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Work-from-Home Strategy Series: Dispute Management

Modernize your processes and cut that massive dispute backlog down to size. 

While we’re cautiously optimistic that economic activity will start ramping up soon, we’re honestly not too thrilled about having to get dressed up for work again. Working from home has its advantages!

While our meeting rooms remain our living rooms, we encourage you to meet with your teams and think strategically about modernizing financial processes with source-to-pay (S2P) automation. We received a lot of inquiries about supplier portals based on last week’s strategy blog, and it’s nice to know that many of you want to get those in place as soon as possible.

This week, we’re going to talk about managing supplier disputes more effectively. This can be accomplished with a supplier portal in place, combined with technology that synchronizes data related to invoices, documents, and workflows. When everything is accessible from a single source, communication improves and issues get resolved much faster.

Now’s the time to meet with your team and discuss the recommendations below. And be sure to watch our best-practices webinar to see how one of our clients streamlined their dispute resolution by partnering with Direct Commerce.

Three Strategic Moves You Can Make Right Now

Here are three things to consider as you work towards minimizing the impact of supplier disputes:

1. Determine the Scope of the Problem

Everyone understands the hassles associated with managing supplier disputes, especially when it comes to keeping track of multiple pieces of paper or random email attachments, but do you really understand what these irritations actually cost your organization? Think about how much effort—such as overtime and extra headcount—is needed to handle disputes in a manual way. What could you do instead if those resources were freed up? 

2.  Start Determining Dispute Submission and Documentation Rules 

With a supplier portal and automation in place, you can be very clear about how you want your suppliers to submit disputed invoices. Defining what you need from your suppliers upfront reduces unacceptable requests and makes it easier to approve or deny payment. Similarly, if you receive a damaged or incomplete shipment from a supplier, you can resolve the dispute faster by providing documentary evidence, such as photos or videos, linked to a specific PO.

3. Consider Supplier Self-Service Capabilities to Prevent Inquiries and Disputes

When you offer suppliers complete visibility, they can answer their own questions and payment status without calling or emailing. The client featured in our webinar had a massive dispute backlog, thousands of emails piling up without responses for up to 120 days. Once the client onboarded suppliers, the backlog diminished: now the client responds to emails within three days.  

To help define and implement your dispute management strategy, contact the S2P experts at Direct Commerce. Just email sales@directcommerce.com or call 415-288-9700 and we’ll set up a free consultation or demo. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Topics: Dispute Resolution, Workflow, Automation, Supplier Portal