Supply Chain Now Episode 470

“What we see in companies that are doing really well is that they’re trying to be easy to deal with for both their suppliers and their customers.”

Dan Reeve, Director of Direct Sales for Esker


As companies are struggling to maintain and/or achieve efficiency in these tough times, one of the top things they are focused on is the order-to-cash cycle. In many cases, invoices were still being managed in hard copy – until the pandemic sent most office workers home, that is. Now accounts payable and order management are high priority for digitization, and companies are quickly learning that the systems they have in place aren’t designed to accomplish what they need.

Dan Reeve is the Director of Direct Sales for Esker, a provider of AI-driven process automation software focused on the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes. Cash flow management and emerging technologies are at the top of many C-level priority lists, and Esker has the ability to combine them so supply chain leaders can achieve greater efficiency that still meets overall business needs.

In this conversation, Dan provides real life examples of opportunities in order-to-cash with Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton:

· Why it continues to be difficult to manage orders, invoices, payments, and cash management even with existing technology

· How the companies that are successfully improving their efficiency are doing it without disrupting either their customers or suppliers

· Where in the order-to-cash cycle AI can be implemented to make the overall process smarter and more effective for the business

Intro (00:00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:00:28):

Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show. On this episode, we’re speaking with a business leader from a company that helps organizations globally transform their procure to pay an order to cash cycle. So stay tuned as we’re going to be working really hard to increase your supply chain act, you Greg white. How are you doing this afternoon? I’m doing well. Thank you. I’m always interested in this. It seems like anything to do with procurement is really, really top of mind these days, right? Absolutely tremendous transformation through this crisis. Yes. Agreed. And of course the months ahead, uh, procurement’s not going anywhere. Uh, so, uh, this is going to get show, Hey, quick programming. Before we get started with our featured guests here today. If you, if you enjoy today’s episode, Hey, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Scott Luton (00:01:22):

We’ll publish Monday through Friday, sometimes Saturday, it’s a lot of hard work covering the global end to end supply chain. So check us out and subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. Let’s bring in our featured guests, Dan Reeves, director of direct sales for North America at Esker Dan. Good afternoon. Hey, how you doing? Can see again. Jen’s you can see too. That’s where we want to start. Cause we love our repeat guests. Dan, we got a ton of feedback, both on your expertise as well as other great stories you shared on your first episode with us a month or two ago. So great to have you back. Thank you. I do have a new story for you this time today. I really I’m really proud of my wife. So, you know, we talked about my military background the last time we were here.

Dan Reeve (00:02:07):

So when I was in the military, one of my friends who actually came to work for Esther, when he left the military, he was an attack army helicopter pilot. And he told me this technique. He said, if you ever want to melt your stuff and know somebody is taking your book or your pencil or whatever, you know your boots, it’s easy. Since you write on it stolen from Dan Reed, somebody says, no, they might boot smell their mind. What is easy? You just, there you go. It’s test, sir. Okay. So I open up the fridge today and I’ve told my wife this story and Dave, he was at my wedding. Weaponize uniform was always smarter than most sexy in the mind. He’s an attack helicopter pilot. Anyway. So he taught me this technique. Well, my wife picked up on it. I opened the fridge today and it says, Oh, the milk is labeled stolen from Dan Reed, Zoe stolen Stella, basically our way of making sure that I don’t take pups that are designed for, you know, other children, the milk, this is your milk. This is day milk, behave yourself. So I was just so proud that she was calling me out, basically able to help, like don’t steal other people’s milk. I’m okay.

Scott Luton (00:03:18):

We need visual management and we need those reminders every once in a while. So thanks for sharing on the front end. Uh, I’ll tell ya there’s there are no such thing as Dole days, uh, these days. Uh, but Dan, uh, great to have you back. We’re going to continue down this path, Greg, before we jump into, uh, procure to pay in order to cash, let’s get to know Dan a little bit better. This this go round. Okay. You’re ready for starters, let’s refresh it. We kind of walked into your background as you alluded to Dan, your first time around, but let’s refresh our listeners memories. Where are you from? And give us, give us another anecdote or two about your upbringing.

Dan Reeve (00:03:57):

I’m from Norfolk, the new, the original Norfolk and from Norridge, England, it’s there. You know, when I first came to the U S and I met my wife in a cornfield in Wisconsin, literally, you know, their LLCs Thompson is very similar to Norfolk Norfolk. It’s a farming community it’s flat and I’m being a Mountaineer and a rope climb on you. I had to grow up and leave that one day. But, um, so no orange is, um, the Capitol, the commonality with Wisconsin is so in Norridge, my team is North city. Some of you follow the premier league, nobody go through that this year. Didn’t worry about it, but it happens. And then, um, but they have the same colors as the green Bay Packers. So, um, who, you know, when you marry a girl in Wisconsin, that’s what happens to see you? I think you have the, uh, Kansas city chiefs in the background. I’m married a packer family and you know, and they’re like, you’re going to marry your daughter. You’re going to become a packer fan. So that’s how it works. Yeah. It’s part of the contract

Greg White (00:04:58):

Now, do you get to make them a Norridge fan? That’s the question?

Dan Reeve (00:05:02):

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, even some of my colleagues at work of, um, I don’t know if they would, you know, they would thank me for it, but they’re, you know, every time I go home, I might get one of the engineers or the professional services staff, a Jersey, and then they become an orange fence. So I’m no longer even suffering or, you know, large fans. I’m not sure.

Greg White (00:05:23):

Well, I feel your pain. I became a Tottenham Hotspur fan in the mid eighties, which were not good years. And, uh, it has come around somewhat in the last few years, but I empathize believe me.

Dan Reeve (00:05:36):

So no on that two years ago, I was sat with one of my sq employer colleagues in the way end. Oh, sorry. In the season ticket holders and at Tottenham and nerds were beating your team, sit there and not say anything. Cause, uh, you know, I’m surrounded by

Greg White (00:05:51):

Cause they would beat you. Yeah.

Dan Reeve (00:05:54):

Um, and it’s great because they’re all singing. You’re just bunch of farmers to the nerds fans and I’m one of them thinking. Yeah.

Greg White (00:06:03):

All right. So we could dive into, uh, the real football hour here. It sounds like, but y’alls passions for that game, but let’s see. What else about other experience really sticks out that was formative to you as, uh, when you were growing up?

