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For years, the treasury team at American Standard Companies Inc., the $9.5 billion producer of bathroom fixtures, air conditioners and car brakes, used a pretty standard three-way matching system to pay invoices. Outgoing payments were first matched against the purchase order, then against the goods delivered to the shipping dock, and finally, against the invoice sent by the supplier. That changed when, in 2003, Marc Willensky from treasury led a team in an analysis of the payables system and found that it was causing labor redundancies, input errors, payment delays and even preventing the overworked department from taking on new business.

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