If you want to do business with the Pentagon, there’s a few things you should know. Winning a U.S. Department of Defense contract can be tricky, as they are very selective about who they do business with, and there is quite a lot of competition.
The good news is twofold. First, you can greatly increase your revenue by working with the government. Second, working with the military has become simpler in recent years thanks to technological changes. One of these changes has been the implementation of a system called iRAPT — which stands for Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer.
Using iRAPT is paramount to your prosperity in working with the Department of Defense. As such, it is crucial that you understand what iRAPT is, how you will be expected to use it, and how you can ensure consistent compliance to military tracking standards.
What is iRAPT?
A common question we get is “what is iRAPT?”. In 1997 the US Department of Defense started to make the move towards a paperless invoicing environment. Formerly, this was known as Wide Area Workflow, or WAWF. Eventually, WAWF got built out further and further until it became a suite of programs that all worked together. From within the WAWF system came iRAPT, a secure web-predicated system that can be utilized for electronic invoicing, receipt, and acceptance. iRAPT has greatly increased the ability of contractors and the DoD to ensure accurate and timely delivery and payment, while simultaneously reducing penalties that could have occurred due to the loss or misplacement of important data.
The Benefits of iRAPT
As a DoD contractor, it is mandatory to use iRAPT for your reporting. Otherwise you won’t get paid. However, there are plenty of other benefits for your organization outside of just being compliant to government standards. We have highlighted the most notable benefits below, but there are additional benefits outlined in our blog, 8 Benefits to iRAPT Application.
Elimination of Paper-based Support Functions and Data Errors
iRAPT eliminates the manual entry of data across programs, which leads to increased labor savings and reduced data entry errors. Paper-based processes require a multitude of oversight protocols to ensure proper compliance and reduce data-entry errors. Adherence to oversight protocol for paper-based inventory system requires a robust management to succeed. In contrast, iRAPT reduces the need for additional management and thus effectively creates more revenue for the organizations that use it correctly. . The electronic capture, storage, and retrieval of required documents removes the need for the mail, file, and copy rooms, as well as the associated personnel that a paper-based supply chain system requires.
Secure and Auditable Transactions
iRAPT maintains the security of each document that passes through its network. This security is achieved, in part, to the robust user registration process. During user registration, each user is only given permissions to the appropriate functions and documents. In addition, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates are used to verify user identification, and, when required, to digitally sign documents.
Enables Timely and Precise Payments
For defense contractors, it’s important to make sure everything is in order or your payment from the DoD may be delayed or lost. One of the primary benefits of utilizing iRAPT is the ability to better ensure that you’ll get paid for your shipments. iRAPT is capable of taking in EDI X12 files and FTP batch files for transactions such as asset registration and Advanced Ship Notices (ASN). Vendors who electronically connect system-to-system see a decrease in the time it takes to generate a document and submit it to the correct government personnel for acceptance. What normally took 10 days can now be accomplished in one day, if not minutes.
Understanding iRAPT and developing a comprehensive plan to efficiently use the iRAPT system should be a prerequisite before you get involved with any DoD contract. Stay ahead of the competition and optimize your organization to take advantage of iRAPT.
What is iRAPT? Learn more about how iRAPT can optimize your business dealings with the DoD here.