenue by enabling suppliers and buyers to engage in wholesaler bypass.” “30% of B2B buyers finished their purchases on distributor websites in 2015. In 2017, this number dropped to just 16%. 40% Read More

1505, 2019

Changing Buyer Expectations Make the Customer Experience Your #1 Differentiator

By |May 15th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

In wholesale distribution, offering customers a seamless digital experience – both pre- and post-sale – can give you a competitive edge. For years, consumers have enjoyed the convenience of online shopping. They now expect the same experience when they make business purchases. Providing your customers with a seamless digital experience is more important than ever – especially as millennials take the lead on purchasing wholesale goods. According to Pew Research Center, this generation now makes up the largest percentage of the workforce. Meanwhile, 73% of millennials are involved with corporate buying decisions. But it’s not just millennials. All buyer expectations are changing. Today’s B2B customers are used to doing everything online – from banking to managing a business. Their reliance on technology impacts how they purchase wholesale goods. "By 2020, B2B buyers will make more than half of their purchases online." Digital Commerce 360 For example, more buyers are using self-service portals to make purchases and monitor their accounts. In fact, 86 percent of B2B buyers prefer to use self-service tools for re-ordering, versus ordering through a rep. Meanwhile, Gartner predicted that 85 percent of all customer interactions with an enterprise will be done without speaking to a human by Read More

205, 2019

Waiting For Your Money is Costing You Money. Can You Afford It?

By |May 2nd, 2019|Categories: Blog|

We used to spend our lives waiting. Needed to go somewhere? You waited for a taxi or bus. Needed cash? Waited in line at the bank. Needed to buy something? Waited in line at a shop. Went out for dinner? Waited for a table. Wanted to watch a movie? Waited in line at the ticket booth, then at the concession stand, then waited for the movie to start. Now, with the likes of Uber, Venmo, Amazon, Grubhub, and Netflix, we never have to wait for anything. Yet, if you work in the receivables department of a wholesale distributor, waiting isn’t only the norm, it’s the name of the game. With your working capital tied up in receivables and inventory, your customers’ expectations changing, and the cost of capital going up, how long can you really afford to wait? Understanding Your DSO What is your Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)? Is it going up or down? How much higher is it than your standard payment terms? 10 days? 20? 30?! If you don’t immediately know the answer to these questions, there’s an issue. DSO - the average number of days that it takes your company to collect payment after a sale has Read More

2404, 2019

The Digital Age of Accounts Receivable is Dawning. Are You Ready?

By |April 24th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

We’ve all heard the story of Netflix and Blockbuster. The David and Goliath tale of how one small, agile, forward-thinking business took down a behemoth. How in only a few short years, Blockbuster went from being a multi-billion dollar business to filing for bankruptcy. Since then, countless business books, blogs and even university courses have been dedicated to dissecting the story. How could Netflix, a flailing business itself back in 2000, crush Blockbuster so completely and so swiftly? Nowadays, we laugh when reading about how Blockbuster turned down an offer to buy Netflix for a mere $50 million in 2000 - “How could they have been so stupid?” And we roll our eyes when looking back on Blockbuster’s online DVD rentals launch – “The future was streaming, not DVDs!” But hindsight is 20/20. If Blockbuster knew then what they know now, what would they have done differently? AR’s Digital Transformation Today's AR is going through a digital transformation, just like video rentals did almost 20 years ago. AR automation platforms are completely changing the way accounts receivable operates, improving things for both collections teams and the end-customer. And just like with Blockbuster and Netflix, there are companies leaning into this Read More

1704, 2019

Customers Choose the Path of Least Resistance. Is That You?

