Often, businesses invest in millions of dollars in technology to solve issues and improve operations. However, technology, by itself, is not the main answer to operational improvement. Technology is a tool — a tool that can be very powerful when used by people who understand its potential impact.

Organizations that use the iRAPT (Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer) system when submitting invoices to the U.S. Department of Defense need to understand that iRAPT is a powerful, yet complex, technological tool that requires companies to make smart decisions about which employees should use the technology.

“iRAPT (formerly WAWF) is considered by many contractors to be one of the most frustrating and unfriendly systems of its type currently in use,” according to the blog “DOD Invoicing Demystified.” “Unfortunately there is no way around it when doing business with the military, as its use is mandated for most DOD (Department of Defense) contracts and delivery orders.”

Sending bills electronically through iRAPT can save a lot of time and money. Prior to iRAPT, Defense contractors would send paper invoices to the Department of Defense, sometimes to multiple offices, which made the process excruciatingly long. For the past 16 years, the iRAPT system has enabled contractors to send paperless invoices. This means that the government will receive the invoices far more expeditiously and, thus, contractors will be paid far more expeditiously. “What normally took 10 days can now be accomplished in 1 day, if not minutes,” reports the A2B Tracking blog “8 Benefits to iRapt Application.”

Making sure that your organization actually gets the benefits requires people who know how to use the iRAPT tool. The first task is to select a general administrator. Among other things, a general administrator is responsible for making sure that the information that the company provided the Department of Defense on the invoice is correct. That information includes the date the Department of Defense purchased your company’s product or service, the date it was repaired, and its status, including whether the product or service is still being used.

The administrator is also responsible for managing how trained users utilize the system. Making errors can be costly. That’s why hiring effective employees is just as important if not more important than using the iRAPT system. Effective employees make sure that they send invoices to the Pentagon as quickly as possible while simultaneously making sure that they have complied with the Pentagon’s rules on initial registration and updating that registration.

“Make sure when registering, that the Group Administrator (GAM) is someone with government contract knowledge,” the “DOD Invoicing Demystified” blog says.

The A2B Tracking blog “How iRAPT (Formerly WAWF) Affects Your Asset Reporting” reports that waiting until you submit an invoice to update your iRAPT registration is a mistake. “Instead, as soon as your contract is awarded, take some time to verify that your registration in the iRAPT system is up to date,” the blog advises. “Otherwise, waiting to confirm that your registration is accurate could result in a payment delay.”

“iRAPT is a secure DoD system so be prepared for stringent password restrictions,” the A2B Tracking blog on asset reporting says. “Your employees will need to update their passwords every 60 days. Make sure your employees are aware of when their passwords are about to expire because getting a user back into the system will take time, effort and patience.”

The iRAPT system can dramatically reduce the amount of time your employees spend on bills and free them up to make more sales and do other productive work, but your organization needs to make sure it has the right employees rather than rely on the technology to accomplish those goals on its own.