Wednesday, October 1, 2008

System Configuration Pitfalls

By Mark Brousseau

What is the most common mistake billers make when configuring a new remittance system? Looking at the solution with too limited of a scope, says Bob Balotsky ( of Houston-based US Dataworks, Inc.

“Billers may think that they are expanding their horizons by implementing a new system with advanced features and functionality,” said Balotsky, citing exceptions handling and data entry tools as two examples. “But that is not enough. Automating remittance payments that come through the mail, although valuable, doesn’t address the other ways payments are made to an organization.”

Balotsky tells me that organizations need to look beyond the remittance silo and develop an enterprise-wide payment strategy. Only then can an organization take full advantage of the available payment clearing alternatives. “In order to truly maximize organizational efficiencies, billers must take a higher-level, enterprise-wide approach,” Balotsky said.

Yolanda Sanchez (, product manager at US Dataworks, adds that when configuring a remittance system, especially an enterprise payments solution, billers want to be sure to consider the different types of transactions that were previously in different departments, and now will be coming together: “You need to consider the total throughput.” Similarly, billers need to be sure their new solution supports emerging payment types.

Sanchez also warns billers not to fall into the trap of having a new solution replicate the tasks of a legacy system, simply because the organization is familiar with those processes. “Be sure you understand how the new system can be configured to make processes more efficient, or in some cases, eliminated,” Sanchez said. “You need to get past the mental roadblock of, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’” What do you think? Post your comments below.

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