Posts Tagged ‘SIM’

Data Quality from the Front Lines

Monday, February 8th, 2016

As the “Data Quality” conversation continues to gain more momentum, we are constantly on the lookout for research and other various bits of data that help to quantify the full scope of the problem.  Really… we need to know this!  ”How much is bad data costing our organizations?”  We need to understand the scope of the problem.  Think of Lord Kelvin’s famous words, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”  We want to improve quality and we want to reduce costs…  therefore we need to measure the effect of quality on costs.

In the above infographic we have compiled a greatest hits of “The Costs of Data Quality” citing a number of various analysts and reports from the last few years.  Most of this data is focused on the enterprise, but the statistics seem to be very consistent when we filter them through a Lavante colored lens.  We work directly with business leaders throughout the P2P suite and in conversations with clients and prospects we have heard similar estimates about the shortfalls of data quality when it comes to Supplier Information Management.  At Lavante – we also have the benefit of working directly in the supplier data and we can directly see the effect that poor quality data has on our clients.   The downstream impact -in terms of profit loss and wasted time – is chilling.

The most recently sourced statistics listed above (placed in the center of the infographic) focus on a recent Deloitte study which was published in the Wall Street Journal and states that 67% of CPOs point to “Data Quality” as a key barrier for getting the maximum value out of their systems.  This is very interesting, because this research is taking the “Data Quality” discussion right to the P2P ecosystem – This data is seemingly talking about supplier information.  That means two-thirds of CPO’s are suffering from bad supplier data and that is having an adverse effect on their ability to maximize ROI!  Wow…. that number is staggering when you think about it.  Expect to see much more of this conversation in the next year.  In 2016, expect CPO’s (and other procurement and organizational leaders)  to start paying very close attention to how improving their supplier “Data Quality” can ultimately improve their bottom line.

All of this data aligns perfectly with what I have been hearing from market trendspotters in the last several months.  Consistently, analysts and other experts are reporting that business leaders throughout the P2P cycle are universally realizing that the investments they’ve recently made in downstream point solutions and/or in advanced analytics are not reaching their maximum ROI.  The most common reason coming out the various user groups is “poor data quality.”  It is only a matter of time before we see a laser focused attention how poor data quality is preventing Procurement and the entire P2P cycle from ever achieving it optimal levels of value.  The emergence of more “Costs of Data Quality” research in Procurement and P2P will spur a new wave of great ideas to improve supplier data quality and in turn improve the output of our downstream point solutions and processes.  Truly, measuring the costs of bad supplier data will ultimately lead to a search for solutions and the subsequent improvement.  Lord Kelvin was right.

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Lavante Delivers a Strong SIM Offering to the Mid-Market

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Great story from the Lavante newsroom today!  We announced the development and deployment of our Mid-Market SIM offering for general availability.  This is no small feat for our team as we have, to this point, invested so heavily into building a powerful enterprise application.  The new product is in production at several mid-market companies now spanning in size from $200M to $2.0B and universally our new clients are thrilled with our ability to expand and create a parallel offering for the mid-market that is as powerful as the enterprise version and offers many of the critical features.

In the news story, we feature a key quote from our SVP of Engineering Vinay Ambekar, where he explains “over time and through many deployments, the core functions of our underlying platform have become highly scalable and efficient.” Vinay is quoted further as saying “we have leveraged our deep and unique knowledge in the SIM space to create a sleek package that satisfies the expressed supplier information management needs of the middle market while still delivering a strong out-of-the-box product at a competitive price point.”

Vinay is pointing out that our goal was not to create a lite application to sit on the Lavante Connect Platform for quick and dirty use at Mid-Market companies.  (The market is littered with a number of failed attempts to quickly stand-up a supplier portal.)  Our goal was to “leverage” the many things that make us unique.  As Vinay points out, we leverage our award-winning platform; we leverage our many SIM deployments since 2008; and we are leveraging a management team that has been together for many years building these solutions.  It is only through the perfect storm of an award-winning platform, major F1000 deployments, and expert experience that you can create the leverage required for making a successful, scalable – and yet affordable – SIM solution for the mid-market.

In anticipation of growth in the new market segment, we have expanded the size of the sales team and we are anticipating strong adoption for the new offering.  Clearly, the new wave of clients using the SIM application will send a massive volume of suppliers into the Lavante Supplier Network.  The migration of more companies into the network will have very positive impact for all Lavante clients; for all suppliers; and for our partner community.  Ultimately an announcement like today’s speaks very clearly to the ultimate goal of creating a definitive network where every company in the ecosystem has easily integrated access into the highest quality data.

