Silent Partner

Silent Partner's image

Company

Silent Partner

Industry

Virtual Office

Challenge

  • Improve billing accuracy by eliminating manual data entry
  • Reduce number of hours spent on billing management each month
  • Invoice customers in a timely and consistent manner

Solution

  • jBilling 3

Results

  • Slashed monthly billing processing time by more than 90%
  • Significantly improved cash flow, from 40% of invoices paid by day 30 to 85% by day 20
  • Reduced number of payment disputes and increased customer satisfaction

jBilling Enables Silent Partner to Cut Monthly Billing Processing Time by 90%

Based in Sydney, Silent Partner provides virtual office infrastructure and support—including virtual receptionists, calendar management, and help desk solutions—to small and medium-sized businesses across Australia, as well as other locations around the world. Used by companies in a range of industries, Silent Partner specializes in serving allied healthcare professions, such as psychologists and occupational therapists. The company was founded in 2000.

Challenge

As busy professionals in demanding fields, Silent Partner’s customers expect their scheduling and other office solutions to be timely, easy to use, and above all else, accurate. Unfortunately, Silent Partner’s billing system wasn’t meeting these standards. “For the first five years, we used spreadsheets, and for the next five we used a custom-built invoicing system,” says Frank Stillone, the company’s CEO. “All of the billing calculation still had to be done manually, which means there were a lot of inconsistencies and errors.”

“The jBilling support team is fantastic. They worked with me to get into the code and customize it so it would function to our specifications.”

Silent Partner’s billing was not only prone to errors, but its invoicing was time-consuming and erratic as well. “Even with an invoicing system, we had to spend a minimum of 30 hours per month on all of the data generation, testing, and checking,” says Stillone. “To complicate matters, I did the invoicing whenever I had the time, so sometimes it was the first of the month, sometimes it was the 18th or the 25th. Customers didn’t know when their bill was going to arrive, which created a lot of dissatisfaction.”

Issues like these are a serious concern for any business, but dependable billing is particularly important for Silent Partner, a company that stakes its reputation on the professionalism of its solutions. Stillone knew he had to improve Silent Partner’s billing, so he began searching for a solution that was powerful yet easy to use and customize.

Solution

Initially, Silent Partner relied on Microsoft Excel and Access to keep track of invoices and payments. Then, the company built a web-based .NET application to generate invoices, but the solution still lacked basic billing functionality. Silent Partner then made the switch to jBilling, but worked with an inexperienced third party to customize and implement the software. That’s when Stillone decided to work directly with jBilling. “The jBilling support team is fantastic,” he says. “They worked with me to get into the code and customize it so it would function to our specifications.”

“For us, that’s a significant volume of billing events, and jBilling has been able to handle it without incident. It’s a tremendous improvement over our previous billing systems.”

Stillone has been particularly impressed with jBilling’s flexibility, pointing to the fact that it can accommodate different usage and billing levels with ease. “We have several different plans that people can choose from, and if we need to modify them or add new options, we can just build that into the system,” he says. “With jBilling, it’s very easy to make changes and everything works just fine.”

Moreover, jBilling has been able to scale to meet the needs of Silent Partner’s growing customer base. “In a month, our billing system will process somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 records,” says Stillone. “For us, that’s a significant volume of billing events, and jBilling has been able to handle it without incident. It’s a tremendous improvement over our previous billing systems.”

Results

Since completing its jBilling implementation, Silent Partner has seen dramatic improvements in its business operations, including more than a 90 percent drop in the amount of time it takes to process billing. “Previously, it would take us upwards of 40 to 50 hours to generate bills and manage the collection process every month,” says Stillone. “Now, we probably spend between two and four hours. The amount of time we’ve been able to save is huge.”

“Our cash flow is so much better with jBilling, there’s just no comparing it to how it used to be.”

 

As Stillone points out, jBilling has also helped improve the company’s cash flow. “Before jBilling, about 30 to 40 percent of our payments would be in the bank by day 30. With jBilling, our system automatically sends out periodic reminders, so money is flowing in throughout the month,” he says. “Now, we have 85 percent of our money in the bank by about day 20. Our cash flow is so much better with jBilling, there’s just no comparing it to how it used to be.”

These operational changes have led to other improvements, most notably an increase in customer satisfaction. “jBilling has allowed us to customize our system to fit the needs of our customers,” Stillone says. “For example, now we can send out customized PDF invoices, which itself has made a massive difference. The data is very descriptive and clear, so we have very few disputes and much happier customers.”

In short, as Stillone puts it, “jBilling as pretty much solved everything.”

“jBilling has allowed us to customize our system to fit the needs of our customers. For example, now we can send out customized PDF invoices, which itself has made a massive difference. The data is very descriptive and clear, so we have very few disputes and much happier customers. jBilling as pretty much solved everything.”

—Frank Stillone, CEO, Silent Partner