July 4th, 2014

Inaccurate Vendor Data Impacts Multiple Departments and Can Jeopardize Critical Corporate Initiatives


Vendor File Cleansing Impacts Multiple Enterprise DepartmentsWithout current, accurate vendor data, a long list of corporate initiatives can be rendered unmanageable or even impossible to execute. From procure-to-pay, supplier diversity and tax compliance to strategic sourcing and social responsibility, supplier data touches multiple processes and can have a dramatic impact on priorities throughout an organization.

In my professional career, first as Director of Global Shared Services for Boise Cascade, and most recently as VP Account Management at Lavante, I’ve experienced some real world examples that highlight how critical accurate vendor data is to any organization.

Here are several examples:

When introducing new terms and conditions

      , a company had to send a letter to all vendors updating them of the changes; unfortunately, a staggering 80% of the letters were returned due to bad information.


At another organization

      , increased banking charges were addressed by bringing remittance advice routing in-house. The most expensive and time consuming part of the project was acquiring correct email and fax numbers, which took inordinate amounts of time and money.


After purchasing a comprehensive e-invoicing solution

      , one company took more than two years to clean up their vendor information so they could take full advantage of the new technology, resulting in much delayed ROI for the project.


A group of advertisers placing orders with various media companies

      started requiring diversity information reports. In order to prevent a significant drop in revenue from these advertisers, one media company had to immediately engage their 30,000 vendors and rapidly find a means of collecting basic supplier diversity information to avoid losing business.


As a check-fraud-prevention measure

      , one organization required all suppliers to receive ACH/EFT payments. This requirement cost untold dollars and the company took more than a year trying to contact their suppliers about the policy change due to incorrect, missing and out-of-data supplier contact information.

Because bad data can trickle down your supply chain, it is important to solve issues upstream before the impact becomes contagious. A lack of good vendor data can have a dramatic impact on your organization – from exposure to vendors with credit issues, to reliance on proprietary suppliers for critical components, to the more pedestrian (yet costly) issues that can arise from using vendors not in compliance with your terms and policies.

Good data housekeeping is not only a best practice, it can have a long term positive effect on your company’s overall performance across every department.

To read more about the impact of bad supplier data, take a look at a recent Lavante webinar, hosted with Jason Busch of Spend Matters.  You can also find out more about how Lavante Recovery helps to not only speed dollars to your bottom line, but also automatically handles vendor file cleansing.  Click here to find out more.

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June 3rd, 2014

Vendor Statement Audit – A Best Practice for AP Departments (Part 2 of 2)


In part one of this blog we discussed how the traditional approach to vendor statement auditing recovers only up to $100,000 per every $1B audited annual whereas a proper statement audit should recover 5-10X that amount.  In this blog I would like to discuss how and why Lavante is able to hit those much higher numbers.

Lavante Connect’s Recovery Audit is the industry’s premier statement audit product.  The Lavante Connect application and services are built on the industry’s most powerful platform for communicating with suppliers, collecting AR data, discovering credits and delivering recoveries to clients.  Lavante Connect targets the entire addressable supplier population without bias and commonly achieves compliance rates above 90%.  It is systematically impossible for any other competitive statement audit process to out-recover Lavante’s process.

Lavante’s outreach includes initial and ongoing requests for AR data as well as follow up requests for non-compliant suppliers.  Follow-up requests alternate by email, fax, mail and phone to maximize exposure and response rates.   Lavante electronically archives all incoming documentation and data per supplier per client for retrieval at any time. Dedicated auditors review all documents for potential credits and communicate directly with the supplier to secure written verification of all claims.  Recoveries are delivered to clients via an on-demand application in weekly batches accompanied by supporting documents and communication detail.

Based on ten years of benchmarking, Lavante has determined that 61% of credit-generating suppliers are distributed throughout the lower 80% of a company’s addressable vendor master file.  Through their expansive review, Lavante delivers clients between $600,000 and $900,000 per every $1 Billion audited.  In addition, Lavante delivers a complete suite of supplier reports and best practice recommendations for vendor file management.

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May 30th, 2014

Vendor Statement Audit – A Best Practice for AP Departments (Part 1 of 2)


Since the beginning of the recovery audit industry, traditional firms have focused their attention on client AP data to perform recovery reviews.  Statement auditing (the practice of collecting and reviewing supplier AR records) required a different process than a client-side review.  Due to manual labor and outreach requirements, traditional firms review only a small subset Read More…

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May 8th, 2014

Supplier statement audit can provide important insights before your next sourcing decision


With the increasing pressures on the profit margins, the efficiency of the procure-to-pay (P2P) processes has been under intense scrutiny within an enterprise.  Typically, Procurement and Finance organizations manage various aspects of P2P processes.  Thus, for a successful execution of the entire P2P process, each organization needs to understand the actions and motivations of the Read More…

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February 28th, 2014

Recovery Auditing Misconception #4


Recovery Auditing Misconception #4:   I don’t have the time or resources to support this process The Short Answer: It takes very little of your time or resources to support a Lavante recovery audit.  All you need do is send a basic vendor file and dedicate one employee for typically an hour per week. How is Read More…

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February 14th, 2014

Recovery Auditing Misconception #3 of 4


Recovery Auditing Misconception #3:  Profit Recovery is not a current Priority and I can afford to wait. The Short Answer You may not be aware of it, but credits age and disappear over time. Once gone, they can’t be recovered. Our results show that delaying Lavante’s review could cost your company $62,500 per month for every Read More…

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January 26th, 2014

Recovery Auditing Misconceptions #2 of 4


Recovery Auditing Misconceptions #2 of 4:  I already have a recovery auditor so I cannot use Lavante now. The Short Answer The Lavante Profit Recovery product is complementary to alternative recovery solutions.  Whether you are currently engaged with another provider, wrapping up an engagement, or planning to engage in the near future, Lavante’s unique offering Read More…

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January 5th, 2014

Recovery Auditing Misconceptions #1 of 4


Recovery Auditing Misconception #1 of 4:  There aren’t enough recoveries to justify the effort The short answer: You don’t know what you don’t know. Especially if you don’t, or can’t look. Often, companies that we speak with have been underwhelmed by the volume of recoveries that traditional profit recovery firms have identified in the past, Read More…

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December 18th, 2013

Lavante’s Joe Flynn named to The Institute of Financial Operations Board of Directors


The Institute of Financial Operations has named its new board of directors for 2014. Board members beginning terms in 2014 are: Joe Flynn, founder and chief strategy officer of Lavante Inc., who will serve as vice chair, sponsor development Desiree Clayton, accounts payable director at Nordstrom Inna Le Guen, head of procurement center of expertise Read More…

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November 19th, 2013

Lavante Inc. Taps Alan Park as SVP Sales


Former Executive from Trimble, Openwave and PINC Solutions brings SaaS enterprise expertise to the leader in cloud-based supplier management and recovery audit solutions SAN JOSE, CA – November 19, 2013 – Lavante, the leading provider of cloud-based supplier information management (SIM) and audit recovery software for Fortune 1000 companies, announced today that Alan Park has Read More…

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