Implementation: Launch with Quartix in 2–3 Weeks? How?

Implementation can be a scary word, especially to people who have experienced an ERP implementation in the past. Dozens of man-years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, disruption of key processes and more might come to mind.

Implementation can be a scary word, especially to people who have experienced an ERP implementation in the past. Dozens of man-years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, disruption of key processes and more might come to mind.

Indeed - many systems, especially those that change core processes, require a cumbersome and costly implementation prior to launch, and sometimes, long after it. As a result, we find the focus of our conversations with interested buyers is on the length, cost and ease of Quartix’s implementation process.

This post will describe Quartix’s implementation process, covering the following elements:

1. Operational process

2. Data flow

3. Vendors on-boarding

4. Timeline

5. Implementation fees

6. Soft-launch

7. Multi-site deployment

1. Operational process

If you haven’t read our post about the in-depth SCF process yet — here’s your chance!

If you have, you may remember that Quartix offers the vendors optional discounting for approved invoice. This becomes available to the vendors shortly after an invoice is approved by the buyer, and stops being available a few days prior to the maturity date of the invoice:

Quartix changes nothing in the procure-to-pay process. It simply allows the vendors to sell it approved invoices to Quartix. When a vendor does so, Quartix simply changes the payee info for that invoice.

This non-invasive approach limits change to the existing process. The invoicing process remains unchanged, and so does the invoice approval process. The payment process does not materially change. The buyer still pays at maturity, to Quartix or to the vendor.

Any change to the payee information is done automatically, via data exchange between Quartix and the buyer, as explained below.

2. Data flow

Let’s break down the data flow, using a specific invoice as a test case.

The entire Quartix process requires two instances where information is exchanged.

‘Notification’: A message that is automatically sent by the buyer to Quartix shortly after a new (batch of) invoice (s) was approved. It includes information about the issuing vendor, invoice number, amount and due date (maturity date). Below is a batch of invoices that were approved shortly before 10/21/2018 (reaching maturity during December):

The invoice from the example above is highlighted.

‘Instruction: A message that is automatically sent by Quartix to the buyer a few days before a batch of invoices reaches maturity. Data fields are identical to the Notification message, with an added Payee field, indicating whether the invoice is to be paid to Quartix (if Quartix had purchased it from the vendor), or directly to the vendor, as before. Here is an example of the message that was sent on 12/13/2018.

Our test case invoice is highlighted in blue again. This batch has other invoices that reach maturity at the same date.

The data exchange interfaces between Quartix and the buyer may be implemented in different ways, like:

  1. REST API
  2. Custom ERP integration
  3. SFTP protocol
  4. Semi-Manually (Email / CSV upload)

Quartix may customize the data structure based on the buyer’s needs. Buyer does not need to change or adjust any parameters, but rather, simply to provide unique identifiers.

3. Vendors on-boarding

On-boarding a vendor usually takes less than 30 minutes. A standard, no-recourse short receivables purchase agreement is all that is needed. No underwriting. No credit check.

Once a vendor signs up, it receives credentials to the system, and is good to go.

Once Quartix was introduced to the vendors, it conducts the vendor on-boarding. Introductions may be made in the following ways (or a combination of them):

1. Email

2. Conference calls (with all vendors, or selected key ones)

3. Vendors conferences

4. Timeline

When a buyer is using a commercial / off-the-shelf ERP system, Quartix can typically be launched within several weeks. ERP integration and vendors on-boarding may be conducted at the same time. Once vendors start on-boarding the platform and the ERP connectivity is ready, the program may launch.

5. Implementation fees

None

6. Soft launch

To get started quickly, Quartix doesn’t need to integrate with a client’s ERP immediately. For clients who are interested to experience the process and see how vendors receive respond to Quartix, a semi-automatic process may be defined.

In this “soft” implementation approach, an AP manager can export/import simple simple CSV files from their ERP system instead of sending automatic Notification / Instruction messages as described above. This requires about 15–20 minutes of weekly sync between Quartix, and the AP manager. In this case, files are exchanged via email.

Soft launch includes launching with a handful of vendors (2–10) that are selected by the buyer, a number that may easily be expanded when the decision to scale the SCF program is made.

7. Multi-site

Some buyers have multiple ERP systems, mainly due to past acquisitions that weren’t fully integrated.

By developing adaptors / plug-ins that are specific to each of the different ERPs, Quartix can cover multiple sites that use different systems, adapting the processes to the specific needs of each site.

Summary

Quartix has very little impact on the buyer’s existing procure-to-pay processes. It pulls approved invoice data, and retrieves payee updates just prior to maturity. Unlike other vendor-finance solutions like p-cards or dynamic discounting, Quartix’s SCF offers a very simple implementation, and may be launched in a timeframe of several weeks, with very limited involvement from IT, procurement and finance-operations.

More posts