By |April 17th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Today’s customers covet convenience. From having groceries delivered to their door, dry cleaning picked up and delivered to their homes, and even the handling of their finances, the majority of everyday needs are solved without lifting a finger. Online bill pay has become so common that most people don’t have a current checkbook. Credit cards are being replaced by cell phones. And online retailers are outpacing brick and mortar retail establishments due to the ease and convenience of customers not having to leave their home. When given the option, customers will choose the path of least resistance to meet their needs. So why - in this world of digital convergence, technological advancements, and streamline automation - has the business-to-business space remained so reluctant to change? The Disconnect I’ve worked in B2B for years, and what has become overwhelmingly clear is that there is a massive disconnect between what the customer wants and what most suppliers are willing to provide. When I discuss adopting new payment and invoicing technologies with finance leaders, I hear feedback such as “our customers don’t even have computers where they work”, “our customers require paper remittances”, and yes even “our customers require us to upload our Read More

1104, 2019

Turn your AR Process into a Competitive Advantage

By |April 11th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Let’s face it, few company leaders wake up in the morning and say “Today, we are going to be known for our best-in-class back-end AR process”. It’s not that accounts receivable isn’t important. We all know that capital on hand is working capital, and the sooner you get your hands-on working capital, the sooner it can, well, work for you. The problem is that many companies don’t know there is a best-in-class AR process. Their AR process works, after all. Their teams are busy. They’re dialing, emailing, dialing, emailing, and so on. They are doing the job the best they can, the only way they know how. Isn’t everybody? No, not anymore. Companies like yours are realizing that, not only is there a better way to manage accounts receivable, but it can actually give you a competitive edge. The Cost of Doing Business? Today’s standard AR process is riddled with pain points: Invoices get lost and are constantly being resent. Disputes are handled poorly. Checks with limited information result in misapplied payments and even further frustration. Credit cards not accepted for fear of cost and risk, or credit card information is handled in a non-compliant manner which set the company Read More

2703, 2019

Why your Growing Business Should Consider Automating its Accounts Receivable

By |March 27th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Businesses need to grow to stay alive. But with limited resources and only so many hours in the day, how can you attract, earn, and serve the customers needed to successfully scale your business? More customers mean more collections, more invoices, more disputes, more delinquent accounts, more cash application, more time, more resources, more, more, more. As your business grows, so do your accounts receivables. So how do you keep up? There are 2 options: A. Add more resources B. Make your current resources more effective Option A, although somewhat effective in the short-term, will limit your ability to grow in the long-term. Option B on the other-hand - doing more with what you have - will allow you to scale exponentially. In terms of accounts receivable, if Option A is hiring more people, what does Option B look like? The answer: Automation. By automating the time-consuming, manual AR tasks, you free up time that can then be used to serve the needs of your company. Growing businesses should look to invest in an AR automation solution for these 3 primary reasons: 1. Work Smarter Not Harder As your AR grows, the manual tasks around it begin to add up. Read More

2003, 2019

IDC Names VersaPay a Leader in Inaugural AR MarketScape

By |March 20th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Accounts Receivable is changing. What was standard practice 20 years ago, is obsolete today. New technologies are transforming every aspect of the invoice-to-cash cycle, from how we send invoices and accept payments, to how our customers expect to engage with us. Finance organizations across all industries need to evolve to stay competitive. IDC recognizes this change and in March 2019 released the inaugural MarketScape for Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Accounts Receivable Applications. The MarketScape is an in-depth analysis of the AR software companies that have taken great strides to address the challenges faced by today’s AR professionals. IDC has profiled and assessed the capabilities of these software companies and has named VersaPay as a leader - the highest possible designation.     The MarketScape report evaluated 8 accounts receivable software vendors across a number of different criteria, including how they addressed these top AR challenges: Data management Process management Time management Customer management Payment management Cash management The report noted that “AR is incredibly nuanced and extremely challenging” and provided the following advice for technology buyers: “Accounting applications are evolving rapidly as vendors are investing research and development dollars into bolstering, augmenting, and, in some cases, redesigning their AR applications. Read More

