To that end, the RAB is working with the American Association of Advertising Agencies' (AAAA) EDI Task Force and has joined forces with BCFM (Broadcast & Cable Financial Managers) to develop an EDI Task Force specifically for Radio.
As part of the initiative to bring this important message to the Radio community, a special EI (and EDI) session will be presented during the RAB2001 Sales, Management and Leadership Conference, February 1 through 4 in Dallas.
The EDI panel is scheduled for Saturday, February 3rd from 2 to 3:45pm. The panel will be moderated by Mary Bennett, Executive VP, National Marketing for the RAB, and includes Don Wahlig from Interep, Ellen Weinstein from Encoda Systems, Harvey Kent from Donovan Data Systems and Kathy Crawford from Initiative Media North America. Ms. Crawford is also Chairperson of the AAAA's EDI Task Force for Local TV and Radio.
"Some agencies are beginning to demand electronic invoicing and many have vowed to go 'paperless' in the back room," Bennett noted. Some of the agencies she cited who are moving toward paperless invoicing include, J. Walter Thompson USA, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Erickson, Foresteria, Young & Rubicam, Grey/MediaCom, Broulliard Communications, Ogilvy & Mather, Zenith Media, Bates USA, DDB Worldwide, TN Media and Hill Holiday Connors Cosmopoulos. These agencies control in excess of $9 billion in billings. D'arcy reportedly is moving in this direction as well.
Proponents say Electronic Invoicing reduces time spent creating and mailing invoices and saves paper, postage and labor that can be used elsewhere in the station. But there are even bigger advantages.
According to Bennett, two of the agencies listed above, Saatchi and JWT, guarantee payment in 30 days for non-discrepant invoices that are send electronically. In fact, says Bennett, JWT is paying twice a month to EI stations.
Gary Fries, President & CEO of RAB, says the RAB is "encouraging EI/EDI software vendors and station traffic system vendors to develop open systems that allow for a smooth transition of data from station to agency software systems."