Dan Reeve (00:06:19):

Yeah. You know, I was, I was lucky. I got, I managed to go to a, I actually got picked up and went to a boarding school, you know, ironically you laugh. I wrote a letter to the prime minister saying, well, I don’t, we’re not so sure. I was kind of go a little bit more. My mother’s right. And led it to the prime minister. I wanted to get into this semi public boarding school. A lot of military families went there and Wells, new families. And so I wrote this letter to the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. And she wrote back, said, you know, I wrote saying, well, I want to have this career in the military. And I’m not sure if I can achieve it for the local schools. And she wrote back, her personal secretary said, I’ve spoke to the prime minister. And we were very confident in your ability to be successful in the local stools. And we wish you all the best with your chosen career. And we really enjoyed your letter. Well, I got a scholarship two days later and I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence.

Greg White (00:07:09):

Wow man.

Dan Reeve (00:07:11):

Well, I’ve lost the letter. I couldn’t find the letter. It was signed by Margaret Thatcher and her personal secretary. So, um, you know, that’s, I mean, sales, that was probably the best sale I ever pulled off. You know,

Greg White (00:07:25):

You won over the iron lady. That is impressive. Greg, if we get stuck in a situation and we know who we’re going to, I’m telling you, I’m a huge Margaret Thatcher fan. She was a fantastic leader. So speaking of that, we were going to move now Dan into the lightning round. And this is where we’re going to just pop a couple of questions to you. Get your quick take, but we’re going to wrap on leadership. So stay tuned. Cause I want to see who else sticks out. So first, first question here, what’s your favorite movie? All time let’s soon platoon. Okay. And knew that right off Betty, your favorite recent read or go to news source.

Dan Reeve (00:08:06):

Uh, somebody recently gave me the book, strong fathers, strong daughters. I have a three year old daughter and a six year old and I’m reading that and they, they employed me. He said, you’ve got to read it. You need to understand how important your, your, your role is. And I’m reading that and I’m like, wow, I need to go do a good job here. I didn’t realize just how important being as strong dad is, is for, um, for, for, for girls

Greg White (00:08:28):

Standing strong fathers, strong daughters, daughters, Scott, Scott’s writing it down. You did. I did. Uh, alright. So, and as we wrap up this, this Latin around and before we dive into a lot more, a lot more industry conversation, who is your favorite inspirational leader and why?

Dan Reeve (00:08:49):

I think Dale, captain Dale dye, some of you may have seen him on many, many movies is in saving private. He was in tune. He was there, the company commander in concern. I met him in a bar in Vancouver and this is, this is one of my best stories. I hadn’t planned to have children. I met him at a bar. We got talking for three hours. And at the end of the end of that conversation, he, one night he turned around and he just hit me in the stomach. And he said, do you have children? And I said, no, we didn’t have cats and dogs. That’s us. You hit me in the stomach. And he said, well, I saw what you, what you, what you give, not what you get. And he says, you are going to regret this and the guy. And he used a few expletives as well.

Dan Reeve (00:09:29):

I’ve got you. I always thought if I ever get the chance to meet this time, we can have a great conversation and talked about both his experiences, two tours in Vietnam, how he met all of the stone, how are we going to the film industry? And then we talked about the stuff I like to do mountaineering. And he was like, you like doing that stuff? And anyway, we had such a great conversation. It was almost like when you get to meet one of your heroes, you always imagine how you could have a great conversation. I got to do that with my hero. And we had a couple of beers in the bar and at the end he just punched me in the stomach and came home. My lifestyle. I’ve been thinking about this too. And if it hadn’t been for that, I don’t know if it would have happened, but you know, the cool thing is what a humble guy.

Dan Reeve (00:10:10):

I wrote back to him twice and said, great. You know, Stella was born, Zoe was born. And both times he wrote back and said, you made Monday what a humble, but he, and I think why appreciate his leadership styles and went from being named a Sergeant in the Marines. He got wounded twice in Vietnam, but he became, he was a Mustang. He became an officer and I’ve always had a lot of respect for folks that know the job and then get promoted. And then they can still do the job, but they can lead as well and eat for me. He’s, he’s uh, clearly had a big impact on my life.

Greg White (00:10:43):

What a great, great story. A powerful story. Dan, Dan, you never disappoint and great to have you back here, uh, with us here on supply chain now. All right. So Greg, we’ve got to get the work a and his thought leadership, I guess I’d love to talk more about that, but yes, let’s get to work. So, uh, Dan, tell us a little bit for the folks that don’t know already. Tell us a little bit about Esker, you know, what the company does, how you play in the ecosystem and in your role there.

Dan Reeve (00:11:11):

Sure. Uh, so I’m the director of field sales. I have, um, two teams. Um, I support a team of, um, um, sales folks that work with our customers on order to cash. And then I have another team that does procure to pay and in plain English order to cash is think of it where, okay, so you might need credit, check your customer, make sure that they are entitled to the right credit. And there’s no risk of taking them on board. They’re not bad actor process the order. And let us get that order fed into the ERP system as quickly as we can, without making any errors, let’s delight the customer and let’s not blow up accounts receivable or collections. Let’s automate that process. Your orders fed into the ERP correctly and Mary shoes and free up those customer service reps to service the customer, get to know the customer better, maybe upsell the customer.

Dan Reeve (00:12:01):

And then let’s, let’s deliver the invoice and collect the money, um, and apply the cash to the pay side. It’s all about, you know, automating accounts payable and providing more visibility and control of spend. I have to be honest with you with COVID in March, we had quite a few projects that where if something went on hold, cause everybody was wondering, well, what’s going to happen here. But since then, what we’ve seen is our share prices hit an all time high, massive amount of interest as is, as supply chain leaders have really focused on, okay, how are we going to be more efficient? How are we going to allow people in order to cash order management, payables work from home, how are we going to sort of be efficient? So this there’s been a real big increase and especially as well, I’m going to talk a little bit more today about order management and collect, collecting the cash, been a real, real sudden spike in interest there.

Greg White (00:12:58):

Yeah. So I’m curious how companies, you know, we talked a lot about how this seismic societal disruption has changed the landscape of the workplace and operations and that sort of thing. So I’m curious how, how do companies use your system in that environment?

Dan Reeve (00:13:18):

All technology, everything about orders or invoices. I mean, one of the things we’ve heard from, from, um, if I think about the, um, the invoices you might receive from your suppliers is often in the past, they would get sent to an office and accounts payable manager, or the finance director might have to go and pick those up. That’s not popular. People didn’t want to go into an office and, and expose themselves. And at the same time, those folks, both in accounts payable and order management wanted to be able to work from home. I’ll give you an example. LifeNet is one of our life science companies. They do great work with, um, uh, grafts and, and, and in human tissue. So, you know, somebody unfortunately passes, they they’re able to sort of gift those, those essential tissues to, um, um, other families. They said, Dan, we were one of the first are two departments that use your technology for capturing the order management and accounts payable automation.