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Paystream Further Defines the Supplier Information Management (SIM) Market

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

As last year wrapped up we were fortunate to work with PayStream Advisors on research that they were doing to help further explore and define the Supplier Information Management (SIM) market.  The document they have produced, “The Power of Supplier Information Management Technology” explores the complex requirements of managing supplier data.  The paper serves as both an educational guide on “what is SIM?” and as a step-by-step guide on how to select a SIM solution that will work for you.  With a new year beginning we felt like it is a good idea to shine a new light on their research and re-engage the conversation they started just before the holiday break.  Kudos to the Paystream research team – and to the document’s author Anna Barnett, in particular – for providing a complete but very accessible exploration of an otherwise complicated topic.  I am providing Barnett’s introduction to the research project below and encouraging any and all readers of this blog to follow the link and read the entire document.

From the white paper:

Managing suppliers is a very complex process for any organization, especially as globalization increases, governmental oversights continue to expand, and supply chains grow more diverse. To handle supplier data across these multi-level environments, a company must be able to collect and maintain unique information for thousands of suppliers, while also staying legally and organizationally compliant and protecting its assets. This entails countless hours on-boarding and screening suppliers, collecting tax and legal documents, assessing supplier risk, and ensuring that all submitted information is updated consistently.

Ineffective supplier management opens the door to a lot of risks—not only could a company potentially onboard a fraudulent supplier, it could also miss vital on-boarding requirements such as the collection of disaster recovery plans, sustainability plans, and insurance certificates. Companies will also miss details necessary for fully-enriched supplier data, like purchasing categories, cost centers, and industry coding. Inefficient data management often also leads to low supplier adoption of an organization’s existing Procure-to-Pay (P2P) software solutions.  Low supplier participation in P2P automation initiatives (e.g., dynamic discounting, e-Invoicing, contract management) can potentially cost an enterprise millions of dollars in savings. In all, poorly-managed supplier information results in missed enhancement opportunities, profit loss, and exposure to elevated risk and/or legal consequences.

Today, organizations are realizing that in order to gain control of their supplier data, they must turn to technology. Many try to refashion their existing ERP system to accommodate their supplier management needs—they hire consulting firms, create management and IT development plans, and spend years attempting to force-fit their requirements into the ERP. However, these systems were not built to effectively manage such complex and sensitive information, as they are primarily intended to support transaction processing. Trying to transform a bulky system into a data communication and collection engine is not a strategic or financially responsible decision.

In order to truly secure and control supplier data, organizations must leverage a system with multiple modes of outbound communication capability. This system is found in cloud-based supplier information management (SIM) software, a technology solely designed to optimize supplier data. SIM software retrieves, organizes, and manages supplier information while ensuring minimum risk and high efficiency—all across a global supplier base… Read More

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Free Webinar Replay: Expert Advice for Reducing Risk in Your P2P Environment

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

A huge thank you to Chris Doxey for joining me on today’s webinar, “Managing Supplier Risk: A Multi-Disciplined Approach for Mitigating and Detecting P2P Fraud.”   Great turnout for the webinar and a great topic!   We discussed how supplier information is the foundation for managing supplier relationships and P2P processes.  It is also the first line of defense to protect your organization from losses due to supplier and payment fraud, and as such should be managed and protected as one of your greatest assets.

The webinar provided attendees with strategies and tools to help protect the enterprise from vendor fraud and regulatory fines. We also provided a series of supplier validation standards, references, and resources that you can immediately leverage and implement. This was also one of the only webinars to provide specific supplier coding standards along with a detailed listing of references and tools that can be used to help you identify fraudulent suppliers.

I encourage everyone to download a free copy of the slides or a free webinar replay.  The 50 minute recording will help you to gain a greater understanding of how you can help protect your company’s assets and safeguard your critical supplier information. You will also obtain a comprehensive toolkit of supplier master validation standards, references, and resources that can de-risk your supplier base and protect your company against preventable fraud and fines.

