Electronic Invoicing Data: A Valuable tool for Restaurants

There are numerous ways in which Electronic Invoicing reduces costs and improves efficiency in the restaurant industry. I could easily write about the increase in productivity as a result of AP workers not have to manually enter in data. Or how invoices are not being lost in the mail or getting transferred to the wrong department. Or I could even discuss how suppliers no longer have to nag restaurant managers over payment dates, since they can now access the information online any time they want to.  I could even discuss how dynamic discounting will lower the overall spend of the restaurant, but I’d like to take this discussion in a different direction.

The ability to make business decisions off of the information flowing into a restaurant via an electronic invoice is an important, yet often overlooked benefit of payables automation. When discussing electronic invoicing, you are not only getting Accounts Payable information, but also information on the products or services performed. In a paper world, information stays on the paper, making invoice delivery and payment processing slow, expensive, and increasingly unreliable. However, if a restaurant is using a solid E-invoicing platform, data can be reviewed by the restaurant and processed quickly and efficiently; as opposed to the alternative of having to sort through stacks off paper to acquire the same information.

For instance, the world’s largest Pizza chain is using the Electronic Invoicing platform IPAYABLES INVOICEWORKS to determine if they need to replace, or repair ovens at specific locations. They are doing this by collecting the data from the invoices they receive, with Ad Hoc Reporting and Archiving. They can easily sort through the data, on specific ovens, determining how many times they have been worked on and whether they should be repaired or replaced. With this automated information they can make extremely efficient decisions that helps to improve their profitability.

A well-known Mexican restaurant chain is using this same AP Automation system to make sure that similar tasks are priced accordingly in various geographies. They want to make sure that plumbing rates are not inflated in specific regions and parking lot cleanup is within acceptable parameters across the country. On-the-spot procurement of items from the catalog within a predetermined criteria is also managed with the information gathered through electronic invoicing.

Another example of how AP Automation information is utilized by restaurants is in management of supplier payments. When a restaurant needs a plumber to fix a backed-up sink, it’s usually an issue that needs to be resolved ASAP. With an electronic invoicing system in-place, that plumber will be paid on time and can review the payment, thus avoiding delays. This is crucial especially for restaurants that are often very dependent on customer satisfaction and reliability. They can ill-afford suppliers not delivering because of arguments regarding payment delays.

It is interesting to note that many governments in Europe and South America also utilize electronic invoicing in a similar manner. They mandate companies use electronic invoicing, thereby giving the government power to review exactly what payments and expenditures are being made and can tax them accordingly. The data extrapolated from electronic invoices is a valuable asset that foreign governments and forward-thinking organizations use to their advantage. It gives further validation to the old adage that “knowledge is power.”

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