Dan Reeve (00:14:17):

We were the two departments allowed to go home. First. Typically the leadership had been really hesitant and not keen to allow anybody to work from home, but we were able to prove, Hey, look, we can do our job. We can, we can flip immediately to working from home. And there’s no, there’s no downside. Yes. I realize there’s value in people getting together and seeing one another being able to break bread, et cetera. But our technology is allowing people to work from home. I think what COVID is done, it will say this garden will say this. If you had a broken process, suddenly spotlight is on that broken promise since that moment.

Greg White (00:14:54):

Undoubtedly, undoubtedly. Yeah. And that’s why I was curious because it seems like systems solutions like yours that are a great catalyst in times like these, they, there are no boundaries with, with, uh, solutions like your, so let’s talk a little bit about order to cash, uh, and understand that you’re talking to kind of a newbie in the procurement space. Scott. No, it’s me. So tell, tell our listeners who probably aren’t as familiar, I’m completely familiar, but tell our listeners who might not be familiar. What is order to cash? What is that cycle? And, and why is it such a priority?

Dan Reeve (00:15:37):

I’m going to give a shout out to Chris Paul. He’s a managing director of Gartner. He’s also an Englishman and his team is not as good as my team, but just to, you know, I think he’s a, QPL fine if I’m not mistaken. Oh, is he really okay? Yeah. Yeah. Um, uh, my uncle was to, for some reason, but I’m ordered the cash. And then I had this conversation with Chris not long back. And I said, Chris, why do supply chain leaders care about one of the cash? What do you know? Do you think there’s more focus, ed you’re in Kobe, what’s going on? You said, Oh, well speed, speed. To turn an order from a email order, an EDI order of people, order, whatever it is and a PDF order, the speed that you can take that and convert that into money into your bank account is critical.

Dan Reeve (00:16:19):

Now, clearly it has to go through some steps. You’ve got a credit check, the customer, onboarding the customer, processing the order, supply them on time info. You might skews the right components. What they’re expecting. Ideally if you see that there’s, there’s a problem or the ordering a price or quantity or student that doesn’t work, a lot of them let them know and fix it. But the speed with which you get that money in your bank has it really, it’s a very, very important metric that companies measured because you know, companies often spend a lot of time on collecting the money. Okay. And if you have credit problems in order management, that makes it harder to collect the money. They want a new foot. You want a new 30 days, 60 days. So the speed in which you can get your money back in is really important.

Dan Reeve (00:17:05):

And what Chris said as well, as he said, the supply chain leader often owns payables. The often known auto management or the acquisition can be often an inventory. And right now they’re probably under more pressure to lower inventory, their overall being pressured from the CFO and the CRO to reduce the cost of goods sold and to, and to collect their money faster, the day sales outstanding. So ultimately there’s pressure from the C suite to do more, be faster, be efficient and not have to borrow money from the banks or lower your average weighted cost of care.

Greg White (00:17:39):

I can see that completely right as, as all commerce stopped for a few days. Um, and then as it slowly started to climb back and dip and whatever dynamics, various companies might’ve had, I can see that it’s a very material effect on companies. So it seems like visibility would be a big issue, especially when you’re in a time of disruption. Like we have been and still are in many, many cases. So how does, how does the enablement of his visibility in terms of procure to pay in order to cash, how does that help an organization or how does that guide a supply chain leader to make decisions or take action?

Dan Reeve (00:18:21):

We talked last time, last time, um, about how supply chain owners were often having to work with new suppliers and might need to onboard them quicker and do the due diligence to make sure that’s play was not a bad act or not proposing your risk. So supply information management, supplier onboarding the same is really, this is that I never, ever even seen. A lot of interest is for customers. For example, let’s say you’re going to supply a company in the restaurant industry. Well, they’ve been decimated is the correct word, but yeah, you know, the reality is you need to know if, um, the credit history or new credit score for that company and you, maybe this is a company you already deal with. But what we’re hearing is from both on the procure to pay and on the cash side is customers are saying, bring us insightful alerts, bring us analytics Warners.

Dan Reeve (00:19:22):

If that customer, we used to deal with that, I dunno if they’re, they’re doing more business with us and we should be, we should know there’s a risk. Let us know if they’ve gone into machine receivership or there’s some kind of new alert from dun and Bradstreet that says, Hey, beat those guys. You might want to ask them to pay a bit more upfront, or you might want to change their terms. Or in many you send the invoice, you sent a performer warning, you might send the invoice, you send a statement. No, you do. You tighten up your collection strategy around that customer or your credit strategy. What we see is companies are saying, we want one that insight, we don’t want to get caught off guard, but customers and supplies.

Greg White (00:20:01):

Yeah. You know, I had not thought about the dynamic. I mean, we’ve talked about it a bunch Scott, but I had not thought about the dynamic on those cycles of having a whole list, potentially a whole list of new suppliers, you know, the difficulty in onboarding them and then getting payment programs in order program set up. So it’s really interesting. Is there anything else that, you know, around either in, in the procure to pay or order to cash, or just generally that supply chain folks are talking about concerned about right now? I mean this time of disruption has caused so many challenges. I’m curious what, what else you’re seeing as, as a concern or an action or an even an initiative,

Dan Reeve (00:20:50):

Couple of things. So, I mean, I don’t think ERP projects are off the table. Um, I think a lot of companies, a lot of, to be honest, a lot of our business right now is companies looking at existing tools that they have in order to cash or procure to pay. And so we’ve had those tools in place a long time. They’re not giving us as much value as we expected. Um, we’re not getting the support we expect from those vendors. We’re going to want more. We need to embrace machine learning, advanced intelligence, RPA beyond the orders of Castro, procurement procure to pain side. So there’s a lot of that going on, which is leading to people coming in and chatting with us.

Greg White (00:21:26):

That’s actually really encouraging. The companies have recognized those flaws and are starting to act on them. You know, I think early in this situation, Dan, we, we heard there were sort of two types of companies, those that are buckling down with the systems that they have and trying to grind their way through it. And those who are taking the time to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of the tool sets that they have and considering new solutions there, are you seeing that?

