Technology advancements like automation, artificial intelligence, and the cloud have propelled transformation across payments in the commercial sector. And while some organizations are still dependent on paper invoices and manual payment processing, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these solutions are not just time-consuming and labor intensive — they’re costing companies money. In fact, according to a report from PYMNTS, processing paper invoices costs businesses an average of $171,000 annually.
As businesses shift to increasingly digital workstreams, how are procurement leaders eliminating dependency on manual invoice processing, achieving spend management and visibility goals, and improving productivity in innovative ways?
Action Behavior Centers, which serves children and families with autism through a community of more than 3,000 behavior analyst professionals, and Hobart Service, one of the nation’s leading food equipment service providers, are leveraging digital invoicing to improve productivity by automating manual processes, consolidating spend, helping procurement teams track and manage their business purchases, while also integrating with their organization's existing policies and processes. In this panel conversation, learn how Action Behavior Centers is leveraging their partnership with Amazon Business to innovate — customizing solutions like Pay by Invoice to meet their company's needs. We also discuss how Hobart Service is using Amazon Business' Pay by Invoice e-invoicing solution right “out of the box” and integrating with their e-procurement (EPROC) system, and the tangible results they are achieving.
Madelyn Puente, Director of B2B Payments, Amazon
Q — Why are companies increasingly prioritizing invoice automation or digitizing their payments processes?
Karan Chopra, Global Head of Payments Acceptance, Amazon
Over the past couple of years, digitization of end-to-end procurement processes has taken precedence over offline methods, and customers are getting more used to this digital transformation. The pandemic only accelerated this transition from paper-based processes, with business customers increasingly recognizing the efficiency gains and cost reductions that come with payments digitization.
Q — Madelyn: How are some of Amazon Business’ payments products keeping pace with these transforming customer expectations and a changing retail landscape?
Karan: Payments experience sits at the heart of this digitization. Within Amazon, we have built a business wallet that caters to the needs of our business customers. Shared Pay, our in-house differentiator for Payments experience, supports multi-user accounts and enables multiple customers within an organization to be able to make purchases seamlessly, customers can set up group buying rules, enable or disable the type of payment products they want their requisitioners to use, and stay compliant with their in-house procurement policies.
Today, we support various types of payment products, including bank-based payments, debit and credit cards, and our own Pay by Invoice (PBI), which is a 100% digital solution.
Using Pay by Invoice, eligible customers can procure with us on extended terms. Our monitoring dashboards enable customers to maintain a bird’s eye view of spending across various requisitioners and departments, empowering them to remain compliant with their procurement budgets and goals. Besides this, PBI also offers direct integrations with e-procurement systems and capabilities such as consolidated invoicing which aid seamless procurement and reconciliation. All this makes Pay by Invoice a simple and hassle-free solution to use.
Q — Madelyn: Action Behavior Centers has more than 200 locations across the US and has grown significantly with Amazon in innovative ways — partnering in beta programs and leveraging Pay by Invoice as the sole payment method for all users. Can you tell us about your experience with Amazon Business and implementing digital invoicing and why you chose Pay by Invoice as your preferred solution?
Mandy Carte, Director of Procurement, Action Behavior Centers
Action Behavior Centers has grown a lot in the past year by leaning into everything Amazon Business has to offer and creating a partnership that has only been enhanced by Pay by Invoice and the ease of invoicing. As we began prioritizing spend consolidation and looking to reduce maverick spend, we also zeroed in on the hassle of excessive receipts and lack of timely reconciliation associated with p-card use. We were invited to use Pay by Invoice and as an offering that was already available, and it was a good solution for us. We didn’t need to recreate the wheel. And with extended payment terms and consolidation, adopting Pay by Invoice was an easy sell to other stakeholders across the organization. It’s also helped us consolidate spend with smaller vendors, which has made it easier and more efficient to work with them.
Q — Madelyn: Hobart Service had similar priorities that led their organization to adopt Pay by Invoice. Aysha, can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced and why Hobart Service chose Pay by Invoice?
