Actian Business Xchange: Fueling Efficiencies in the Orders-to-Cash Cycle at Pinnergy
The invoicing process at Pinnergy was anything but a well-oiled machine, and everyone involved knew it. But it wasn’t really the fault of anyone at Pinnergy. A leader in diversified energy services and one of America’s largest regional independent oilfield service companies, Pinnergy’s customers represented a wide range of large and small oil and gas industry firms, few of which relied on the same accounts payable system. As a consequence, Pinnergy’s invoices moved from the dispatch system through customer signoff—and then had to be entered into customers’ online electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. It was a tedious manual process involving significant duplication of effort—and data—which increased the potential for errors and disputed invoices. It was also a process that took far too long to execute. It might take Pinnergy between 30 and 90 days just to get an invoice entered into a client’s EDI system.
As Pinnergy’s business grew, order management became even more complex. There were more customers to invoice and higher volumes of transactions to manage. The invoicing process became a bottleneck, resulting in high transaction costs and accounts receivable aging. Pinnergy officials knew that an electronic invoicing solution would dramatically streamline this process, but how could a single solution integrate so many diverse EDI systems?
Pinnergy’s IT and AR staff began exploring ways to standardize, automate, and, if possible, accelerate the entire customer invoicing process—from delivery to status tracking to collection. The team soon found Actian, the leader in trading-partner enablement and business-to-business invoicing for the oil and gas industry. Actian’s cloud-based Business Xchange platform provides B2B connectivity that links some of the largest oil and gas organizations in the world with their customers and suppliers.
As a fully-managed B2B integration service, Business Xchange enables trading partners to exchange electronic procurement and supply chain documents regardless of format or enterprise system. This enables trading partners to reduce costs, inefficiencies. and friction throughout their electronic trading relationships—from onboarding to exchanging invoices. And because Business Xchange can work with the XML format specified by the Petroleum Information Data Exchange (PIDX), the platform would enable Pinnergy to move large volumes of data through the order-to-cash process far more quickly and efficiently than in the past.
Pinnergy initially focused on using Business Xchange to deliver its invoices electronically to its top sixteen customers. Not only did these customers represent 80% of Pinnergy’s overall invoicing volume, but they also already relied on PIDX as their common EDI standard. Pinnergy would only have to create an invoice using data from its NetSuite ERP system and then use Actian Business Xchange DataConnect to upload the invoice to the Business Xchange platform. Once uploaded, invoices could be easily formatted to any customer’s requirements using PIDX standards. Extract, transform, and load (ETL) support built into Business Xchange facilitates seamless delivery of invoices to any customer, regardless of which accounting or other back-office systems they are using.
By integrating its enterprise IT systems and workflow with Actian Business Xchange and Actian DataConnect, Pinnergy streamlined and standardized its invoice submittal process. Eliminating manual data entry has reduced Pinnergy’s per-transaction cost as well as the incidence of errors, which has in turn reduced the number of disputed invoices and the amount of rework those disputes entail. Automation has also reduced the average time to submit invoices for payment, which has reduced Pinnergy’s AR aging by approximately 10 days.
Actian Business Xchange has also enabled Pinnergy’s accounting and credit management staff to gain greater visibility of the entire order-to-cash process. Reporting is both timelier and more accurate, which helps Pinnergy deliver better customer service.