Dan Reeve (00:21:56):

Absolutely. And I mean, ironically, yes, there was a delay and a pause March, April, but since then, there’s a lot of, um, Hackett Gartner and, and, uh, the various lots and lots of white papers talking about how companies are really come back into focus on technology. You know, the reality is our share price is at an all time high. And, and I think it’s because we’re in the right place at the right time. And my friend had gone, my friend had gone and I said, you know, you’re in the right place. This is, this is the companies are being pushed to look at technology that they’ve been pushed to make sure that they’re as efficient as possible. And they’re not at risk.

Greg White (00:22:33):

Sounds like to me, um, similar to other automation plays is that, I mean, you all have been doing, you’ve had the expertise in the products and the programs for a long time, but the market is viewing that less risky now and more of a necessity in the business.

Dan Reeve (00:22:49):

Well, you know, and that’s a great point. My boss often used to say, you know, in the sales rep hair, um, let’s compare a sales rep and ask the sales rep. I don’t know, my friend works for Cisco and she was great. Did they have to put in automation and efficiency yet? Like the likes that we offer has maybe not now, I think it’s become a necessity, just like security’s in necessity, you’ve got to have security, but I think what’s happened now is being able to collect efficiently, being able to make sure there’s no Maverick spending in control of your spend and get pay your supplier suppliers quickly, maybe be able to earn early payment discounts really quickly, being able to make sure you’re not exposed with spend. There’s no big liabilities out there that could catch the CFO of God.

Greg White (00:23:36):

Interestingly enough, you’re talking about early payment. Um, and also are elements of securing your global supply chain, right? Taking of your suppliers and

Greg White (00:23:46):

Customers and vice versa. Um, you know, Greg, just a couple of weeks a week or so ago, we talked about that wall street journal article where some of the larger companies out there were paying their suppliers earlier, right. To protect and insulate them from some of the, the factors, the, the, um, negative factors out there in the economy. And, uh, there was one big, uh, global aviation company that, uh, made, uh, an early payment to one of its suppliers. And it allowed them to not lay off anymore employees and keep producing parts and where this, this is clearly relevant with what escrow does is you’ve gotta be, you know, you gotta have the visibility, you’ve got to have the, uh, the strong and robust processes. You’ve gotta be in a position to be able to take advantage of some of those moves, if, if it means, you know, protecting and securing your global supply chain and keeping things moving.

Scott Luton (00:24:41):

So there’s so many different elements to what you and the Esker team does. Uh, and that’s, that’s more hyper-relevant than, than perhaps just six months ago. You know, it’s amazing how fast we’re moving here. So before we, so Greg, I think you’ve really effectively set the table. So you and Dan, very nice job. I want to keep going down. I want to keep going down this path of some of the observations you’re seeing in industry, Dan you’ve already, I appreciate what you shared about LifeNet. And I appreciate what you’ve shared about, um, the, the example of onboarding suppliers and really making that due diligence process be so much more efficient and less time intensive and perhaps less resource intensive. What other bottlenecks you see that are popping up in different stages of the order to cash process that really disrupts a company’s supply chain or disrupts other aspects of the organization?

Dan Reeve (00:25:41):

A couple of things. I think one companies in supply chain leaders need to remember. It’s not a case of just receiving the order, shipping the goods on time in full you’ve also got to make sure that you’re able to collect the money and apply the money when the money, when, when the check or the money comes in from the bank or a box, there’s a ton of work involved in saying, well, okay, I see you sending me an invoice or you’re paying you, send me a check for a hundred thousand dollars, which of my divisions is this, which invoices, this, and is there some kind of short pain you’ve taken a deducted deduction? Is that fair? Um, there’s a lot of interest in that. And a lot of companies, um, want to quickly get into, is this a deduction that was fair plan deduction? Or is this a deduction that we need to challenge and dispute?

Dan Reeve (00:26:30):

And it’s difficult to get your hands on all those details. I remember being in Atlanta a couple of years ago, and I was talking to one of the large companies down there and I said, why does this matter? And he said, I’ll tell you why it matters diamonds. We have, you know, one, um, plan deductions of invoice. We give our distributors a 1% discount for carrying implement product. Okay. Then they said, but there’s often these unplug these unexpected, the unexpected discounts. And we want to dive deeper. Cause one of the things that we’ve seen is going on is when we started to spend time and it takes a lot of time for the credit analyst, the AI and various departments, even the warehouse to get involved and investigate is this fair? Are we doing something wrong? We were getting lots of errors. So we were getting lots of deductions.

Dan Reeve (00:27:17):

And it was because our packaging we were using was, was not up to scratch. A lot of the time we were delivering product, it was getting damaged on our dock or their dock. And now we’re basically losing money, but we couldn’t really figure it out. And then the devil’s in the details. Technology was needed to go out and look at their, um, their website and pulling collections notes. Um, what’s the word, a bill of ladings, fill this information and make it apparent quickly. Hey, they short paid you is a reason why they short paid your, this was not fair. You shouldn’t be taking a short pay. So a lot of supply chain leaders and others. My advice is they are starting to ask, not how quickly are we doing in processing the order and sending the invoice, but can we recognize and apply that cash?

Scott Luton (00:28:08):

Uh, some of what you’re speaking to there is how one decision made here impacts severely a couple of, of, uh, nodes down in, in the supply chain or different departments or different functional areas. Uh, you see a lot of that.

Dan Reeve (00:28:23):

Yeah. Yeah. And then another example would be, if you, you can an order wrong, okay. Just the tax code or the skew or the, you know, just small little details, but you don’t use that PO number. And I don’t know if the order acquisition, the automatic folks always, sometimes it seems that we didn’t cause any problems for the AR collections. We do a great job. We feed the order in time. It’s all good. You’re going to have a chat with the collections team line. You blown up the whole process. We’re trying to chase the customer, the customers, you didn’t reference our PO number. You’re not paying them. If it had been put into the ERP yet at the time the order came in, we wouldn’t have had so many collection problems. So that’s going on the final one. I’ll leave you with this. Go back to the restaurant example.

Dan Reeve (00:29:09):

Your example was how the aviation company said we might take care of our supplies and paint them early. I think as much as there’s a bit of that going on, the norm has been, customers are saying, Hey, we want to pay 90 days, right? It’s a 90, 10 90 days. And there’s a lot of that going on and you have to ask yourself, okay, do you have a hack? It promote this Hackett group. Do you have a strategy that says we do it just go, Oh right. We’ll find, we’ll give you 90 days. And we’ll leave that cost of capital and borrowing more money. We’ll finance, you know, you need to have some kind of strategy cause that is going on left and right across the industry.