Aysha Mason, Accounts Payable Manager, Hobart Service
At Hobart Service, we have more than 90 branches with over 5,000 technicians in the field. With that volume of purchasers came excessive documentation on individual company cards. Reconciliation was cumbersome and when professionals left the company, we lacked visibility into historical purchases. We were already using Amazon a lot so Pay by Invoice was a good solution for providing the increased visibility and ease of reconciliation we needed.
"Since going live with Pay by Invoice in January 2023 we have seen a 15% decrease in the number of expenses being reconciled on credit cards by myself and my team."
— Aysha Mason, Accounts Payable Manager, Hobart Service
Madelyn: We hear so many similar stories of how receipt capture, processing, and approval of invoices tends to be a time consuming and labor-intensive process, with multiple department touch points, all resulting in lost productivity and limited visibility for organizations.
Digital invoices are proven to reduce costs and provide efficiency savings for finance teams. It takes paper out of the process and removes the need to manually capture data, but it also provides real-time visibility and invoice consolidation. In fact, consolidating invoicing with Pay by Invoice helped one Amazon Business customer reduce invoices from 500 per month to less than 10.
Q — Madelyn: How is Action Behavior Centers using Pay by Invoice to improve spend management and visibility and what results have you achieved?
Mandy: We’re taking advantage of all of the reporting available to us with Pay by Invoice — there’s really not a report that we don’t use at least once a month.
"We’ve been able to use data to monitor spend across 200 physical locations and 250 users in the system. With that data is added visibility into savings, purchasing dollars by center, as well as tracking the timing of payments."
— Mandy Carte, Director of Procurement, Action Behavior Centers
As we’ve adopted Pay by Invoice, we’ve seen significant time savings with invoice consolidation. In addition, improved visibility and tracking have helped us decrease lost orders — which has saved us a significant amount of time and money.
Q — Madelyn: Hobart Service has integrated Pay by Invoice into the existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Aysha, can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been able to achieve with this integration?
Aysha: Hobart Service has been able to automate the invoicing process by integrating Pay by Invoice with our ERP: Microsoft D365. We have all invoices routed into the coding queue and syncing into our existing process — automatically sending to our branch managers so they can be processed as quickly as possible. Pay by Invoice flows really well into our current set up and we have saved so much time by automating our invoicing process.
"This year alone, we have processed over 6,000 Amazon Business invoices and expect to see that number grow as we gain more users."
— Aysha Mason, Accounts Payable Manager, Hobart Service
As organizations like Action Behavior Centers and Hobart Service realize meaningful benefits from a digital approach to invoicing, how can other payments and invoicing professionals take a page from their playbooks and develop more scalable invoicing processes? Amazon Business Payments fits well in our customers’ “procure-to-pay” processes. With configureable payments settings, our customers can set up payments the way they want and ensure compliance aligned with their unique procurement goals and policies. Amazon Business Pay by Invoice can be integrated with e-procurement systems, help increase spend visibility across organizations, and reduce time spent on invoice reconciliation. With Pay by Invoice, eligible customers can also unlock access to extended payment terms.
Learn how Pay by Invoice can help your business keep track of invoices, stay organized, and save time.
About Action Behavior Centers
Action Behavior Centers is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children on the spectrum. With locations in Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, and Minnesota, they serve thousands of children and families with Autism through a community of more than 3,000 behavior analyst professionals.
About Hobart Service
Hobart Service is the leading provider of commercial food equipment service in the US. They have more than 125 locations and 1,500 factory-trained service technicians across the US and Canada.
This conversation took place at Amazon Business Reshape 2023, which brought together over one thousand global executives from enterprise organizations.
We'll translate the most important information for your browsing, shopping, and communications. Our translations are provided for your convenience. The English version of business.amazon.com, including our Conditions of Use, is the definitive version. Learn more
More languages are available from other Amazon websites.