Frequently asked questions
What staff resources does our group need to implement and manage a buying group solution?
For solution implementation, we recommend dedicating an internal resource for a period of six months, working closely with a member of our team up to the system launch.
For solution management, a part-time accounting staff member will meet your requirements. In fact, we have customers processing 500,000 invoices annually with the same resources. Most do not require dedicated technical staff to manage the system.
Recognizing the bottom-line benefits, some buying groups choose to dedicate staff to manage high-value optional applications like sophisticated rebate management, purchase analysis, event purchasing or online ordering projects.
We are a direct-bill organization and we never see the invoices sent to our members. How does the LBMX Solution apply to us?
Direct bill organizations that move to LBMX often benefit the most from our solutions. Here’s why. Member-purchase information from third parties is after the fact, often inaccurate, late and may require reformatting to make it useful or even usable.
By implementing an LBMX solution and moving your suppliers to EDI, you receive real-time purchasing data that’s accurate with no reformatting or rekeying.
We are a high volume, direct-bill purchasing co-operative but we are looking to centrally bill. Our biggest concern is dealing with paper invoices and having to hire additional staff. How can you help?
We’ve helped many co-operatives transition smoothly from direct bill to central bill by providing them with a turnkey system. During the transition, our installation team will work closely with your dedicated staff member. We’ll share our expertise in the business and best practices for processing and checking invoices, and help you establish a member payment schedule that keeps the system running smoothly.
What is the implementation road map?
We make it easy.
A very important part of the LBMX solution offering is the ability to “pull it all together” to ensure the objectives of the project are met. LBMX provides this assurance through the provision of LBMX Professional Services. LBMX staff is well trained and have a depth of experience in working with buying groups, suppliers and members. This experience includes project management, operational consulting and technical assistance. The main areas where LBMX Professional Services can play a significant role include;
- Project Management
- Training and Implementation
- Trading Partner Roll-out Programs
- Complete On-line Document Monitoring
- Cloud-based EDI and Application Management
- Software Enhancement Services.
Our suppliers use many different invoice platforms and likely aren’t LBMX customers. How does LBMX overcome this?
One of the benefits of our system is that suppliers don’t have to conform to a specific format. They use what they currently have. And they don’t have to be an LBMX customer either. The more suppliers you have connecting to the system, the quicker you’ll see the advantages.
Should we start electronic invoicing or online ordering first?
It depends on what your business objective is. But in our experience, capturing invoices electronically provides the greatest ROI to the group and your members. You gain real, measurable efficiencies in billing, rebate management and the information to develop better buying and rebate programs.
Is the LBMX solution safe, secure and private?
We protect your privacy and security like we do our own. Our Network Solutions are backed by the same kind of security, redundancy and back-up procedures used by some of Canada’s largest national banks, so your data remains private and safe. In addition, we offer AS2 and other secure, encrypted protocols to make sure your data stays secure through the entire supply chain.
LBMX does not provide data – in any form – to outside firms or agencies. Your information is always private and confidential. You have our word on that.
How do I know invoices and purchase orders are being delivered?
A key piece of LBMX’s professional services offering is LBMX’s complete on-line document monitoring, whereby LBMX offers complete end-to-end tracking of electronic documents. In this environment, LBMX pro-actively monitors functional acknowledgements on behalf of all trading partners.
What are the benefits of implementing EDI in our group?
There are many, but the biggest is the value you’ll deliver to your members. When groups implement an LBMX Group Solution they harness the power of our many-to-many architecture and create a unique network that members can tap into for big efficiencies.
For instance, members can do real EDI with their suppliers – exchanging purchase orders, confirmations and invoices directly from their own accounting or ERP systems – without data rekeying and at a fraction of the effort and cost if they tried to do it alone. EDI frees up member resources to let them concentrate on other parts of their business.
We have established practices and multiple software systems already in place. How will your system fit in?
That’s the beauty of our system. We integrate with most major ERP solutions like ACCPAC, Oracle and QuickBooks. One of our core capabilities is data-mapping and translation, which gives us the ability to connect to your environment and quickly provide real, measurable value to your group.
We have operated successfully without access to real-time data. Why is it so important?
Could you imagine if The Home Depot or Walmart didn’t know what products their locations were purchasing? Or what rebates they were due from suppliers until two or three months after the fact? Imagine further if they keyed in supplier invoices and then mailed them to their locations. Unlikely, right? Unfortunately, that’s what most groups and co-operatives do on a daily basis.
LBMX levels the playing field and gives groups real-time information so they can make the business decisions that will make their group more competitive. That means the ability to develop better buying and rebate programs, which means higher rebates for independent members without rekeying or mailing invoices. In other words LBMX provides groups with the same efficiencies as corporate competition.
What’s wrong with receiving supplier invoices by email?
Two issues: privacy and reliability. Emailed invoices do not have same level of security and privacy protection we provide via our secure LBMX Document Centers or with secure data files delivered by LBMX Managed Services.
In addition, LBMX Invoice Management ensures each and every electronic invoice is data-checked to ensure it is a valid and compliant invoice. And all electronic documents prompt a receipt acknowledgement, ensuring no lost or missing transactions. You won’t find that with email.