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Partnership, perseverance and payment plus. A case study: Ryan Companies US, Inc. does the right thing Ryan Companies US, Inc., is a family-owned, national developer, designer, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate manager specializing in fully integrated solutions for over 75 years. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with offices across the U.S., Ryan’ key market sectors include retailers, industrial, healthcare, senior living and corporate build-to-suit.
“Take care of the customer and the customer will take care of you.” — Fran Ryan, Co-Founder, Ryan Companies
“Do the right thing” is the Ryan credo. Maybe that’s why 72% of their business comes from repeat customers. As part of this commitment, Ryan goes “Beyond Building,” which allows professionals from all areas of their firm—development, architecture and engineering, capital markets, construction and real estate management—to come together to manage the entire lifecycle of a project. To Ryan, it’s this single-source solution and shared accountability that allows them to minimize risk and promote cost predictability for their clients. This strategy brings them success in all areas of their business. In fact, Ryan’s real estate management team currently manages over $2 billion dollars worth of assets for institutional, corporate and entrepreneurial entities in North America.
The challenge: maximize efficiency and profitability As the Controller of Construction Accounting at Ryan, Sarah Toepke is charged with overseeing payables for construction and real estate development. “I’m always looking for ways to grow the company, improve day-to-day transactions and streamline efficiencies within the accounting department,” says Sarah. To do this, Sarah collaborates with other business leaders within the company to ensure they are all working toward the same goals: process improvement and company growth. Ryan’s mission is to “Build Lasting Relationships,” and to their word they are true. This commitment can be seen in how they foster partnerships with clients, vendors and even their banks. In fact, Ryan has been partnering with U.S. Bank® since 1985. Primarily, Ryan turned to U.S. Bank for lending and cash management. But in 2010 Dhiren Patel, a Vice President at U.S. Bank, proactively identified and proposed a way for Ryan to streamline efficiencies and cut costs even further within the accounting department. However, the solution didn’t quite outweigh the investment at that point, as the platform needed to run the program was not yet in place. So Ryan waited.
“What makes our banking relationship so successful is that it’s a true partnership, not your traditional client relationship. After 30 years of working together, we have continuity and accountability, which means I can rely on U.S. Bank to answer and resolve issues immediately — even on a day-to-day basis.” — Sarah Toepke, Controller, Ryan Companies
The solution: U.S. Bank’s ePayables program Through creative strategy and perseverance, the U.S. Bank Team returned to Ryan with a timely solution — U.S. Bank’s Access® Online Payment Plus Program. Now living on an integrated IT platform, this program would allow Ryan to pay vendors via a “virtual” credit card account rather than writing paper checks, cutting administrative costs substantially. “We were taking a hard look at our costs per transaction on the accounts payable side. We wanted to cut back on the number of paper checks we issue due to their associated expense and risks,” said Sarah. In 2013, U.S. Bank worked with the Ryan team to identify, contact and enable a target list of vendors using the Payment Plus platform — which resulted in a 40% conversion rate — with 485 vendors enrolling. Not to mention that during 2012 and 2013, U.S. Bank helped Ryan convert two smaller credit card programs into one to ease the tracking of employees’ travel and entertainment expenses as well as fleet management costs. But what really impressed Ryan was that the U.S. Bank Team worked diligently to continue to create efficiencies, all while tirelessly building out the virtual card solution to meet their exact needs.
A partnership that provides increased ROI Over a three-year period, Ryan’s net financial benefit increased by 800% due to the program’s automated payment efficiency, visibility, control and rebates. Over that same period, even though the number of transactions converted from check to card increased by approximately 15,000 annually — Ryan experienced $0 fraud losses with the Payment Plus program. The good news is the program is ongoing, which means the benefits keep coming. In fact, Ryan was so happy with the program’s results, they hosted a lunch-and-learn at their offices for a local U.S. Bank client and property management company. “We answered real estate management questions regarding implementation and how to best leverage the program for growth. This client is currently in the process of implementing U.S. Bank’s Payment Plus program,” said Sarah. Looking forward, Ryan says the success of the program has led them to explore additional electronic payment options with U.S. Bank. To keep up their end of the deal, the U.S. Bank Team is now working to set up an accounts receivable automation program for Ryan’s property management group. With the right partnership, perseverance pays off.
About U.S. Bancorp U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $410 billion in assets as of March 31, 2015, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,172 banking offices in 25 states and 5,016 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.
©2015 U.S. Bancorp. All rights reserved. Credit products are subject to normal credit approval and program guidelines. Some restrictions and fees may apply. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. (Data in this article is as of 6/15) 7705
“With Payment Plus, suddenly we were able to automate and process 15,000 transactions annually, eliminating administrative costs while keeping the same number of employees in our accounting department. By streamlining process efficiencies, we have more time to focus on value-add programs to support the overall success of the company.” — Sarah Toepke, Controller, Ryan Companies
The Perks of Payment Plus With U.S. Bank Access® Online Payment Plus, companies simply submit payment instructions online or with an automated file. U.S. Bank makes the payment securely and provides complete remittance information. Payments can even be monitored via automated reporting. Payment Plus also:
• Eliminates expensive check writing and allows automation of account payments • Allows control over payments in selecting the supplier, date and amount • Provides precision protection for payment authorization down to the penny