Case Study: Technology
BAO Systems improves billing automation and customer experience
Discover how Ordway armed CFO with better data on the business and freed up time to focus on big picture
BAO Systems enables international public health programs with technology.
BAO Systems is a technology company focused on supporting international public health programs. Their customers are government customers as well as many NGOs and other types of aid organizations. They realized their manual billing process was causing internal and external friction and needed to fix it fast.
BAO Systems struggled with manual processing of billing and accounts receivable
BAO Systems is scaling their operations to better serve public health programs around the world. When Michael Spitzer joined the team as a new CFO, he quickly realized that their manual billing and revenue recognition process was leading to revenue leakage and frustrated customers. “To put it very bluntly, it was a mess and one that needed to be cleaned up very quickly,” noted Spitzer.
The process for billing was fully manual. Invoicing relied on a single person, who would do her best to keep track of what invoices needed to go out and when. Despite her best efforts there were a lot of missed invoices. The invoices that were issued had a lot of billing errors. There was also no central visibility to account details such as the length of customer contracts.
He also understood that he needed to support his team with technology so they could be more efficient in their efforts to improve health outcomes around the world. The manual effort to compile hosting and professional service fees and map them to unique contract terms prevented the team from having time to focus on the big picture.
Components of the BAO Systems business model (custom to each customer):
- SaaS platform fee for data hosting
- SaaS modules (e.g. – additional security/compliance) sold as add-ons
- Professional services to support public health initiatives
”I care about putting as little friction as possible in the financial and administrative parts of the customer’s experience. They didn’t sign up with us to pay bills and deal with invoices."Michael SpitzerCFO, BAO Systems
Ordway manages complex order-to-revenue workflows and pricing models
The BAO Systems team evaluated many tools as part of their process. Some point solutions they looked at fit parts of their hosting services business model, and some were designed specifically for professional services organizations. BAO Systems chose Ordway for the following reasons:
Flexibility and power: BAO’s customers all enjoy custom contract terms and billing is complicated by the fact that their fees combine both a recurring charge for their technology hosting service, as well as professional services hours that fluctuate month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter. The Ordway platform enables BAO to automatically generate accurate invoices and revenue schedules.
Modern approach: As BAO Systems evaluated solutions, Michael quickly realized that much of the software on the market was designed for the dot-com era nearly 20 years ago. These rigid systems lacked the scalability of a modern enterprise-level platform. Ordway’s modern billing architecture and RESTful API means Ordway will grow and adapt as BAO Systems’ needs change over time.
Elimination of manual workarounds in the billing and revenue management process
BAO systems augmented their staff via the Ordway platform and are now generating error-free invoices for their clients. Previously stretched thin with basic tasks, the team now has time to focus on the big picture: strategic planning, understanding project-level profitability, and identifying where the business needs to improve.
What took endless hours is now accomplished with little or no effort, and the team has the peace of mind that as their business model evolves, the Ordway platform and team will be there to support their continued scaling and growth.
“The goal is we get really good quality data out of this so that we can see things like project-level profitability. We can see which customers are paying on time and which customers we need to work with a little more closely,” said Spitzer.
“At the end of the day, all of this rolls into our accounting and our operational reporting so that we can really understand what’s working in the business what might need to improve over time. And that’s really the goal for me to get to a place where the data just flows and the billing data ties with the project data, and I can see exactly what’s going on in the business at any time.”
”With automation of the billing, it allows me to focus more on getting cash in the door. It helps me focus on working on strategic plans, all the things that as a CFO you want to be able to spend all your time on."Michael SpitzerCFO - BAO Systems