Scott Luton (00:29:47):

Yeah. Agreed. Uh, in fact, the airlines industry w uh, the article direct, uh, spoke about a couple of those companies in that industry that are doing just like you’re saying, and it’s widespread, as you said, Dan, Hey, one other thing, you know, going back to how you were talking about a different, uh, departments and how one department does this and, and it, that ripple effect. And, and oftentimes there’s a lack of communication there that only they don’t even know of the problems that they’re causing. And one of my favorite parts of, of my journey is doing value stream mapping with, um, all, uh, Oregon, all of the, the team of an organization, right? Regardless of function and all the Eureka moments that came from one department saying, Oh, this is why I do this and was causing this. I mean, it’s the learnings when you see that the whole supply chain or the whole, um, you know, system laid out, it’s, it’s really amazing.

Scott Luton (00:30:42):

I bet y’all have to really dive in deep to that, to bring the full bear of what you do are a full, full value of what you do to bear to for your clients. So, one last thing before I turn it back over to Greg here is you, you’ve already touched on a few things that supply chain leaders might be overlooking, right? Uh, when it comes to improving their order cash cycle as a whole, is there anything else that you’d like to mention in terms of what these leaders are overlooking when they, they look to, you know, move at the speed of 20, 20 and beyond?

Dan Reeve (00:31:17):

I think a couple of things. I mean, we talked about examples of that. I mean, it’s worth getting the, the order acquisition team, the parameters and the collections team. I’m going to say on the zoom course and team Microsoft team score. And they’re like, okay, well, what happens when, what are the reasons that we cannot collect our money efficiently? What are the reasons they re they pushed back on me in force? One of the reasons when the money comes in that we struggle to work out, um, what invoices are they paying off? And why did they take their short pay? I think if you can identify those roots, start listing those top reasons, then you can focus in auto management or supply chain or delivery team. Even the sales rep might say, ah, well, somebody who oversees that group, the supply chain leader might say, look, these are all the cascading things we’re getting, because we’re doing something wrong at the order entry level, for example, or there’s an opportunity for us to improve our master data or for them to improve their master data, listing out those, those things are going wrong. And then asking then the organization say, well, we might get to stop that, but didn’t realize we were impacting you guys in that way.

Scott Luton (00:32:25):

Yep. Greg, what a little bit, what I heard there is, is bringing those below surface level issues, bringing them up top size of folks can see them and then do something about it. Yeah. And I think that’s, you know, that’s an interesting segue, frankly. I’m

Greg White (00:32:40):

Really interested in what you see leaders doing to manage things, right. Everyone is at more risk probably than they’ve ever been in their career at this point. Right. Right. And, um, what do you see the, uh, finance and accounting and supply chain leaders doing to, uh, compensate or correct, or protect them and their organizations in times like this?

Dan Reeve (00:33:07):

One of the things that companies are focusing on right now is making it easy to do business with them. Okay. So will you, um, yes. Flexibility. Okay. You asking for new terms. Okay. We can do that, but I’m gonna ask you to pay a bit more, I’m gonna ask you to pay slightly differently. Um, so being able to horse trade, I think companies are trying to be the, what we see is companies that are doing really well. It’s, they’re, they’re trying to be easy to deal with with both their suppliers and their customers, because, you know, if you send an invoice and it can’t just go to thing on their side, their accounts payable team, and just want to pay the invoice and get approved and bite quickly. In fact, if they do that really quickly, maybe they can take, get, get you to agree to an early payment discount, right?

Dan Reeve (00:33:51):

From a supply chain finance point of view, you help them out a little bit. Also the supply chain leader, if they can free up their team to better understand their customers, because they’re not keying in orders or making errors and some bad invoices, but if they can free up their team to better educate the client, look at the process, understanding the master data that you in your ERP need to clean up, or they need to clean up and you advise them of such, but fundamentally retain the client. Be easy to deal with in going offer them insights or, you know, get to know your business better. There’s a company in Chicago that say I’m a chalk manufacturer, a chemical in the chemical industry. They groove sales. I think just with their customer service reps, more than a million dollars every month because the reps got to know that the business, okay, back then they said, CSR has been, we know you guys don’t normally go on the road, but once, once or twice a year, we do want you to go visit the customer and get to know them as a result.

Dan Reeve (00:34:52):

They started supersizing their orders and winning more business just because of the CSR understood their business. And they had a less friction and a better relationship that can still happen now, just cause the CSL has cannot go meet that company. Probably not. They can get to know them better. And I think if you put in technology, this is what, um, you asked me about books earlier. I got off social media two years ago because some, um, Melissa Brown at AQP QPC said, go read Cal Newport’s book, deep work. And she says, when you free up your, your business teams, your customer service teams, they can focus more on deep work with your customers. And in turn internal social work, when you build better relationships between departments, Oh, and by the way, Cal says, you know, so you really focus on when you’ve got to do work, you really focus and get off social media because that’s a distraction.

Greg White (00:35:47):

I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening Dan. I was on Twitter. What I’m just getting.

Dan Reeve (00:35:51):

So I, this is where I’m kind of coming at this from all different angles. What I’ve seen is companies saying, right, we, we, we want to be efficient. We want to survive this. We’ve got to collect our money and be as efficient as we can. We want to retain our customers and be easy to deal with. And part of that is making sure that we understand their business. We advise them correctly, reprocess their orders really fast. We can supersize and get more revenue. We don’t lose any customers. Oh. And you know, the cost of the pressure is to be efficient, collect money, low you’re working cop, uh, your weighted average cost of borrowing money basically. And if you do all of that, let’s not forget something you said a minute ago about Christ is gone. His advice is, do not let do not waste a crisis innovate in the terms. That’s what company right now literally had CIO saying, I want to come out and stronger. We want to come out and listen and be in a better position or a stronger position than our competitors. So for me, I’ll be honest there’s days when that gives me hope. And I feel great about seeing people get used to what we’re dealing with, but fight through it and innovate. And, um, they’ll, they’ll come out and they’re in a better position protecting their careers and their companies.

Greg White (00:37:05):

Yeah. Likewise, we hear that story a lot and it is encouraging to know that the companies are preparing for the future and that they’re preparing, as you said, to be better, stronger in the future. So I’m curious as, as you lower the burden or the friction to onboard and do business with you, it seems like that would increase the risk somewhat. Are there particular things that leaders are looking for? I mean, credit alerts or things like that, any, any kind of information that they’re seeking to help mitigate that risk? Once they have lowered the barriers to entry somewhat,

Dan Reeve (00:37:48):

I was thinking about this ahead of time. So I think some of the things that are going on, you know, 60% of your issues that happen in it problems in AI because at the management level. So yes, you can do better credit checking. Yes. You, you know, um, have a review process of people wanna change their credit terms. You don’t just automate all you do it, isn’t it isn’t, it it’s a set process and procedures. Okay. We can give them 30, 60, 90 days, but this is what we’re going to ask for in return long contract, or maybe you increase the price by stew a little bit, et cetera, et cetera. So I have a procedure there versus, Oh, you need longer terms. Sure. Let’s be, I’m sure there’s leaders laughing at my comment is, and then don’t be silly. We don’t just give it away.

