We just completed an extended evaluation process with a new customer. They started with a long list of AP Automation providers, and over the course of several months winnowed the list down to just a few, including AP Express.
That’s when the real evaluation began. As with any evaluation, the customer had the long list of requirements that most every AP automation provider support. Beyond that, they had a shorter list of requirements that were particular to their specific needs, followed by an even shorter “wish list” of nice-to-haves. There was nothing unexpected in any of the three lists…nothing that AP Express did not deliver. Apparently the other providers came up short in one list or another, because the customer selected AP Express.
We were very pleased with the outcome, but not yet celebrating. We had successfully navigated the evaluation process and were the selected vendor, but we still needed to finalize a contract and successfully complete the implementation. That’s when we celebrate!
The AP manager leading the evaluation process assured us that the hard work was done. She just needed to send the contract to procurement for review, and send a requisition to her CFO for a “rubber stamp” approval.
Really? Is that all it takes to secure approval on a critical digital transformation initiative that impacts the entire supply chain in a billion dollar company?
In our experience, it takes a lot more than that. Senior leadership is going to expect a well-documented and comprehensive business case that summarizes the rationale for an AP automation solution, the expected benefits, and a strong financial justification that goes beyond a perfunctory business requisition. We’ve seen this movie time and time again. It’s our version of “Groundhog Day.” Build that business case during the process, or find yourself reliving the evaluation over and over again. And don’t be afraid to enlist our help. We’ve done this for many customers and know better than anyone what it takes to get senior leadership aligned and supportive of an AP automation initiative.