a night for larry and roy

The last time I saw Larry Steur was four days before his very sudden death on March 1 of a heart attack. Larry was someone I had been running into at concerts for years, a patron I knew by face long before I ever knew his name. We would regularly engage in often detailed discussions about music. Sometimes ithey would be about a performance we were witnessing at that moment. In other cases, it might deal with some festival he had just returned from. He loved making pilgrimages to the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was a veteran of several trips to Bonnaroo.

Larry had over 20 years on me, but he seemed ageless. It was all I could do to keep up with him at a single performance. I couldn’t imagine doing so at a festival.

We talked only briefly that last time I saw him. We ran into each other at a Natasha’s show by the Cincinnati gypsy jazz quartet Faux Frenchmen. I was hoping to ask him what he thought of the Randy Newman concert at the Opera House the week prior. But, as usual, he was too quick for me. As soon as the Frenchmen called it a night, Larry was gone.

Steur will be honored along with another avid and longstanding music patron, Roy Stout, on Tuesday night at Natasha’s. I didn’t know Roy as well as Larry, but I knew him longer. He led a local indie record label in the ‘80s that cut albums by such Lexington bands as I.S. In recent years, he was a continual supporter of the local arts community. Like Steur, he was a volunteer for – and a tireless supporter of – the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour and the Troubadour Concert Series. Stout died last month after being hit by an automobile in Jamaica.

The Natasha’s celebration will feature performances by Michael Johnathon, J.P. Pennington, Ben Sollee and others. Admission to the 7:30 p.m. event is free, but donations to benefit Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be accepted at the door.

JCPenney develops process that’s efficient and pays suppliers faster.(management of JCPenney Company Inc.)

Purchasing July 14, 2007 By Susan Avery Corporate procurement at JCPenney has figured out how to pay suppliers quicker-and it isn’t by electronic data interchange (EDI). In fact, the tool the company uses works for big and small suppliers-even those that may not be large enough to justify EDI. The new tool also improves efficiency and control. see here jcpenney printable coupons

Quicker payment helps improve relationships between purchasing and suppliers.

JCPenney uses the MasterCard purchasing card (p-card) issued by GE Money-Corporate Payment Services in Salt Lake City, Utah, and its e-settlement tool called vPayment. Corporate procurement at JCPenney has also integrated the tool into its Supplier Internet Site and e-procurement system called e-Pro.

JCPenney developed e-Pro to help manage its indirect materials and service suppliers. It is an online resource that provides suppliers information on shipping procedures, purchase order (PO) policies and an option for payment by p-card. The company pays more than 90% of its indirect suppliers by wire transfer, check or automated clearing house (ACH).

“Before we started using vPayment, we sometimes encouraged suppliers to get set up for EDI, when it really wasn’t the best fit,” says Paula Price, senior financial planning manager in JCPenney’s corporate procurement operation. “So, we designed from scratch an easy-to-use system, with controls that minimize risk, providing another payment alternative for suppliers.” Purchasing cards. At JCPenney, store managers use “walk-around” purchasing cards for infrequent or low-dollar purchases, such as special occasion flowers for employees and food for staff meetings. The company was reluctant to expand the program beyond that, says Price, whose background is in internal auditing.

“We were hesitant to use the p-card for other purchases, because of tax reporting issues,” she says. “Capital purchases are taboo as well, since it’s hard to track the assets. vPayment supports documentation that resolves these issues.” Prior to implementing vPayment, Price was settling Pos with procurement-controlled p-cards with high limits. “I would manually perform a three-way match, verifying receipt, and then I would call the supplier with the account number,” she says.

“Suppliers like the cards. I processed several million dollars in orders this way in 2006 alone. However, sometimes suppliers would charge other invoices to the accounts. That required another phone call, when I would challenge the supplier on charging the card without approval. I’m still chasing a few credits.” To resolve these issues, Price wanted a payment option with tight controls that would expand a supplier’s payment choices. So, she developed a business case and approached JCPenney’s IT managers. “We had to demonstrate that our regular suppliers would embrace payment by credit card,” she says.

Key to the approach is vPayment. Using technology to cap authorizations to specific dollar- and date-range limits, the tool also automatically captures accounting information such as PO number with no manual input.

With a green light from IT came months of analysis, coding and testing-and some changes on the procurement side:

First was policy documentation. “We had to adapt some supplier policies,” says Price. vPayment-specific policies are now part of the reference material a supplier can review online.

JCPenney buyers and others also needed training. “For instance, if you’re paying a supplier with vPayment, you need to go into e-Pro and receive the goods or services, regardless,” she says.

Setting up and approving a supplier for payment by p-card takes about two days, depending on goods and services provided. This is quicker than setting up a standard supplier. in our site jcpenney printable coupons

For suppliers, “vPayment is an alternative payment process and it allows them to avoid getting set up on EDI,” says Price. “All a smaller supplier needs is Internet access and ability to take payment by MasterCard.” Still, there are some differences to settling a transaction using vPayment:

Prior to using the tool, suppliers need to request and retrieve a vPayment account for the specific PO received plus applicable tax, which the supplier enters. Freight is separate, using JCPenney’s shipping rates.

Upon receipt, the supplier retrieves the vPayment account number from the JCPenney Supplier Internet site. The supplier uses it one time to get paid. Entering the payment amount incorrectly or past a 30-day authorization window brings a decline at point of sale. “From the supplier’s standpoint, a vPayment account goes dead once it’s used,” says Price. “It will decline if tried again or for a different amount. That’s different from the p-card.” JCPenney built a 72-hour buffer period into the process to help improve accounting accuracy. Sometimes the company’s business units need to correct receipt amounts, or the supplier may be able to fulfill a split shipment within that period without affecting the original PO. “We deal with far fewer exceptions when we add that extra time,” Price says.

Most suppliers like card payment within 72 hours of receipt, she says. Sometimes a supplier needs time beyond the usual 30-day authorization window that JCPenney allows. In these cases, Price logs onto vPayment On-Demand, where she performs a maintenance adjustment, extending the authorization’s active timeframe.

Tax accounting is another difference. “The supplier must enter something in the applicable tax field,” she says. “If ‘$0’ is entered, we run a report and do a self-assessment of sales and use tax on those transactions. Between the exact tax figures entered by suppliers in most cases and this self-assessment report for the exceptions, we maintain an accurate and conservative tax position.” How They Buy:

Susan Avery Corporate procurement has developed a Supplier Internet Site and e-procurement system called e-Pro.

On the Supplier Internet Site, suppliers have access to information on shipping, Pos and options for payment One of those options consists of payment by purchasing card that includes a tool that eases the process for corporate procurement as well as suppliers.

How it works Susan Avery Companies use vPayment within their accounts payable and procurement systems. Here’s how it works at JC Penney:

JCPenney processes a PO, which can originate from an invoice or supporting documentation sent by the supplier, or it can be a new request for goods and services from within JCPenney.

The supplier logs onto the Supplier Internet Site to view PO details and start the fulfillment process. The supplier must use JCPenney routing guidelines and carriers.

JCPenney indicates receipt within e-Pro. Payment authorization is available in 72 hours. The supplier can view PO status online at the Supplier Internet Site.

To receive a MasterCard vPayment account number, the supplier logs onto the Supplier Internet Site and enters the applicable tax amount.

The supplier processes the account at its point-of-sale device. No additional input is required, since vPayment has already automatically captured the PO number in the MasterCard transaction record.

JCPenney receives a daily data file to confirm the supplier has processed the transaction.

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