Dan Reeve (00:38:28):

Yes. You know, you want to put in checks to help prevent fraud, avoid duplicates. Uh, I think here’s another one companies are saying to me, we want to know our total risk because we want to see our total spend across when dealing with Amazon. And that’s just got 13 offices around the world. Okay. Well just how much spend have I got with Amazon all around the world? Or how much liability do I have with this customer who we’ve shipped them a loaded product, but how much, you know, what are the overall terms? What’s the overall amount of revenue at risk with this company? Because this company may many companies inside multiple divisions, sum that up, give me an overall vision, a visual of my risk.

Greg White (00:39:13):

Yeah. I think that’s important. You know, it’s funny you went to the immediate question I had when you were talking about the risk of making it easy to do business with suppliers. I immediately thought, how do you in a time like this of great disruption, how do you corral? I don’t know what you would call it, Renegade spending, Maverick, spending, whatever you want to, uh, um, how do you corral and assure that that’s not happening because you’ve got new environment, you’ve got new suppliers and, and you’ve got to move fast. So those kinds of alerts are, are really, really valuable. Do you see the D any difference you deal with manufacturers and distributors, correct. Predominantly any difference in how those types of organizations are attacking this problem? Or

Dan Reeve (00:40:00):

A little bit? I mean, I mean, I mean, we do. I think the usual argument I hear from, and maybe I’ll use the right word, but you know, distributors typically they’re making a few points on every transaction. So their margins smaller understood. Um, when we, when it comes to collecting revenue, collecting money in some of the things I see is spirit distributors there, and this is the best practice that they put all the customers on an alternate. Okay. So as far as possible, we’re going to support all of our customers on an automatic payment. Um, getting into is our portal. And this, this time of each month, we’re gonna automatically bill you and collect. That’s such an industry best practice in this AR accounts receivable space, you know, make online payments really easy for them to the point where they’re saying, Oh, it’s just easier to pay online.

Dan Reeve (00:40:48):

I will. My personal view is I think there are some tools out there, the really, really big procurement suite. You know what I’m talking about, the biggest one I’ve heard of it. They often charge customers inspires for interacting. I’m like, okay, well just make it really easy for your customer to go and pay you online and don’t penalize them for doing so. The other thing you can do is, um, I think we see distributors applying types of payment plans tied to reminder schedules. So one of the things we do is we provide, think of it as a CRM for collections. So we help bring insights based on payment history and changing payment history. We say, Hey, your collection team was due to chase these customers today. Uh, actually rethink, you know, we were going to produce a new list saying based on payment trends and history and AI insights change these guns. Okay. So, and as part of that, you might send invoices, reminders, statements, part of your Dunning process. You might tighten that up on certain customers and distributors might need to do this, especially because their margin, they can’t afford suddenly everybody’s stretching terms to 90 days right now, the margins are being eroded, right? They can’t afford that. So Greg,

Scott Luton (00:42:08):

We’re kind of moving into the best practices and, and, and, and, you know, uh, Dan has shared a lot in the last, uh, first half of this interview, but let’s, let’s keep going down this path and getting more best practices along those lines. Dan, you know, as supply chain leaders are evaluating order to cash automation solutions. What are a couple of things that they’ve got to look out for?

Dan Reeve (00:42:34):

Well, I think I’ll turn it around. I’ll tell you what business leaders and CIO seat to me. Okay, perfect. This is one of my favorite parts of the job is now I get wheeled in to talk to the CIO of supply chain leader. The executive, everybody here understands the technology far better than I do. I get to ask, you know, really great conversations and say, well, what is, how is your business what’s going on? What are you trying to achieve? Um, and you know, it’s, it’s putting the dumb guy in, in, in this position that gets us interesting questions. And what I’m hearing from CIO is, is this okay? We want to use AI machine learning, all the latest technology to be as efficient as possible.

Scott Luton (00:43:13):

It’s like, it’s like a picture of them going through a grocery store. I’ll say, I’ll take that. And that, and that, and that, and not maybe understanding of exactly how they’re applied or what the return is and they, and they kind of, they put those desires, put it in your lap and expect you just to, uh, use your magic wand to make it happen. Dan,

Dan Reeve (00:43:32):

There’s a little bit of that. I’ll be honest with you. I’m going to go off script here. There’s a little bit where I think some companies, some C level, uh, the bulls, they heard that when it came to that, you know, RPA, robotic process automation folks ran out and bought it. And so then it was like, well, find some business, do this, what we spend all this money on it. Our approach is a bit different and I have customers who’ve done that and come back saying it didn’t really work. You know, we’re more of a best of breed suite for order to cash, procure, to pay, try and automate everything and just try and stick to our lanes predominantly where we really good. So we are seeing supply chain leaders come back saying, okay, maybe I’m trying to, um, absorb the, you know, we, we still expect some growth or, um, I’m trying to make sure I don’t make any errors on trying to make sure that I have to keep hiring folks for auto management, but what’s changed for me in the last year or two has been this, the ability to do more with one single vendor, Seattle, the last four or five CEOs and said, Dan, we don’t want 350 50 vendors.

Dan Reeve (00:44:37):

We want to rationalize that we did a bad job of understanding and building partnership with vendors and expanding the solution set so that we could use, not just all the technology in one cloud platform, but let’s say I’m using you to send invoices, handle orders. See the spend is going on. That’s all data, common data flows through your platform platform, bringing that, that insight. So if we go back 10 years ago in a wet rainy day in Indiana, my boss, who in this meeting and I show this two fabulous wheels, all the things we do, and I can see them, the, you know, the, the, the supply chain, the CIO, I’m surprised that their head didn’t hit the desk.

Greg White (00:45:18):

Yeah. You can see their eyes glaze over. Right.

