Best Practices for Driving Electronic Billing

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Billtrust, the leading B2B outsourced billing provider, saw 92% growth in the number of bills they sent electronically in 2009. Behind this growth is the story of innovative companies like Granite City Electric that are applying best practices to convert their customers to eBilling channels.

Our company has always placed an emphasis on identifying productivity opportunities across our organization. Early on we recognized that Billtrust could help us achieve cost savings on postage, material, labor, and IT.

Granite City Electric, one of New England's leading distributors of electrical supplies, has been outsourcing their billing to Billtrust since early 2004. Billtrust, the leading B2B billing service provider, offers a suite of paper and electronic bill delivery products. Billtrust met Granite’s criteria for outsourcing - they fit seamlessly into their existing processes, reduced their hard dollar billing costs, allowed them to reallocate staff, and improved the services they offered to their customers. While Granite was able to achieve immediate savings of over 25% with Billtrust, this was just half the story. Granite’s focus was also to capture more aggressive savings over time through a program that would systematically convert their customers to eBilling channels.

Mike Anderson, CFO at Granite City stated, “Our company has always placed an emphasis on identifying productivity opportunities across our organization. Early on we recognized that Billtrust could help us achieve cost savings on postage, material, labor, and IT.” Anderson continued, “A key part of our strategy is to continue to reduce our costs by leveraging Billtrust’s products and expertise to migrate more of our customers to eBilling.”

To drive eBilling, Granite makes sure that the “win” for their customers is well defined and that their customer service team is trained on the benefits of eBilling. It is important to Granite that all members of their team can clearly articulate the advantages of eBilling including the environmental benefits, getting invoices faster, having the ability to download billing data into accounting systems (e.g. QuickBooks™), and improved organization through the elimination of paper.

To further drive growth, Granite periodically offers incentives to customers including the chance to win tickets to Boston Red Sox games (Granite City Electric’s logo is prominently displayed in the outfield of Fenway Park). To keep their staff focused on eBilling, internal incentives are often used including gift cards, gas cards and internal recognition.

Granite’s efforts have resulted in over 50% eBill Adoption. Below is a summary of the key best practices they applied:

  •     Have an eBilling champion within the organization
  •     Ensure the eBilling product offers “wins” for the customer. For example, with Granite's email billing product (offered through Billtrust) their customers can easily download data into many leading accounting packages.
  •     Use incentives both internally and externally.
  •     Make sure employees understand the eBilling advantages for the customer.
  •     Target top paper customers. They will have the greatest cost reduction impact.
  •     Set goals and track progress.

According to Anderson at Granite, “Billtrust is a great partner for us. They continue to find ways for us to save. They have a clear understanding of the needs of B2B billers as is reflected in the tools they make available to manage the billing process.”

About Billtrust
Headquartered in Jamesburg, NJ, Billtrust is a leader in outsourced billing solutions. The company’s flagship product and service suite, called CompleteBilling, consists of paper, fax, e-mail and online billing (EBPP, EIPP). In addition, the company provides expert bill design, in-bill marketing services, and an integrated online customer service tool called CustomerCare. These comprehensive tools automate the billing process, enabling businesses to save money, increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery. More than 450 companies nationwide rely on Billtrust for their billing needs. For more information, visit Billtrust online at

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Mitchell Rose
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