1503, 2019

3 Ways to Turn Credit Card Acceptance into a Strategic Weapon in CRE

By |March 15th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

Each week, I speak to several accounting, collections and lease administration professionals in the property management and commercial real estate space. In all of those conversations, there is one question that I will always be sure to ask: Do you accept credit card? The answer usually falls on the spectrum of a ‘yes, but…’ to a resounding ‘no’. Many landlords and property managers are weary of accepting credit card for one primary reason: It’s too expensive. Why pay transaction fees on credit cards when tenants pay via check or ACH? Both, in theory, low-cost methods to accept payment. I urge you to think differently. How much does it really cost you to process a check? Lockbox fees, bounced checks, chasing short payments, “checks in the mail” delays and labor intensive cash application are just the start. Many tenants want to pay with credit cards and by not accepting them, you may be providing a poor tenant experience. I’d hate to think what “Sorry, we don’t take credit card” will cost you in the long run. So how do you reconcile the desire to be cost effective with the need to provide tenants with a great payment experience? Think strategically. Stop Read More

1303, 2019

The Winning Method for Pitching Your IT Projects in 2019

By |March 13th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

I’ve been through more budget planning cycles than I’d like to admit, and regardless of the company, the process is essentially the same. Teams scramble to generate ideas and put together decks outlining why their project should be bumped to the top of the priority list for the upcoming fiscal year, and paint a picture of doom for the poor executive team if they forgo the proposed project. It’s a painful process for all involved, and the jury is still out on how “scientific” the results are when it comes to choosing the right priorities. With those truths in mind, today I’m going to help you power-up your planning process. Maximizing your chances of success when it comes to pitching your project and actually helping your leadership team prioritize IT projects for the new year. Pitching to Win When it comes to pitching IT projects, I like Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez’s hierarchy of purpose because it forces a discipline around viewing and pitching projects through an organizational lens, as opposed to through a departmental lens (which is often where we start). Part 1 - Laying Strong Foundations The first two elements of this hierarchy will force you to step back and widen Read More

703, 2019

7 Interesting AR Facts and Figures

By |March 7th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

In celebration of the first annual National Accounts Receivable Appreciation Day, we wanted to shine a light on you, the AR professional, and the huge task you are responsible for delivering each and every day. 1. 49% of B2B invoices in America are overdue Nearly half of all B2B invoices in America are overdue and almost all of B2B businesses in America (93%) have reported receiving late payments. 2. 66 days is the average DSO 50% of global payments are made between 31 and 90 days with 66 days being the average DSO globally. That number is much higher when you look at industries with long manufacturing processes. The Electronics, Machinery and Construction sectors all have average DSOs of above 85 days. 3. 26% of payment delays caused by incorrect information on invoices Incorrect information on invoices is the reason for ¼ of payment delays in America and 21% of delays are caused by invoices being sent to the wrong person. 4. 400 billion invoices are produced each year It’s estimated that 400 billion paper and electronic invoices are produced around the world every year. When you include supporting documents and other “invoice-like” documents, that number grows by 5 to Read More

403, 2019

Does Your Finance Team Need a Digital Transformation? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

By |March 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog|

New technologies are transforming every aspect of business. From mobile to cloud, AI, IoT, RPA, blockchain and more, organizations who have undergone a digital transformation are experiencing more streamlined processes, unprecedented efficiencies, deeper insights and happier customers. As finance is traditionally considered a back-office function, it is often overlooked for cutting-edge digital projects. It’s up to the CFO to champion for change. But how can you, as that finance leader, be sure of the need? Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself to discover if your finance organization needs a digital transformation: 1. Am I armed for leadership table discussions? Of all the players who sit at the leadership table, only the CFO or the senior finance executive can speak to the company’s ability to handle the ongoing cost of doing business. In order to provide actionable insight, you need systems in place that arm you with accurate, real-time data. You require complete visibility over the organization’s working capital and receivables, including: days sales outstanding, accounts receivable risks, the cost of the collections process, customers at risk, and much more. Do your current finance systems provide you with the clear and concise reports you need to be fully prepared? Read More

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