Who should download the material? AP, Procurement, Shared Services, P2P, Strategic Sourcing, IT, Legal, Tax, GRC, Internal Audit, PMO, Process Improvement, CFO, CTO, CPO, CIO, VP, Controller, Director, Manager, Key Team Members, Consultants

 

 

Chris Smith - The Maestro Behind the Scenes

Also… a big shout out to the Maestro-Behind-the-Scenes, Chris Smith who runs these webinars from our headquarters in San Jose, CA.  He’s the one who makes all of this possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Control Your Supplier Information

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Thanks to our good friends at the Institute of Financial Operations for giving me an opportunity to  write a piece in their magazine about a topic that I am quite passionate about – Supplier Information Management!  This article ran in the Q3 2015 edition of FinancialOps and they have been gracious enough to allow Lavante to offer the informative White Paper as a free download on our website.

In the piece, I am able to inspect supplier information from several different angles: I look at the 6 different areas in the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite where quality data has become an invaluable component; I discuss how major stakeholders through the P2P process are reliant on sharing data with other departments to allow for enterprise cross functionality; and finally I discuss several “must haves” in your approach to managing and controlling supplier data to ensure that you are maximizing the output from your P2P systems.

I invite anyone reading this blog to download a free copy of the document and join me in the discussion – or in the the debate!  I believe, in the P2P community, we are seeing a shift in focus from automation systems to quality data.  As companies have spent the last ten or more years building out incredible point solutions for the P2P space we now understand that any system is only as good as the data populating it.  The new attention on driving quality data is a necessary step in our unending pursuit for driving efficiency and maximizing ROI in all that we do.

J-MO

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The 3 Pillars of Managing your Vendor Master File

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


Today, we are releasing a free Lavante White Paper entitled “3 Pillars Maturity Model – Managing your Vendor Master File“ to recap our three-part Webinar series from this summer.  With an emphasis on Supplier Information Management and Vendor Master File excellence, the series hit a nerve and drove nearly a 1000 downloads and views!  Understanding how relevant the topic was for so many people I consolidated the material (along with a few new ideas) into a whitepaper where I could present a clear picture of the 3 Pillars of driving data quality in the vendor master file.

There are no set steps that a company must take to achieve a clean, best-in-class vendor master file.  Rather, obtaining an optimized vendor master file requires an understanding of the elemental pillars needed in order to improve your vendor master file management process.

There are three fundamental pillars for driving Data Quality:

  1. The first is to Sanitize your VMF. Here you will identify and inactivate or merge duplicate records, correct erroneous data, capture missing data, update old data, and begin creating new controls
  2. Once your VMF is clean, you can Stabilize your VMF process wherein you will establish new norms including naming standards, proper segregation of duties, effective change management controls, and rules
  3. Then finally, you are able to Optimize your VMF process to assure regulatory and policy compliance, validation of supplier data at the time of on-boarding and ongoing

No matter where your organization is within the spectrum of the Three Pillars Model, your supplier information can be leveraged in many ways.  Whether you are looking to engage suppliers to maintain updated contact and remittance details, perform outreach to capture certifications or documents, drive comprehensive compliance across your organization, or manage spend and supplier relationships, your supplier data is the cornerstone and common denominator from which to perform any analytics and process improvement.

Download the entire white paper for free here: ”3 Pillars Maturity Model – Managing your Vendor Master File

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“The Cabin” – A Fable about Data Quality and Procure-to-Pay

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Have you heard the old riddle about the cabin in the woods?

It goes like this:  You are alone walking through the woods and you spot a cabin in a clearing up ahead. You are tired, cold and hungry and it is getting dark.   You do not see or hear anyone in the cabin and decide you would be within your rights to show yourself inside and take shelter.  In the fading light you can see:

  1. A stove where you could cook your small ration of food
  2. A fireplace with enough wood to get you through the night
  3. A lamp with enough Kerosene to last until morning.

The problem is that you only have one single match.  So the question becomes – which among all of these things should you light first?

Pause for dramatic effect.

And of course the answer is “the match.”  (Please, no groaning.  I am building to a point, I promise.)  You see, before you can use any of these other devices you need to light the match and then apply that flame to whichever tool you have prioritized as the most critical.  In essence, without the initial spark those other items are never going to operate at their optimal levels.

Perhaps it is a stretch, but I sometimes think about this riddle when I contemplate the Procure-to-Pay cycle.  In many ways, heads of AP and Procurement are like the tired and hungry traveler from this story.  Their P2P environment is like the cabin, but instead of a stove, a fireplace and a lamp – their dwelling is populated by a host of automation initiatives.

