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Founder, Managing Principal, The 56 Group, LLC, author of several best-selling books, including CRM at the Speed of Light: Social CRM Strategies, Tools, and Techniques for Engaging Your Customers, but most importantly known as the Grandfather of CRM.

2 responses to “Accounts Payable, The Role of Process, The CustomerNever Think Bloodless”

  1. Phil Wainewright

    I agree with all of your sentiments, Paul. But I found it interesting that you have talked entirely about relationships with customers when the original incident was based on your experience as a supplier. Are you saying that suppliers should be treated with the same courtesy/.respect as customers? Or is it simply a matter of getting rid of inflexible processes throughout the enterprise? (That’s something I’m very much in favour of). Finally, then, how do you arbitrage? For example, given the choice (in a limited budget/resource scenario) between adding flexibillity to the purchase ledger payments process or the sales ledger credit note process, which would you prioritise?

    1. Paul Greenberg

      Hi Phil,
      The point of the post was that processes are not devoid of either customer impact or impacting customers and cannot be what rules a company or a department. The “me-as-a-supplier” plays two roles – one as the thing that triggered me thinking about the role of process one more time and two-as a example of how the bloodless approach works. However, there is something to be said about courtesy/respect to all people involved in a business. Its just the right thing to do. If you must have a business value tied to it, a break in the value chain at any point e.g. a very unhappy supplier can lead to a broken experience for your customers, so there’s the business value. But ultimately respect for all people except those who have earned your disrespect should be the norm in or out of business.

      As far as how you arbitrage. I can’t address the particular processes that you discuss since they are not processes that I deal with often and besides, it would always depend on pretty much everything else going on in the company that has to make the decision. All I’ll say is what I always do. One of the criteria that has to be looked at is how it affects customers and how they affect it. What impact does those effects have on the value of the process. Remember the discussion in the post about the $40K financial process. Same holds here.