Construction Best Practices

Turning AP from a Burden to a Boon


University Mechanical Contractors, Inc. saved 400 hours a year and earned money with Viewpoint ePayments

For many construction organizations, paying vendors can require some heavy lifting: from gathering the invoices, reviewing the payments, organizing and printing checks — it’s a time consuming process where workflows can get bogged down and errors can easily occur. This was the case for University Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (UMC) until the company switched to Viewpoint ePayments and saved more than 400 hours a year in accounts payable time by improving its vendor payment process.

During a recent Viewpoint customer panel webinar, UMC Payables Manager Cindy Littrell and Technology Manager Dave Deutschman chatted with our very own Greg Sikes, Viewpoint’s director of product management and Viewpoint Marketing Manager Randi Kobak about their experiences with the move. The pair discussed how the 400-person construction organization handled their accounts payable processes before and after Viewpoint ePayments and why they decided to make the move to an automated vendor payment system.

Life Before Viewpoint ePayments

“It would take about eight hours between two days to do a check run,” Littrell said. “It was very time consuming.”

Prior to Viewpoint ePayments, all invoices were gathered and placed into a pay batch. That batch was handed off to Littrell to review. After she reviewed the batch, she would print the checks, send them to UMC’s CFO and controller. They would review the checks again. After the second review, the CFO would sign them. The checks would come back to Accounts Payable where they were stuffed into envelopes and mailed to vendors. This eight-hour process often resulted in a few errors occurring, such as vendors who mistakenly received payments.

Making the Leap

“We were anticipating rapid growth during the second half of the year where we were expecting much larger volumes of invoices to process,” Deutschman said. “We were also intrigued by vendors being able to pay with a credit card. Having a third party handle that for us was very intriguing and that caused us to move forward.”

With the expected growth well under way, UMC needed to save time managing vendor payments. The company liked how ePayments gave vendors the ability to pay with a credit card — a solution that would have been hard for UMC to manage itself. Littrell and Deutschman said they also liked the rebates that comes back via ePayments.The implementation process started in April 2018. It began with a five-minute phone call to help install the API. UMC is also a current Vista customer, and upgraded to the most current version of Vista to get the best ePayment experience. After the upgrade, UMC was quickly on its way to a streamlined and efficient vendor payment process.

Life with Viewpoint ePayments

“Instead of doing all the checks, sending them out and folding them…we’ve saved quite a bit of time and we get a rebate every month,” Littrell said. “That rebate has already exceeded one full-time employee and I’m guessing it will probably pay for two, and we’re loving that.”

Overall, UMC saw time savings, reduced operational costs, up-to-date vendor payment information and rebate income that it could add to its bottom line. Rebates come on a monthly basis and vendors can still make payments by check if needed. However, the number of vendors that are paying by credit card greatly exceeded UMC’s expectations.

If you would like to learn more about Viewpoint ePayments, contact us and we’ll tell you how Viewpoint ePayments can help you save countless hours of work and increase profits.