Some of the questions that face the different agenda setters in the P2P cabin are: Should you automate payables? Should you put a contract management system in place? Should you implement a spend analytics platform or a supply chain financing portal?  Should you find a sourcing tool? and so on and so forth; the possibilities go on and on and there doesn’t seem to be one definitive answer.

With the rapid escalation of automation options in the last ten years this corner of the enterprise has become a little cloudy in terms of what to do first and how to maximize value from supplier interaction.  In the past several years, many large companies have implemented automation solutions in their P2P environment, and a strong theme has arisen.  There is a lot of value to be generated from all of these technologies, but nothing seems to be completely hitting its potential.

We hear about this theme a lot from larger enterprises that wish they could see more supplier adoption and drive more revenue or savings from their investment.  We especially hear about this from sales reps at the software companies that are selling these solutions.  Think about it… they are the one bearing the brunt; low supplier adoption and reduced transaction volume on their software often means the sales folks are not maximizing their commissions – or the value for their clients.

So what is the problem?  Nobody ever took the time to light the “match.”  And in this case the “match” (or the spark) is the data quality or Supplier Information Management (SIM).    Focus on the data first and then everything will flow from there.  Too often companies will implement a very powerful system like supply chain financing or e-invoicing or spend analytics and they settle for only 20% of suppliers (or transactions) to flow though the software.  This is crazy, and more than that, it’s very costly!  Engaging your supplier data first and then letting that perfect data flow into all of your systems is not only better for your overall operations but this will also dramatically increase the savings or the earnings from your P2P automation initiatives by a magnitude!

In reality this logic is nothing new.  The old saying used to be, “before you can automate any process… you need to optimize that process first.”  Like most things that old saying needs an update, “Before you can automate, you need to optimize, and before you optimize, you need to have quality date populating your system.”

Light the “match” first.  Data quality is the spark that ignites everything else in your P2P cycle.

 

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An Expert Discussion on Supplier Portals!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Wow… just… wow.

You know how when film critics are talking about movies they say, “If you see only one movie all summer… make sure to watch ‘blah blah blah.’”  Well I have to make the same claim for the Supplier Portal webinar from yesterday.  If you sit through only one webinar all year long, you have to download the “What is a Supplier Portal Anyway?” webinar from Josh Morrison and Mary Schaeffer.

Seriously though, you will not regret it.  The link is right here:  Supplier Portal Webinar

OK, I understand that this webinar was co-presented by a Lavantine, Josh Morrison, and many of you may claim I am just hawking my Lavante bias, but seriously this was a master class in how we should be looking at supplier portals.  What works; what doesn’t; what are the pitfalls of the craze; and what is the upside of actually solving this whole “Supplier Portal” riddle.

I was merely an observer of the webinar.  I sat in for the first couple minutes with the intention of leaving to another meeting, but I couldn’t leave because the material was so good.  Josh, who spent the previous 20 years heading up AP/P2P and Strategic Sourcing for a Fortune 50 company (and he’s a member of frickin’ Mensa!),  and Mary Schaeffer, who runs one of the most highly regarded consultancies in the AP market (if you do not know her work click here) really delivered.  The two presenters struck a perfect balance where Josh laid out the ambitional map (i.e., “these are the new levels of value you can get from a portal“) and Mary outlined the cautionary tales of lagging behind.  (i.e., “adopt a portal solution to gear up for risk and to get ready for the regulations – because they are here, and more are coming.”)

Attendance was great.  We pulled in about 300 folks.  Bam!  (Marketing folks, amirite?)  That tells me the topic was on point.  Only seven attendees dropped off before the end.  That tells me the material was firing on all cylinders and kept the crowd engaged.   Probably the most telling stat was the attendee engagement we saw coming through the chat box.  This was without a doubt the most engaged crowd I have ever seen in a webinar.  We had over 30 attendee comments come in during the presentation.  (Apologies if we did not respond to you comments during the presentation – we will soon)  During the webinar debrief we realized we needed to do a follow up webinar on the comments alone.

Not every comment was of the “thank you, can I have a copy of the slides” variety; we actually saw a little emotion coming through the crowd.  For example one attendee wrote the following, “how do you ‘sell’ the portal to the suppliers?  …we get push back that they’re ‘doing our work’ and that they don’t have time or resources to go into multiple customers’ portals, much less keep track of how each portal is different.”  This is an incredible question and brings up some very important points of concern.  In reality, this question alone sparks a whole other webinar or blog or white paper.  In response to this question, I’d offer that the industry has to settle into a larger market-serving portal strategy.  Yes, the whole market can be instrumental in pushing this forward.  Think about the cell phone network analogy.  Do you remember that only 15 years ago cell phone networks were fragmented and you had to pay more to call into another network?  In more extreme cases you couldn’t even call another network.  Eventually the market demanded the solution to be simplified.  The same thing will eventually happen in the portal space as well (and I know just the firm that is doing it!).

