Xigns Order-to-Pay Service Aims to Save Time, Money

The company offers electronic order delivery, invoice processing and payment service, all on-demand, for business-to-business commerce.

Xigns on-demand Order-to-Pay service, called the XPSN (Xign Payment Services Network), offers an electronic order delivery, invoice processing and payment service for business-to-business commerce. The service has processed more than $50 billion in B2B transactions and enrolled about 18,000 shared suppliers in the network since rolling out in 2001.

"Order to Pay" is the term used to describe the settlement end of the Procure-to-Pay process, involving purchase order delivery, invoice processing and payment. With Enterprise Order to Pay, a buyer can deliver electronic purchase orders and capture electronic invoices from suppliers, and can route and approve them quickly so as to capture early payment discounts.

The electronic payment component includes the ability to exchange detailed remittance information, so suppliers can automatically apply payments to their accounts receivable systems. XPSNs shared supplier directory, engineered to support Order-to-Pay processing, can eliminate much of the one-to-one interaction that might be needed for vendor set-up and maintenance.

According to in-house research, Xign Corp. customers have eliminated 99 percent of invoice exceptions and achieved on-time payment percentages of 99.8 percent by employing on-demand Order-to-Pay automation. Xign customers have satisfaction ratings greater than 90 percent from participating suppliers.

Xign customers also began using Xigns discount management functionality, which can expand discount opportunities to suppliers that had not previously offered them.

As an on-demand service, Xign Order to Pay can be deployed quickly, and the firm claims maintenance requirements are minimal. The Xign service includes increased transaction visibility and delivery of detailed remittance information with every electronic payment, and dangles the opportunity to get paid faster.

Buyers use the Xign service to compress the Order-to-Pay cycle and to pick up early payment discounts. According to Xign surveys of Fortune 500 companies, the cost savings from early payment discounts can be from five to ten times greater than the operational cost savings.

The XPSN integrates with most ERP, sourcing, procurement and contract management applications. It integrates with financial services providers to offer secure movement of funds via bank-provided ACH (Automated Clearing House) processing and the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card network.

During 2004, Xign signed up new clients in the automotive and equipment rental, insurance, telecommunications, retail, CPG (consumer packaged goods), pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries.

These new Xign customers include MetLife, Southern Company, Purdue Pharma, Sony Music USA and The Williams Companies.

Jeff Pikulik, director of buy-side research at AberdeenGroup, says, "While the A/P cost savings associated with Order-to-Pay automation are well documented, what has become increasingly clear is that Order-to-Pay automation also enables organizations to fuel a second wave of procurement savings by closing the loop on the Procure-to-Pay process."

Research from The AberdeenGroup, sponsored by Xign, documents the strategic value of Order-to-Pay automation. The report shows that automating the Order-to-Pay activities of invoice reconciliation and payment reduces invoice processing costs by more than 60 percent and captures as much as 17.5 percent savings on a significant portion of corporate spend.

In its report, titled "Harnessing Payables to Capture a Second Wave of Procurement Savings," Aberdeen contends that approaching Procure-to-Pay automation in a closed loop fashion makes better use of supplier payables information for cost reduction and cash management activities, significantly increases supplier participation in automated invoice and payment programs, and improves alignment of purchasing with treasury and accounts payable.

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In addition, the Aberdeen report states that automating Order-to-Pay activities helps to establish and document business controls mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

"Aberdeens research supports our contention that organizations must view payables processes as strategic, playing a key role in corporate cost reduction initiatives," said George Fan, Xign vice president of marketing. "By using our on-demand Order-to-Pay service, Xign customers can significantly reduce savings leakage and realize new cost savings from early payment discounts."

The free Aberdeen report can be requested from the Xign Web site. In addition, a free Xign-Aberdeen Web seminar on this topic is scheduled for Feb. 16. Click here for more information about the Web seminar.

Xign markets its Order-to-Pay service through a direct sales force to Global 2000 corporations and indirectly through JPMorgan Chase as the JPMorgan Order-to-Pay Solution. Xigns solution is available as a fully hosted service.

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