e-Invoicing only makes sense if your suppliers embrace it. Use these tips to set yourself up for success.Back in April we discussed how to develop an e-Invoicing strategy that sets you up for success. One piece of the strategic puzzle is to create an effective onboarding program, with the goal of achieving a 90–100% supplier adoption rate.
In this post, we’ll explain some of the best practices you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your e-Invoicing onboarding program, so you can eliminate paper and pdf invoices—and all the frustrations and inefficiencies that come with them
1. Wow Your Suppliers with a Self-Service Portal
When you give your suppliers a way to make e-Invoicing easy—and provide complete visibility into the status of purchase orders, invoices, and payments—even suppliers resistant to change will come to appreciate the fact that they can get information and answers without contacting you by phone or email. For suppliers with high volumes and the ability to integrate electronically, using EDI, XML, file uploads, etc. is an important consideration. Make sure validation occurs “in network” and that visibility and self-service capabilities are provided if any issues arise.
2. Communicate the Benefits to Your Suppliers—Early and Often
As soon as you decide to implement e-Invoicing and other AP Automation solutions, you’ll want to bring your suppliers up to speed. Make sure you have the correct contact information for your suppliers, explain the benefits of the paperless environment well in advance, and be ready to hold your suppliers’ hands through the implementation process. Patience and understanding upfront will yield big long-term dividends.
3. Get Help from Your Procurement Team
As people who know and understand your suppliers as well as anyone in your organization, members of your procurement team can be important allies in your effort to implement e-Invoicing and automate your AP department. Be sure to keep them in the loop and ask them to start a dialog about the benefits of e-Invoicing with the suppliers they know best.
4. Keep it Complimentary
The last thing you want to do is insult your suppliers by charging a fee for e-Invoicing or other AP Automation services. Without any extra charges, e-Invoicing will be a significant win-win for you and your suppliers. There’s no need to charge for AP Automation, since it will dramatically impact your bottom line all by itself. If you want to understand the business case and calculate the ROI for your organization, download our AP Automation eBook.
5. Promote Early Payment Opportunities, Like Dynamic Discounting
Early payments can be a great incentive for many suppliers, so be sure to promote this feature if it’s part of your AP Automation suite and explain how it can help manage your suppliers’ cash flow.
6. Lean on Your AP Automation Service Provider
Experienced service providers, like Direct Commerce, can help you create effective communications and training materials, develop strong policies and procedures, and provide support every step of the way. Be sure to take advantage of this kind of consultative expertise to help you increase your supplier adoption rates. Our proven onboarding methodology, for example, targets your top suppliers immediately and gets you close to 100% supplier participation very quickly.
As we said in our e-Invoicing strategy blog, current conditions make now a great time to start implementing AP Automation solutions. Remote working, closed mailrooms, and overall uncertainty have highlighted the value of processing invoices electronically and managing related tasks remotely. Your suppliers are just as frustrated by the pandemic as you are, so there’s never been a better time to discuss the benefits of e-Invoicing with them.
e-Invoicing is the cornerstone of AP modernization and working capital optimization. To get it done right, tap into the expertise of Direct Commerce. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-288-9700 and we’ll arrange a free consultation or demo.