Anyway, not to go too far on a tangent…like I was saying before, I am always impressed when webinar attendees feel welcome enough to challenge the material and pose strong questions or claims.  I feel like this webinar was a winner.  This was a balanced look at a topic that is getting a ton or air play right now and we sent in two of the industry’s best experts to discuss it.  Many people sent glowing remarks, but many others are still wrestling with the material and the mere thought of portals, portals, portals!

I invite every one of you to download and listen (for free) for yourself.  Send any questions and start a dialogue.  This is a fun topic and we are all just getting started!

 

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What I’ve Learned: The True Impact of Supplier Information in P2P

Friday, September 25th, 2015

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. – Benjamin Disraeli

Over the course of the past 15+ years, I have focused my career efforts towards ensuring organizations leverage the best possible information as they manage their procurement, accounts payable, supply chain, and compliance functions. (before that I was amiss – dealing with boring, less-impactful, solutions)

The journey has provided me with considerable experience within spend analytics, source-to-settle, performance and risk, diverse and small business reporting, and (my favorite) Supplier Information Management (SIM). In fact, before the three-letter acronym was borne, I was giving sermons on the criticality of supplier information, and the strategic advantages of leveraging this data better.

Many Supply and Demand Chain Executive’s annual “Pro to Know” awards later, I have had the honor of working closely with over one-half of the Fortune500, and a significant portion of those within the Global500 not already represented in the Fortune500.

So, as it relates to supplier information, what do I most often hear from the market?

To start, ALL seem to recognize that:

  1. Downstream efforts, whether PO processing, invoice processing, contract management, accounts payables, or other, are heavily dependent on the quality of supplier data;
  2. Efficiencies, or inefficiencies, are established at the beginning of the information gathering process; and,
  3. Everything from what information is collected, to the governance over the data and processes, has to account for a complex set of variables (e.g., geographic location, commodity type, supplier type, business unit, function, etc.), yet maintain global corporate standards.

Seemingly very complex, as this matrix seems to change from one company to another. And, most solutions already fall short by now in not being able to adapt to the required organizational and governance models.

But what I hear most often is… How can we replicate the same “master data management” model (collect once, use many) on a bigger scale? If you have verified a TIN, or Company Registration Number, or other, why not push that to all clients of that supplier? Yet, where my needs differ, such as a bank account change triggers a specific internal audit, let me tailor the system to my needs.

Makes sense. A many-to-many network to create incredible efficiencies, yet a powerful Supplier Information Management platform that fits the needs (client-specific data, client-specific processes, client-defined data stewards, environment-specific integrations, and so forth) of each organization.

Until Lavante, this hadn’t existed. Yes, supplier networks existed; however, there has always been a trade-off. Ariba has a well-known network, but it’s purpose is simply to enable payments – and, as I’ve been told, the Supplier Information Management module overlooks many of the dynamics required as mentioned above. Yet, over 3 million suppliers are already actively engaged in the Lavante Connect supplier network – AND the platform is completely configurable to the most demanding and complex environment.

Hence, I joined Lavante’s team. Not to sound sales-y, as that’s not my intention: what we’ve all imagined in enabling supplier information across organizations, across business units, across functions, across relationship owners, and across downstream systems (e.g., ERP, eInvoicing, PO systems, etc.) is here.

In my prior experience, there’d have to be a tradeoff, as in the Ariba example above. The permutations of variables (both in supplier data collected, and in workflows triggered) within an organization is already complex for a software. But to add a layer above it, network-enabled data, and the governance of how and what data flows into an organization, versus what is kept out?

By solving this puzzle, systematically, the buzz is high. In fact, just this last week in New Orleans, PayStream Advisors awarded Lavante with their 2015 Innovation award for Supplier Information Management.

When the rubber hits the road, the ROI has to be there. There is little question that ensuring clean and accurate supplier data, at the beginning of the process (from requisition, onboarding, etc.) pays huge returns in efficiency, and capturing value of downstream processes, such as: invoicing and early payment discounts, compliance initiatives, fraud avoidance, etc.