Dan Reeve (00:45:21):

What’s really interesting is now I bring up these two wheels and then leave them there. And the supply chain owner and the finance team, and then the CIO typically. So you do more than just AP. You do, do you want help on both suppliers? And then you help since you do an order to cash. And I just, I just leave it there. [inaudible], it’s become a really interesting time. Um, I think 10 years ago, I read an article from technology advisors that they’re out of the Bay area, and they talked about how the future would, would change and companies would spend more money with less vendors and reps that were any good would understand the holistic needs of, of, of, of enterprises and, and do really well. But the reps that couldn’t do that well, they would be out of sales. I read that about 10 years ago, but what I do see going on now is in supply chain leaders, CIO is looking for more platforms that address audit of cash and peculiar pain. That’s, that’s, that’s, what’s got me more excited in 21 years, Esther than, um, than I’ve ever been before. You know, and or maybe the truth is nobody else would accept angry or, you know, give Dan Reed with jobs. That’s why I stayed here for that long, but you know, the truth is things that just definitely a shift to automation, innovation, digital transformation,

Scott Luton (00:46:43):

Great segue, by the way. Thank you very much, Dan. I always love a good segue cause we wanna, we want to get your take on what to expect maybe with, if your crystal ball isn’t broken, like mine’s been broken for the last 17 years. Well, we want to, um, you know, kind of share with us what you, what, what to expect moving forward. But before we do, you know, Greg brought up, uh, the word friction earlier, and you mentioned Dan, how one of your overarching goals is to help make business help, make it easier to do business. So, one last question, before we move to the future, um, you know, w when it comes to reducing customer friction and making it easier to accept and recognize payments, you’ve already touched a couple of things that companies are doing to do just that. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we leave that?

Dan Reeve (00:47:36):

What about payments? It’s also worth talking about the order can describe escrow as a digital mop, no sexy, but we are a digital mop. So most companies, most folks listening have probably got some kind of e-commerce or, you know, there’s best in best in class tools like Hybris sat there, magenta and an EDI. Um, and you know, I’ve got a blog coming out here shortly, where I wrote about, well, one of the largest food manufacturers in the U S use users per se, we’ve SAP they’ve said, look, okay. We want to bring automation. We want to be more efficient. We’ll be more agile. And what was really interesting is they said the supply chain owner said before, COVID when she was signing up for the project, he said, look, I want to be able to quickly recognize rush orders, priority orders have that flexibility. Maybe we change where we’re going to ship product out of, to a different DC.

Dan Reeve (00:48:31):

And I want to be able to recognize when the order comes in, you sense that demand, you sense the order, and you alert me that, Hey, this probably needs to be prioritized because we’ve got to get out of a different distribution unit. This is a key product. It’s a white glove customer. There’s a lot of interest in, in being able to do all of that. Here’s where a digital mop. If you’ve got EDI and those orders flow in just perfectly fine, you don’t need me. These guys said, you know what? Then we’re looking at nearly every EDI order is a reason we’ve got to go do more research on the price, the skew, the sales office. And if we had AI machine learning that could help massage and get that EDU or EDI audit in. So our team, I don’t have to look at it.

Dan Reeve (00:49:12):

Now. They can go spend more time servicing the customer. Now they can go up, sell, cross, sell, and provide more value that they’re using us for that, for that. Now, originally they put us in the predominant reason that they put us in for order automation, Hey, we still get email orders. Okay. Let’s be honest. Most companies are going to push to use e-commerce or EDI, right? But you often get a fair, a fair amount of orders for, um, you guys, you guys got a Swiss army knife by any chance, you know who they are, then they, they have 9% of their orders come in via email, and you might think 9%, isn’t a big deal. But they said, okay. So, you know, you can come in and buy the product in store. Maybe you’re not doing that. Now, maybe you, despite it through the Hybris eCommerce platform and me, but they said, we’ve still got manual orders and it’s painful.

Dan Reeve (00:50:05):

So can you know that that’s only 9%, but it’s way more painful than 9%, right? The digital mop is a means to pick up email orders, um, EDI it’s sections that don’t automatically flow through so that your customer just sort of, well, they just send you the order. However they want to send you the order. They don’t have the friction having to go on board and use this process or that process I’ll take your order if you want to give it to me. Yeah. I might come and consult with you. If you’re consistently using the wrong stew, the wrong price, the long part number, miss that impacts my ability to invoice you or my ability to deliver on time in full my belief, ability to invoice you quickly and make life easy for your IEP team. You’ve got to approve that invoice. Um, so that that’s some of the things I think there’s opportunity.

Scott Luton (00:50:56):

And I really loved the notion of a digital mop. Uh, Dan, that was worth the price of admission today. So it was, yeah. I was going to ask you if that’s actually an acronym or you just call it that

Dan Reeve (00:51:10):

That’s me. I say that. I mean, I think we probably got some smarter buzzwords, but, you know, as a, as a guy who’s not afraid to, uh, you know, get on his hands, need to do some cleaning.

Greg White (00:51:21):

I love it. I need to also in that, in, in that discussion, you gave us a great example of the practical use of AI and ML and, and some of those other, uh, technologies and that finding a problem that needs, that type of solution is better than so many of the companies you described who have a hammer and they’re out there looking for a nail, right? It’s better to have a nail that’s hard to drive and find a sledgehammer for it.

Dan Reeve (00:51:52):

Yeah. I mean, I’m going to add a point to that. So we do use RPA robotic process automation a little bit where there’s a place to go and pull down a bill of lading or shipping documents or invoices or sales from a portal, or maybe to push those documents back up to a portal. We can do that. I prefer to use API APIs because if that system changes in some way, then the RPA might not work. So, but I have to tell you, we’ve got, I’ve run reports and I’ve tasked my sales team to go and talk to all enterprises. Who’ve mentioned RPA in the last five years, because when it comes specific to our processes, order to cash, procure to pay, a lot of folks are coming back saying, we tried, it didn’t really work. We didn’t get what we wanted from it. I’m not here to say RPA doesn’t work. I mean, I remember a visit to Koch industries and worked with STI for 10 years, and they would explain how they use RPA were fantastic results, especially on the shop floor, especially in internet of things and on automation, in many different areas. But we just see a lot of folks coming back saying, okay, well, if I specifically think about the order to cash procure to pay components, I’ve talked about today, then, then we want to look at a platform that really specializes on those areas.

Scott Luton (00:53:09):

So as we start to wrap up the interview, give us just a couple of thoughts, looking forward about what the future’s going to look like when it comes to order to cash automation.

