The Texas Association of School Administrators says that the years ahead promise to be some of the most challenging for school district leaders in recent memory. The 82nd legislature faces a budget shortfall as high as $25-28 billion for the next biennium. Lawmakers have already telegraphed cuts to school funding. School districts throughout the state are already preparing their communities for potential losses in state funding and are considering budget-cutting options.
One cost cutting option every school district should consider is that of replacing repetitive administrative services that are labor intensive and add no value. Such functions can be found in the purchasing and accounts payable departments.
For example, today you send out thousands of purchase orders and receive numerous invoices from your vendors. So, purchasing and materials management personnel spend time and money printing those purchase orders, stuffing them into envelopes, then stamping and mailing them. For invoices, accounts payable clerks must manually enter these documents into your payable system. Backlogs and entry errors are commonplace. These are insufficient infrastructure costs that you no longer must endure. Your school district can avoid most, or all, of these costs by shifting these functions to a potentially paperless system where vendors perform any data entry that may be required.
The business world has changed. The Internet allows for everybody to talk to everybody electronically. BSWA has embraced this web environment and offers the ability to exchange business documents (e.g. purchase orders, invoices, vendor payments) via its Web EDI product.
Imagine the productivity gained by sending and receiving all of your business documents via EDI at no cost to the district. The real issue is not the technology or cost of implementation, but rather the strategy and culture change needed to implement this exciting new business premise that could work like this:
- School district ok’s its strategy of doing business electronically with its vendors.
- It sends out a letter to all its vendors announcing this intent.
- BSWA works with the school district (or applicable region headquarters) to develop the purchase order output from its computer system which we convert to an electronic format.
- BSWA works with the school district (or other) to develop invoice input screen requirements. Also, work out system edits, import, and vendor id opportunities.
- Vendors access the school district’s website and a new link that takes them to a web site (on BSWA server).
- This BSWA hosted web site presents the vendor with their purchase orders and an input screen for all invoices they wish to send to the school district.
- BSWA stores input data in a database. At the end of the day, all invoices are extracted and sent in an electronic file to the school district.
- School performs import routine to load all invoices for that day into its payables system.
- Trading partners sign on to WEB EDI web site daily to pick up and send/create documents.
- BSWA retrieves info and converts to EDI and sends back to HUB via VAN daily.
- HUB retrieves and uploads to appropriate system.
No set up charges for school district or vendor.
No special software needed for vendor.
No operations cost to school district.
Vendors get unlimited volume for $25 monthly fee. Expandable to include vendor payments at no additional cost.
Expandable to include vendor payments at no additional cost.