Helping customers implement software is our business. When we implement software ourselves, you’d think we would do it pretty well. At the very least, you might say we are slightly paranoid about not following our own methodology. So, when we implemented YayPay, accounts receivable management software, we wanted to make sure the implementation was successful. To do that, one of the first things we did was make a list of outcomes we wanted to accomplish. It may sound cliche and overly simplified, but a critical ingredient of any successful software project is clarity on why you bought the software in the first place.
It is easy to lose sight of that.
We were very clear about what we wanted to accomplish when we rolled out YayPay:
- Reduce days sales outstanding (DSO).
- Integrate/automate with Netsuite.
- Free up time for strategic finance work.
- Improve the customer experience.
The first three outcomes on this list are obvious; or at least they are the typical outcomes you might expect following a rollout of accounts receivable management software. The last one (to improve the customer experience) might not seem so obvious, but it was a major reasons we signed up for YayPay.
I explain below.
Note: You can read more about our YayPay experience in The Rise of series by YayPay.
Outcome: Reduce DSO by 10-15%
As described in the YayPay story about our implementation, cash flow is the life blood of any business. The more efficiently a business can collect cash, the healthier the business. The corollary to this rule is the longer it takes to collect cash, the worse off a company is. All businesses want to minimize the time between when a sale is made and cash is collected, which is measured by the metric, days sales outstanding (DSO).
In the short time we’ve been using YayPay, we have reduced our DSO by 10-15%.
Improving DSO is our success outcome, which means that in the end, Yaypay would be a success if we started collecting cash in a shorter amount of time. In other words, our interest was not in using YayPay. It was to improve accounts receivables and cashflow as measured by DSO. If we had implemented YayPay and DSO did not improve, it would not have made any difference if we launched successfully or had a smooth migration or set up the integration with Netsuite or even if we did save a lot of time following up on accounts receivables. Those are product outcomes. We wouldn't renew on positive product outcomes.
We renew on success outcomes.
Tip: When you implement software, start with your success outcomes. Ask your vendor to help you achieve that success outcome. In this case, DSO.
Listen: To learn more about the difference between product outcomes and success outcomes, listen to my interview with Paul Henderson, author of The Outcome Generation, on Helping Sells Radio podcast.
YayPay helps us get more out of NetSuite
If the ultimate measure of success of a software rollout is achieving a success outcome, another is getting more use out of an existing software product. For us, this means that YayPay helps us get more out of our investment in Netsuite, which supports our core finance, accounting, and resource planning needs. We could not run our business without Netsuite (or something similar), but it cannot do everything, and there are other tools that do certain functions better than Netsuite. The more we can add these specialized tools onto Netsuite, the more value we get out of it. For example, when invoices and reminders are sent and payments are received, these transactions flow between YayPay and Netsuite smoothly, making it even more likely we will stick with each for the long term.
YayPay integrates well with Netsuite.
Without this tight integration, our team would have to work in two tools separately and manually. Making each tool less valuable.
Both tools working together, helps us maximize the value of each tool.
Automating repeatable processes frees up time
When our finance team does not have to follow up with customers, they can spend time on other high value activities like closing the books or optimizing cash balances or creating budgets and forecasts for our business units. Knowing that YayPay deals with the follow up and brings our DSO to an optimized state, frees up our finance team to support our business at a strategic level.
That is priceless, and does not require further discussion.
Improving the customer experience
One generally does not think of implementing an accounts receivable automation system as a means to improve the customer experience. In fact, few companies would even link an accounting process with a customer. Yet every time a customer receives an invoice or a reminder to pay an invoice or a confirmation of payment receipt, they are having an experience with a brand.
If the invoices look bad or reminders are sent in errors or payments are not applied correctly, customers have bad experiences, and those bad experiences reflect badly on the brand.
What is the value of having a smooth, well-designed, efficient invoicing and accounts receivable reminder and payment system that make is easy on customers?
YayPay helps us create positive experiences for our customers, even during the invoicing process.
Listen: Coincidently, I had a conversation with Sue Duris, customer experience expert, on the very nature of bad invoicing and it's impact on the customer experience. Listen to that on Helping Sells Radio.
Minimize things falling through the cracks
Though we did have specific outcomes in mind, our CEO Rob Castaneda describes the reason we implemented YayPay this way, “The consistency of how the business is running, knowing nothing is falling through the cracks...as a CEO that’s priceless.”
If you'd like to read more about our YayPay story, please visit the YayPay blog. They have a series of customer stories called The Rise of Revenue Heros in which they showcase the achievements of their customers. We are honored to have been the first story in the series.