How to Manage Change During a JDE AP Automation Project

A guide for accounts payable teams in the process of planning JDE AP Automation in 2020

Guest Post from Canon Information & Imaging Solutions

Read time: 2 min.

Whatever priorities are on your list this year, chances are automation figures prominently into those plans.

Eliminating paper processes and manual tasks ranks among the top priorities of accounts payable departments surveyed by Ardent Partners for its 2019 State of ePayables report.  Implementing an automated accounts payable solution is a top priority of 40 percent of the departments surveyed.

There is no question that automating the receipt, processing and payment of invoices can help organizations reduce costs, eliminate errors, accelerate cycle times, enhance visibility and strengthen supplier relationships.

In fact, 49 percent of accounts payable departments believe that eliminating manual tasks is a big part of taking the function to the next level, Ardent Partners’ research found.

However managing the change involved in AP automation, and the move away from manual process, can be difficult. Poor change management results in:

  • A weak return on investment
  • Missed opportunities for efficiencies and engagement
  • Fragmented systems and data silos
  • Low morale and higher staff turnover
  • Stagnation or obsolescence

 

Successful change management requires key considerations at each step of a JDE AP Automation Project

  1. Strategy

    During the development of an automation strategy, it’s important to identify pain points as well as top priorities for improvement.  Determine who will lead the automation effort (e.g., the accounting department or IT), how to tap the knowledge of process experts (internally or externally), and how the automation will affect current JD Edwards process and address “process unknowns.”

  2. Implementation

    Before implementing an automated solution, it’s good to decide on how far you will go in optimizing their processes (e.g., which processes must be reengineered before implementation and which ones can be adapted over time), what technologies you will use and how the automated solution will be tested against the AP department’s business rules.  You should also have a plan for integrating the solution with JDE.  Another aspect to consider is how the automated AP solution will impact security and compliance, and whether data governance rules must be adjusted.

  3. Post-Implementation

    Once the AP automation solution is deployed, carefully consider how staff will be trained, how employee communications will be managed, the order in which processes will be automated (tip: look for ‘easy wins’), how process changes will be handled, and how progress will be measured and reported.  Plan for what will be said to impacted staff and how staff resources will be realigned.

Following these steps for managing change during an AP automation system implementation will help ensure the maximum ROI as well user adoption and overall process improvement.

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