Most are aware of this, but many delay due to expensive and lengthy implementations. I’ve seen 2+ year implementations, at a 5x implementation to software cost. That is a big commitment – and another reason why I made the move to Lavante. Here it is more common to have implementation costs at ½ to 1x implementation to software – and go live in short months.

Is all of this possible?

Yes, this is all possible. In fact, we were just put to the test. A very large $150b multinational had requirements to tailor our platform to handle several of their supplier-related compliance areas (specifically: Conflict Minerals Reporting, Disaster Recovery, RoHS/REACH, and C-TPAT) and enable them to test the supplier engagement, the data collected, the processes, and the reports IN THREE DAYS TIME to meet their deadline. The prior company had many months; however, Lavante successfully delivered the platform in time and the feedback was, “Even we didn’t think it was possible. You hit a home run!”

Of course this isn’t the norm, but, regardless, implementations shouldn’t be a barrier to your success. Straight out of the box, Lavante’s platform is already 100% configured for: supplier requisition; FACTA compliance; small and diverse business; validations (e.g., OFAC, SWIFT, USPS, etc.); Conflict Mineral Reporting; and many, many more areas. Clients can leverage what is there, yet tailor as necessary.

A true supplier network, and the ability to cost-effectively deliver Supplier Information Management… As I started this post by mentioning that I’ve “focused my career efforts towards ensuring organizations leverage the best possible information as they manage their procurement, accounts payable, supply chain, and compliance functions”, I continue on that path today and am excited to be a part of this huge leap forward within Supplier Information Management. 

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PayStream Recognizes Lavante with “Excellence Award” for Supplier Information Management!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

A huge thank you to Henry Ijams and the entire staff of PayStream Advisors for hosting such a fantastic P2P Summit last week at the InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter!

For those that do not know, PayStream Advisors is one of the premier providers (in the P2P space) of trusted research, in-depth consulting, and unparalleled educational content.  Lavante was honored at their show last week to receive our second Innovation Award in four years!  The pool of contenders spans the entire P2P ecosystem and winning this award is both a wonderful accomplishment and an incredible honor that we do not take lightly.  A quick glance at some of the past winners will tell you all you need to know about the prestige of the Paystream awards.

To set ourselves apart from the pack we have followed a couple very simple mottos…  “Never Stop Innovating” and “Listen to Customers!”   We take these two tenants very seriously and we are committed to working tirelessly for our clients.  In return, we have great client relationships that give us as much or more than we give them – and that is how we can consistently win these accolades.

Looking back over the last few Lavante press releases I see a pattern of very strong and strategic quarterly product releases… and if you read those new stories closely you’ll see that our clients are often quoted as saying they have “partnered” with Lavante to address their specific problems and to create strong solutions.  George Linville of PayStream Advisors saw some of that in his evaluation of the SIM market and had this to add, “The Lavante Connect platform and SIM application modules stand out in the field with a configurable and modular design that allows clients to rapidly deploy a robust, scalable and integrated solution.”

For years we have admired the consistent and meaningful work that PayStream does to help propel the Purchase-to-Pay space.  We believe strongly in our vision to enable P2P professionals to manage their suppliers to the highest possible standard and we are honored that PayStream has once again recognized our efforts.

While onsite in New Orleans we were also delighted to spend very quality time with some existing and future clients.  In addition to the Awards Luncheon – the best part of the summit for me was getting to co-host an educational session with my colleague and friend Tammie Norman, Director of Transactional Accounting at ICF International.  In truth I only introduced Tammie – she is more than capable of making her own presentations.   This particular session provided expert perspective from Tammie on her experiences working with the Lavante Connect platform and the Lavante SIM solution while she was the Director of Accounts Payable at Discovery Communications.  The presentation was a tour de force and several attendees came up to me afterward to comment that after seeing Tammie’s presentation they were not surprised that Lavante won the Excellence Award.

It’s moments like this that help to add a little perspective.  Last week was wonderful.  I got a chance to spend some quality time with a few of my remote co-workers and that is always nice; we were able to take a couple brilliant clients out in a beautiful city; we were recognized for our industry-leading technology by a premier Analyst firm and we were supported in full view by a very happy and satisfied customer.

It’s weeks like this that make it all worthwhile and I would like to just take a minute to be thankful and to enjoy how sweet work can be when you do it correctly and when you treat people right.

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