Making changes in life is usually avoided. And this is usually the case because the impending change is often perceived as painful. We all know procrastination well. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case and in the case of switching TEM providers, we wrote this article to make TEM provider changes smoother and less painful.
For those seasoned folks in the TEM industry, especially for expense management senior managers and directors with experience in this type of TEM operational transition, there may be a natural reflex eye roll. And – to be fair – it’s hard to blame them; a TEM provider transition is usually associated with horror stories.
Let’s take this opportunity to go over process items that will help facilitate a smooth transition to a different TEM provider and TEM platform.
We don’t want you and your enterprise program to suffer from common TEM transition issues that we know are all too common within the TEM industry.
4 TEM Switching Priorities
1. Set a clear project plan with realistic start and end dates
This may seem obvious, but the value of a well-thought-out TEM project plan cannot be overstated. The plan should be highly detailed and contain start and end dates for transition activities that are realistic and achievable.
The plan should also be broken-out into phases that make sense to all involved. A strong plan will clearly list activity sequences, activity priorities, and activity owners, along with all corresponding dependencies between said activities.
The incoming TEM provider will typically assign a project lead or implementation project manager to lead the TEM transition. And this is a good thing since you will want your internal team project lead in a position to work directly with one key person whom they can form a relationship with and hold accountable for results.
These two project managers will need to work closely with a myriad of other support personnel, both inside and outside their respective companies to make the implementation successful.
And there is one more important person involved here. It’s the project manager of the legacy TEM provider you are leaving. You will want them clearly dialed into all aspects of the implementation plan as well.
All three project managers need to be aware of the TEM transition plan and buy into it. Once this is achieved, the team can move into rolling out the plan, but you will not want to start the TEM transition until this has been achieved.
2. Set a clear plan for invoice receipt for the new TEM provider
All parties will want to clearly detail how invoices are to be received and processed initially for this important area. Your new TEM partner should be able to provide detailed steps on how this will happen. There should be no ambiguity here as this is how you and your new TEM provider project manager (PM) will evaluate success.
For example, how will your new TEM provider manage invoices received prior to the go-live date?
Make no mistake, there is simply too many support personnel involved across too many companies: mistakes will happen so ensure that you and your new TEM partner are clear on the process for documenting and addressing invoice receipt issues.
Each situation is different, and processes may vary between TEM providers, so we won’t attempt to list all scenarios.
The main point here is to make sure that all key stakeholders are clear on the process and plan for mitigating these errors and resolving these issues when they arise. It’s important to your invoice management process.
3. Set a clear plan for invoice receipt for the old TEM provider
Déjà vu all over again, only in reverse. You will want a clear plan for your “old TEM” to manage invoices received after the go-live day is breached.
At this point, in a perfect world, your “old TEM” would not receive any more invoicing. Unfortunately, in the TEM industry, we all know that Murphy’s Law will kick in, and invoices will find a way to arrive at places they should no longer be.
You can count on this happening so, again, you will want a clear plan to establish expectations around how this will be managed and resolved in a timely manner.
This is where the “rubber hits the TEM road” so it’s important to get this part of the transition right and then build out and up from there.
You will want to speak with your new TEM provider about their preference for dealing with this and then communicate plainly with your outgoing TEM provider on the approach for addressing these instances.
Note: This could be its own blog and we’ll address this in more detail with a deeper dive soon.
4. Define a clear listing of accounts that are included within the project’s scope
This may seem obvious, but the importance of being completely clear about all accounts within the project scope is critical to a smooth TEM transition. Your Accounts Payable invoice processing team will be grateful.
This simple but important process task is akin to the teacher headcount on the field trip school bus. There is simply no way to know if all accounts are accounted for without such a clear list of accounts within scope.
You will want to ask your prospective new TEM partner how they oversee their master account tracking list et cetera.
At Tellennium, we produce new files that we cross-reference with our customer management team. The goal is to ensure that we capture all relevant accounts, produce new vetted files, and then integrate these files appropriately with all pertinent departments such as Human Resources and Accounts Payable.
As noted, change is not always easy but it’s worth it, especially if you are an enterprise that is dissatisfied with your existing TEM provider’s performance. If you keep these highlights top of mind, you will be well served during your TEM transition process.
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