Part 10 of the Payments and Cash Flow Series.
Technical implementation is where the rubber meets the road for your project. This is also where any customizations or non-standard fields in your back-end system will need to be neatly mapped or otherwise handled when connecting your system to your provider’s. To keep this on track, you’ll want to ensure:
Clear communications between IT and your provider. The key here is full transparency, sharing information on who specializes in which area, who is available as a backup, and where to escalate if an issue goes beyond the scope of their role. This applies to both sides of the relationship for internal systems and the provider’s platform and capabilities.
Clear communications with your suppliers. Explain why you are undertaking this initiative, what it means for suppliers, and how their business will improve in the end. Layer in the full benefits of early payments on top of full visibility into invoice approval, payment timing, and details on payment execution. There’s a lot of value delivered to them.
Availability of functional leads to lend their expertise. Since the systems manage processes that govern the day-to-day life of your staff, the right answer about how a field is used or what data should be visible can be more functional than technical in nature. Ensure that the shared roster of contacts, roles, and responsibilities includes these processes in addition to the technical resources.
Getting your staff up to speed on how their processes and systems will change is just as important as nailing the technical aspects of integration. To keep them comfortable while getting them educated, remember to:
Keep training live. The ability to ask clarifying questions can make or break a training experience. Whenever practical and feasible, conduct training and role-play scenarios live – either in-person or via a web conference. This helps to introduce new tools and processes to your staff while giving them the opportunity to drill down and ask follow-ups.
Support self-study (and review) with supporting materials. Record all sessions; make available supporting materials (slides, screenshots, web meetings, etc.); and compile and revise a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document based on common questions and those that come up during live training.
Call to action
Make your voice heard. Communicate early and often with both internal stakeholders, suppliers, and your external provider. This is where your project lead can truly shine, keeping teams coordinated and ensuring that any issues that do arise are escalated, tracked, and resolved.
How we can help
To help you spread the word, you can review some sample project communications. These can help you craft letters explaining the project not only to suppliers but to internal employees as well. To request this, send us an email at SAP_improvefirstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also get our complimentary Insider’s Guide to Improving Payments and Cash Flow ebook. You’ll learn how to build a business case for improving payment processing and cash flow management, and determine core requirements for a successful program that will deliver measurable value to your organization.