Dan Reeve (00:53:20):

I recognize that tendency that okay, was Dan quit, rambling and stick to it? No, I, Dan

Scott Luton (00:53:26):

I’ll tell ya. I think me and you and Greg could probably put together an eight hour episode, and we’re not even touching some of our, as much as we love your thought leadership. We’re not even touching all of your, your military storage, which we really enjoyed first go around. Also, when I could, I could talk all day about not only about AI, but how people misuse and instead should use or apply it. Right. I think, you know, I bet you could too, Dan. So at some point we have to stop ourselves or we’d be here all night, right? That’s that’s, what’s behind the, okay. We love, we love talking with you, Ben. So what was the future look like you think?

Dan Reeve (00:54:04):

I think, and that’s sort of the scene in, in, in the new C O of SAP came on board. So they then did the joint leaders. And then that is just one, one person in charge. They talk more AI, more descriptive analytics. Um, and they did talk about, okay, well, let’s look at, by look at payment behavior is payment behavior changing. Give us those alerts, give us those insights where we at risk. So that will happen. There’s going to be more interest already. We’ll see it, but there’s more interest in the entire order to cash cycle, not just sending the invoice, but how long and how much effort is involved in chasing getting them to pay, applying that cash. So we can actually post it into our open AR. So there’s more, I think there’s gonna be a lot more focus from companies, even though I know low interest rates are at an all time low, I just got a mortgage and it was in, it was under three.

Dan Reeve (00:55:01):

That’s what, you know, and it’s under three. And I said to my loan, if you could just get, you know, I think she gave me 2.9, nine, nine reoccurring. I’m like, it’s under three I’m happy interest rates are at an all time low. I think there’s going to be a lot of focus by business leaders in what is our cost of doing business? What is our cost of a working capital cause that impacts our cost of goods sold. And if we can, if we can collect the money so we can pay our employees, say, for example, if you are, if you’re operating consulting well, you know, you can’t be waiting 30, 60, 90 days to pay for consultants. And there’s only so much margin you’re making there. Well, good. So a lot of focus on the entire process. And I think a lot of the process on focus on visibility, ease of doing business and controlling the fact that I think this demand for liquidity, these demand from customers who like asking for longer terms and stretching their terms. I don’t think that goes away with suddenly. There’s a, um, if suddenly there’s a vaccine now I think this is, this is going on for a couple of years, at least

Scott Luton (00:56:08):

So much good stuff as always with Dan Reed with Esker. Uh, so Dan let’s make sure that our folks know how to our listeners know how to connect with you and with Esker. So what’s the best way.

Dan Reeve (00:56:20):

Absolutely. [inaudible] dot com or find me online, Dan, and shoot me a note. And then I’ll connect you with somebody smarter and talk to you and understand your needs. And you’ll never work out for a fit or not

Scott Luton (00:56:31):

Outstanding. And you referenced that a there’s two circles that you put in front of folks. I think we’re going to put that in the show notes. So folks can get really good at a nice succinct view of all the different ways that, that you’re you’re delivering value. Yeah.

Dan Reeve (00:56:46):

Yeah. For anybody who is viewing the video cast that they say the various segments that we play when it comes to the cure to pay. And what did you catch? So I’ll leave that in any case. Well, actually, I guess I shouldn’t hijack your shuttle. Did I break it?

Greg White (00:57:04):

There’s no stopping you. It’s okay. You can only hope to contain one Dan Reed. Uh, no, this is great. Uh, Dan, always a pleasure to reconnect with you. Y’all got you. I really admire all the passion. I mean, there’s so many different elements of this conversation that, that Greg and I enjoy, especially the second go round, but, but what is, is undeniable is the passion for what you do and, um, and, and the impact you’re making clearly, uh, in an area that the world just cannot get enough of right now. So really appreciate your time here today. Uh, Dan and I’m sure our listeners will want to connect with you afterwards. So Dan Reeve, director of direct sales for North America at escrow. Thanks so much, Dan. Thanks.

Dan Reeve (00:57:48):

That’s really enjoyed it or is it always good to, uh, you know, have these sessions and, uh, yeah, we didn’t enjoyed it.

Greg White (00:57:54):

Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. So don’t go anywhere just yet. Greg and I were going to wrap, so Greg, I’m going to, I’m going to put the, you know, we’ve already asked Dan the Trey dollar question, but the million dollar question, Greg, what was your favorite element of what Dan shared here today? What’s so encouraging is we’ve been talking pretty much since this whole COVID crisis started. Companies would need to do more automation to move away from manual and spreadsheet supported processes. And, and one that companies Dan is telling us companies are actually going that direction. And it seems like in droves, that’s really encouraging it to this manifestation of that by technology companies and solution providers that are ready to do it and are able to do it. I mean, think about this, that big company that Dan referred to earlier, they take 18 months to implement their technology and companies are doing this in months or weeks to make a dramatic change in their business. And you want to talk about being able to reduce friction and make it easier to do business, right? Not only it, you know, Dan and the team enabling that with their solutions, but they’re actually doing that right. I’m making it easier to implement. So that’s encouraging. And I think it’s about time. Technology does not have to a hundred million

Greg White (00:59:22):

Dollar or $40 million implementation needs to be a slave to the old model of bringing in a, you know, a couple hundred consultants to plug in a technology. Now it switches and dials and, and, and much, much easier to implement and get started and to start to recognize that return on investment. Love it. And the other thing I liked, uh, throughout the entire conversation, he talked about how automation makes it easier for your associates, your team members, and makes them makes them, and they’re where they spend that time more valuable to organization. And that was a theme throughout and I, and that, that, uh, we don’t hear enough about that as well. So 99% of incomplete orders, I bet take up probably 30% of the time of reconciliation who knows what it is, but it’s well, well, more than that, just the 9% that’s right. Kind of put problems like that in the headlock and make them go away.

Scott Luton (01:00:20):

So it’s good for everybody. Right? Good for the customer. Good for the team. Good for leadership. Good for the bottom line, you name it. So to our listeners, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this kind of this part two with Dan Ray, as much as Greg and I have. Uh, of course we did invite you to not only connect with Dan, but if you like what you heard here, you can check out supply chain, and learn a lot more via podcast, live streams, webinars, you name it. And as always our challenge to you, same as our challenge to, to our own team. Hey, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time.

Intro (01:00:53):

Like somebody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Dan Reeve to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Dan Reeve is the Director of Direct Sales for Esker. He has been with Esker for 18 years and he helps companies streamline and improve visibility across order to cash and procure to pay. Transforming customer service and helping companies utilize digital transformation in order to compete via service/customer loyalty. For P2P it means accelerating invoice approval, paying suppliers faster, freeing up cash flow and leveraging supply chain finance opportunities. Learn more about Esker here:


Greg White serves as Principal & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


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