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ERP Systems and AP Automation: 10 Ways They’re Better Together in Healthcare


Key takeaways:
  • Hospitals and health systems undertaking an enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade should consider incorporating accounts payable (AP) automation simultaneously.
  • Although Premier’s Remitra® AP solutions can be implemented any time, when combined with an ERP transformation, healthcare organizations can maximize their investment, add to their arsenal of financial tools for competing in today’s challenging economic times and increase supply chain resiliency over the long term.
  • Both group purchasing organization (GPO)- and ERP-agnostic and built for healthcare, Remitra AP automation solutions enable providers and suppliers to conduct business on a common platform that’s more labor efficient and cost effective and improves performance across the supply chain.

Some things are just better together. And while classic food pairings like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, and chips and salsa may come to mind, we have a modern technology pairing that might not be top of mind – enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and accounts payable (AP) automation.

Although quite powerful on their own, in healthcare, ERP systems and AP automation are much better and more powerful together – especially given the current macro environment where cutting costs and doing more with less have become imperatives.

One of the best tools a healthcare organization has to help drive savings and labor efficiency is AP automation technology. While AP automation can be deployed at any time, if an ERP system upgrade or transformation is planned, providers should consider implementing them together.

Many healthcare leaders we’ve talked to don’t realize this (it’s actually among the top five AP automation myths we regularly hear during our conversations). All too often, many leaders think any planned ERP system changes must be completed before starting other technology changes or upgrades – and this just isn’t so.

Implementing AP automation during an ERP system upgrade enables an organization to manage finances more effectively and improve business operations overall, not to mention addressing both at once can save a lot of time and effort and keep bad data and processes from migrating into the new ERP system.

With our Remitra® AP automation solutions, Premier is helping healthcare organizations make the most out of their ERP system investments, optimize supply chain operations and create long-term resiliency.

A unified technology platform can help drive decision-making, standardization, savings and price parity across a healthcare organization. The ERP system is foundational to overall decision support solutions that provide valuable insights into supply utilization and variation – enabling clinical standardization, improved outcomes and cost control.

ERP technologies that digitize and automate internal processes have been around for decades, but next-generation ERPs combined with robust data, analytics and Remitra AP automation capabilities can help healthcare organizations to streamline the entire procure-to-pay (P2P) process for a touchless and more efficient purchasing-to-invoicing strategy.

Here are 10 points about pairing Remitra AP automation with an ERP system upgrade to consider:

  1. Seamless integration: Remitra AP automation solutions are both ERP- and group purchasing organization (GPO)-agnostic, interacting universally with providers’ and suppliers’ ERP systems and standardizing supply chain data flow between both parties.
  2. Supply chain visibility: Incorporating Remitra AP automation can enhance an ERP system upgrade, providing near real-time reporting and improved accuracy that gives AP teams visibility into supply chain spend.
  3. Fewer errors and exceptions: Remitra solutions can also help reduce costly purchase order/invoice match exceptions by having common invoice line errors auto-corrected or auto-rejected before they hit the ERP system.
  4. Paperless processes, more productive staff: Paper invoices and checks can be eliminated, time and money spent on manual tasks can be cut, and AP staff can be freed up to focus on more strategic activities that bring revenue to the organization (e.g., sourcing new prompt-pay discounts, financial incentives and rebates) with Remitra AP automation.
  5. Working capital generator: With the cost of capital continuing to skyrocket in today’s inflationary environment, Remitra solutions can be a useful financial tool to help uncover and optimize working capital locked away in manual, paper-based accounting processes.
  6. Margin improvement accelerator: For healthcare organizations experiencing challenges with the recoupment of payments associated with the COVID-19 Accelerated and Advance Payments (CAAP) Program and declining Medicare reimbursements, dollars uncovered with Remitra AP automation can help ease the financial strain.
  7. Workforce maximizer: For healthcare organizations grappling with labor shortages and other workforce issues in their AP department, Remitra AP automation acts a labor extender by bolstering workforce capacity, operational performance and employee engagement.
  8. Greater safety and security: Digitizing the supply chain purchasing process with Remitra AP automation solutions can significantly reduce the risk of fraud and theft associated with paper-based invoicing and payment processes.
  9. Care delivery enablement: By delivering a true end-to-end solution, creating a seamless data flow and enabling touchless order processing between providers and suppliers, the Remitra platform is helping to ensure critical supplies are received on time and thus enabling better patient care.
  10. In the words of a Premier member: “The Remitra team made it really easy to collaborate and build a better, more streamlined invoicing process – all while we were switching ERP systems. It’s refreshing to have this type of partnership and collaboration with a software provider where your needs are heard and responded to with flexibility.” – Cynthia Rodas, Manager of Technology, Controls and Accounts Payable, Bon Secours Mercy Health

Don’t forget. Premier has the capabilities to be your end-to-end partner for the entire procure-to-pay (P2P) process. In addition to Remitra, that includes an ERP system made specifically for healthcare, along with other procurement technologies for the Continuum of Care (CoC).

For more on this topic:
  • Learn more about Remitra AP automation solutions and what they can do for your healthcare organization.
  • Discover how our healthcare-focused ERP solution can help achieve and sustain margin improvement throughout your enterprise.
  • Check out our white paper featuring how to leverage data in your ERP system for creating a more resilient supply chain.

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