Your questions answered by our team.

We've captured some of the commonly asked questions here. If we missed yours, feel free to ask us by email at info@lbmx.com.

If you are a group

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 want to central 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.

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.

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 considered OCR technology to digitize invoices. Is that a good idea?

Not really. OCR – optical character recognition – technology essentially scans information on paper invoices and turns it into electronic data. However, the system fails when the quality of the paper invoice is poor (faded, creased etc.) or when a supplier changes the layout of the invoice, which forces the group to remap it. OCR also lacks the functionality to acknowledge receipt of the invoice. Overall, OCR is error-prone and unreliable.

With our solutions, data is reliably, securely transmitted without paper or rekeying and the system prompts a confirmation.

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.

If you are an independent

My buying group doesn’t currently operate on an LBMX solution. Can we still work together? How?

Absolutely. We can provide EDI solutions for your independent business so you can send purchase orders and receive invoices, acknowledgements and advance shipping notices electronically. We can also provide you with software solutions to manage your invoices as well as monitor your rebates.

We’re a smaller independent business that hasn’t invested in IT infrastructure. What more would we require for an LBMX system?

Our solutions fit the size of your business and work with what you have in place. For small- to medium-sized businesses without an on-site IT staff we offer systems that are web-based or run on a PC with a quick, simple program installation.

For larger businesses, our full suite of rebate/product/invoice-management software requires a dedicated database server. If you would prefer to outsource computer hardware and database server-management, we also offer hosting services that provide you with a cloud-based environment where we manage everything for you.

I know our system could be better but I’m not sure where to begin. How does the process work?

Because we have deep expertise with independent businesses, after a short meeting with you and key members of your team, we quickly determine where you’ll gain the most efficiency. Our modular software solutions can be adapted to suit your particular business needs without burdening you with functionality you don’t need. Together, we design a system that grows with your business.

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.

If you are a supplier

We are a supplier (not a co-operative or buying group) that deals with many different clients. Can we outsource our EDI to LBMX?

Certainly. Our many-to-many technology can be applied to any kind of business, in any industry where data-exchange relationships are required. We have helped customers outside the buying group industry create hundreds of thousands of secure trading partner relationships with their well-known customers, including Walmart, The Home Depot and Target – anywhere in the world. Since our technology is scalable, as your business grows, so does the system, enabling you to add as many partner connections as required and in any file format.

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