I’m excited to once again join my colleagues at Prime Care Technologies in exhibiting at OHCA. Stop by Booths 127 and 129 to discover our latest advances in post-acute technologies. Our experts will demonstrate how we integrate and accelerate data to optimize business intelligence, claims and managed care reimbursement, as well as purchasing automation from Procurement Partners. We have much to share to address your operational pain points, so let's connect over a break!
Recent posts by Rusty Zosel
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Procurement automation has opened the door to opportunities not only to reduce costs, but to improve efficiency and to ensure quality consistency. Think of it this way, as the one responsible for your company’s purchasing practices, you have a lot on your plate. It’s one thing to negotiate purchasing contracts with vendors for all your food, medical supplies, office supplies, housekeeping supplies, and other supplies purchases. It’s another to make sure that those of your organization who place the orders actually receive the benefits from all your hard work. This is where Order Guide Management (OGM) comes in. In short, OGM is the ability to control which products your users have access to according to the terms negotiated.
Because of automated OGM,
- You can ensure that purchasing complies with the contracts painstakingly negotiated, because the users only see what you want them to see when they are preparing their orders.
- Users can more readily find the products they need whether they order them on a recurring basis or only occasionally.
- Users will purchase products that are of the quality you expect and insist upon.
- Your company can also maximize product rebates that your vendors may offer.
OGM is not new, but Procurement Partners is taking this principle to the next level with an enhanced Order Guide Management tool which will be released in the fall of 2012. Our automated and configurable procurement portal is like no other in the industry.
The key benefits of our new OGM tool:
- It can be used for all vendors from food, to medical supplies to office supplies and more.
- Flexibility – a single guide can be used for multiple ordering locations, multiple vendors, and/or multiple job roles.
- Multiple guides can be assigned with priorities defining which order guide attributes take precedence.
- As the application administrator you have complete control. You don’t have to contact us to make changes.
To learn more, visit us during the AHCA/NCAL 63rd Annual Convention and Expo, booth #1319 or during the 2012 LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Exposition, Prime Care Technologies booth #530. We can introduce you to this outstanding tool and other features of our exceptional automated procurement application.
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I would like to introduce Rand Johnson as the author of this, our latest blog. With over 33 years in Long Term Care serving in such roles as administrator in facilities ranging in size from 35 beds to 388 beds, consultant, Senior Vice President of a prestigious LTC-focused reimbursement consulting firm, and Marketing Director for Prime Care Technologies, Rand contributes a broad as well as deep perspective to our team of bloggers. In today’s blog, Rand focuses on how automated invoice processing saves time and money. While he addresses LTC in particular, the content can readily apply to any business.
With a slow economy compounded by increasingly restricted reimbursements, cash flow management for LTC providers is a must. To accurately manage cash flow, executives must be able to accurately track spend to date in order to reliably forecast future spending. Automated invoice processing enables providers to manage cash flow to the vendors/suppliers and to accurately track their spend in real-time.
I’ve been in the LTC business for a good looooonnnnng time starting in the days when expense management was disjointed and departmentalized. Everything was by hand - the creation of purchase orders, the weekly calls to the vendors to place orders, the creation of endless forms and reports, the weekly spend-to-budget “fudge-it” reports (Really, how many actually reconciled these reports with the general ledger? Who had the time?), the handling of reams of POs attached to the invoices, the batching of same to be shipped to the corporate office, etc. Every link in the chain was under such a strain that a break was not an “if,” but a “when.” It was laborious at best and rife with risk for errors and unpleasant surprises. (I’m sure some administrators remember finding a batch or two of invoices which had yet to be processed in the former Business Office Manager’s desk drawers. That’s the stuff sleepless nights are made of.)
