Bruce Hanavan, Founder & President“When we started more than a decade ago, buying organizations were searching for ways to improve visibility and business practices with their suppliers,” says Bruce Hanavan, Founder and President at Direct Commerce. Accounts payable financial transactions, such as invoicing, discount management, and other transactions, were conducted using 100 percent paper-based procedures and “companies wanted easy-to-use tools that could pave the way to reducing costs, streamlining processes, and creating efficiency,” he adds. Existing products in the market failed to offer the tools needed, so Direct Commerce created automation solutions to fill the void.
The Silicon Valley-based company’s secure web-hosted suite of P2P (Procure-to-Pay) products automate the delivery of purchase orders, invoices, and payment information between large “buyer” organizations and their many suppliers, in turn eliminating paper-based transactions. Suppliers can submit eInvoices (electronic invoice), resolve disputes, and communicate effectively with the buying organization. For the buying organization, it eliminates paper, streamlines processes, and enables timely invoice approval via automated workflow.
In 2002, Eli Lilly, a $24 Billion global pharmaceutical company, was an AP automation early adopter. Lilly needed a solution that could handle huge invoice volumes while also offering intuitive easy-to-use features. The company needed to eliminate paper, reduce administrative errors, and decrease processing costs. After a methodical review process, Lilly chose Direct Commerce to automate its P2P processes. Since that time and in collaboration with Direct Commerce, this Fortune 500 Company continues to improve its automation solution, reaping millions of dollars in savings.
Business Automation Trends
Direct Commerce recently sponsored the PayStream Advisors’ 2014 Electronic Invoicing Survey Report. The report highlights that the new and improved innovation in eInvoicing– including free supplier portals, dynamic discounting and mobile transactional capabilities—have helped accelerate the decline of paper invoices.
For over a decade, we’ve been creating easy-to-use P2P automation solutions for businesses
The report also states that eInvoicing and automated invoice workflow are the top two account payable automation goals for 2014. In addition to these 2014 trends, some forward-thinking companies have moved on to automating their “back-end” AP processes, specifically automating their invoice dispute process. For example, prior to joining forces with Direct Commerce, The Home Depot AP Department had an entire basement dedicated to holding millions of paper invoice disputes. After retaining Direct Commerce and implementing its Dispute Resolution Portal, The Home Depot was able to free itself of endless piles of paper; the result was 5 million pieces of paper eliminated in the first year and more than 300 percent ROI.
Direct Commerce’s secured web-hosted suite of tools are used by many Fortune 1000 companies. “We deliver a suite of tools that are easy-to-use and can be configured to meet specific corporate business requirements. Often, upon the first evaluation, a business may think it should buy an off-the- shelf product to help keep costs low, but these solutions are not adequate for large corporations. Why? Because each corporation operates with unique business rules; what works for Eli Lilly may not work for The Home Depot. Each business has specialized needs and our solutions are designed to be configured to match these unique requirements,” says Hanavan.
Direct Commerce is on the mission to transform business by providing easy-to-use P2P automation tools to eliminate paper. Hanavan says, “We make sure that each and every one of our clients are successful; we put the people, the process, the technology in place, so that the deployment is successful, which in turn helps us grow.”