Agricultural Co-op Land O’Lakes Finds Billtrust eBilling

Fertile Ground for Cost Savings, Better Customer Service

Company’s North American Online Billing Initiative Creates Multiple Benefits for Customers

Including Combined Statements, Faster Payments, Expedited Dispute Resolution 

HAMILTON, NJ – (April 4, 2013) – Land O’Lakes is a whole lot more than butter. The Twin Cities agricultural co-operative, second largest in the U.S., serves its nearly 4,000 direct producer-members and 900 member-cooperatives not only by marketing its famous food products, but also by satisfying agricultural needs ranging from business development services to animal feed, agricultural seed and crop protection products.

Every month, Land O’Lakes sends out hundreds of thousands of invoices to its customers. Printing and mailing all those paper statements is a major cost—one that the organization sought to reduce by taking advantage of modern Web-based billing services.

“eBilling is clearly the wave of the future,” said Chief Information Officer Barry Libenson. “Our legacy system, however, wasn’t equipped to handle online billing. We began to seek out a partner who could supply a top quality online billing portal and related support service, all in a cost-effective cloud solution.”

A friend of Libenson’s, the former chief financial officer of one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, recommended Billtrust. “He gave Billtrust very high marks, having worked with them for some time. We explored Billtrust on our own and were very impressed.”

Billtrust offered Land O’Lakes not only a robust Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) service (Invoice Gateway™) that could be private-labeled, but also a flexible selection of other services. According to Libenson, even Billtrust’s print billing alternative had advantages.

“As much as we would like to move 100% to eBilling, there will always be accounts that prefer mailed statements,” he stated. “Billtrust has nine mailing facilities nationwide. That saves on delivery time and gets our bills into customer hands days faster.”

Billtrust’s SaaS (Software as a Service) orientation was also important to the Land O’Lakes IT organization. “SaaS is something I really like as a CIO. It means someone else can be responsible for the footprint—we remain the customer,” noted Libenson. “Billtrust has a history of continually updating Invoice Gateway to stay ahead of evolving technology.”

Land O’Lakes’ online billing portal went live only a few months ago. “This was one of our biggest recent IT projects because it touches so many customers in the U.S. and Canada. It’s very high profile,” said Libenson. “Initial rollouts are usually difficult, yet we had no major issues with this one. While we expected some level of noise in the channel, the questions were more along the lines of ‘How do we do this or that,’ rather than frustration or rejection.”

One of the biggest “carrots” attracting customers to online payment is the ability to see charges from multiple divisions, all in one statement. Many of Land O’Lakes’ agricultural customers buy from the company’s Purina Animal Nutrition subsidiary as well as its Winfield Solutions crop protection and seed subsidiary. With a single integrated invoice, customers are able to search, view and even break out their charges any way they like.

Also important to Land O’Lakes and its customers is easy dispute resolution—something that the new portal improves in several ways. “Invoice Gateway gives customers the ability to question charges at the line item level,” reports Libenson. “What’s more, the faster response time made possible through electronic means, versus having to wait for a human being on the phone, is a huge benefit for us and for our customers.”

As customers continue to enroll in Land O’Lakes’ online billing services, Land O’Lakes’ CIO sees the financial, business and customer satisfaction benefits accruing. “I’m a realist. It will be a very, very long time before all our customers use eBilling. But every 10% increase in customer migration improves our efficiency as well as our commitment to sustainability,” Libenson observed. “Billtrust has been a great partner all along the way, addressing our concerns and meeting all our requirements.”

About Billtrust

Headquartered in Hamilton NJ, Billtrust is a premier provider of outsourced billing solutions. Its products and services help companies’ billing practices become “Customer-Centric,” a concept that emphasizes flexible accommodation of customer needs. Billtrust’s billing channels span paper, fax, e-mail, online billing (EBPP, EIPP, Invoice Central), eBanking and IVR. In addition, the company provides expert bill design, in-bill marketing services, and CustomerCare, an integrated online customer service portal. Billtrust’s comprehensive tools automate the billing process so businesses can save money, increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery. For more information, visit Billtrust online at



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Categories: NJTC Information Technology Network

Author:NJ Tech Council

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