Those days are and should be long gone – a necessary evil in the evolution of business office workflow management. There is hope and it’s called automatic invoice processing. And it’s available today. The IT revolution has become more than data processing. In reality, it is a useable and useful tool especially in the form of procurement automation. Here are some of its features with their explicit and implicit benefits. Automated invoice processing:
- Automatically tracks spending for proper accounting, real-time reporting, accountability, and spend forecasting
- Affords complete control of invoice processing – you set the rules, such as approvals, contract compliance, workflow, etc.
- Delivers time and money savings - because the process is fully automated, it requires little to no manual steps in the workflow
- Reduced processing errors – the less humans are involved, the fewer the errors
- Automated processing of all types of invoices
Automated invoice processing also facilitates and reports on reconciliation of invoices to purchase orders and contract terms. It also aids in the tracking of back-ordered items and only paying for what you receive.
As I mentioned earlier, the automated payment process is not dependent on human intervention with its inherent distractions and shifting priorities which are too often moving targets. Invoice processing is automatic, reliable, and - through its reporting features - actionable as needed.
You should really look into and consider automated invoice processing to save time and money, to reduce errors, and to get some much-needed restful sleep. You owe it to yourself.
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B2B e-Commerce or e-Procurement is here to stay. Vendors and buyers alike who leverage the power of e-Procurement receive numerous benefits including, among others:
- The elimination of manual processing and B2B processing cycles
- Elimination of Dual-Data Entry (DDE)
- Improved data quality and movement, data mining, and real-time reporting
- Improved demand and supply forecasting
- Management of complex logistics operations
- Improved cash flow
- Better management of contracts
- Improved communications between business partners
Acknowledging that B2B e-Procurement is the wave of today’s procurement practices, I’d like to revisit a topic mentioned in an earlier blog, the Patronizing Partnership, the best way to leverage B2B e-Procurement. The ideal relationship between vendor and buyer is a partnership that is mutually beneficial. In this kind of a relationship, both parties work to ensure that each financially benefits; the vendor makes money and the buyer saves money. In a Patronizing Partnership, buyers and vendors tie their procurement goals together based on economic outcome, coordination improvement, and process collaboration. These goals have energized the B2B eProcurement wave.
A key component of B2B eProcurement is information sharing in which both buyers and vendors alike can readily share information about the entire transaction process from the time the PO is created on line, the order is approved, placed, received, and acknowledged to the time when the item is shipped, received, invoiced, entered into the GL, and paid. During this process, feedback about product quality, contract consistency, and delivery, among others go both ways. In the book, The One-Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard writes that feedback is the breakfast of champions. By sharing information, vendors improve customer service and both parties improve the quality of their relationship and cooperation. Both are winners. Information sharing also champions a high level of trust and performance expectations, because it makes the entire procurement process transparent.
Leveraging the power of information sharing through B2B e-Commerce, vendors and buyers are able effectively to create and strengthen a Patronizing Partnership which is financially mutually beneficial.
How has B2B e-Commerce benefitted your company?
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Procurement specialists have long been recognized as strategically key players in business, but their roles, like most others in the company, are changing with the advance of technology.
Where once procurement services were seen solely in terms of their role in controlling costs, managing inventory, and coordinating vendor services, a recent survey of financial officers has shown that procurement experts are in a position now to contribute to a company on many new fronts.
“Procurement has traditionally been recognized and rewarded solely on the basis of its cost-cutting ability. But through the productive use of automated systems, the function has been able to move beyond simply meeting savings targets to help address larger, more-complex issues such as managing cash and capital, managing risks to business performance, and expanding into new markets or business lines.” said Sam Knox, senior vice president and Director of Research at CFO Publishing, in a statement announcing the release of the latest survey.
The study attributes this new role for procurement to developing technology and envisions even greater roles for procurement experts if they continue developing their supplier networks, bring additional automation to their processes, and increase efficiencies.
Procurement experts have long served business interests in some very essential ways. Their impact on business can be even more significant.
Have you studied your procurement practices lately? Could your procurement operations do more for your business? If you’d like to find out more, Contact Us.