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Work-from-Home Strategy Series: Supplier Portals

Now’s the time to improve visibility with your suppliers, so you can eliminate credit holds, disputes, and frustrating inquiries when the world gets back to work.

We hope that you continue to stay healthy and productive as we ride out the pandemic storm together. All of us at Direct Commerce have been spending time cleaning things up and thinking strategically so we can hit the ground running when economic activity surges again.

The response to last week’s strategy blog on Dynamic Discounting was really tremendous, so it looks like you all are focused on improving efficiency and productivity during these strange times as well. If you haven’t seen that blog post yet, be sure to check it out!

This week’s post covers the many advantages of providing suppliers with an online portal, where they can submit invoices, check payment status, initiate and resolve disputes, and get answers to questions without burdening your staff.

Large global enterprises love the cost savings and efficiencies generated by supplier portals and the accompanying automation of AP processes, and suppliers love them, too. Even after some initial resistance, the vast majority of suppliers admit they’re grateful for improved visibility with buyers. Greater transparency leads to better relationships.

We encourage you to get a meeting on your calendar and discuss the recommendations below with your AP team. And be sure to watch our best-practices webinar on AP Automation to calculate the kind of ROI you can achieve.

Three Strategic Moves You Can Make Right Now

Here are three things to consider so you can maximize the benefits of a supplier portal.

1. Assess Your Supplier Relationships

Take an honest assessment of your current supplier relationships. Are you more than a few days behind when it comes to responding to supplier calls and emails? Are paper invoices and manual processes frustrating your suppliers and members of your AP team? Is your AP department more reactive than it should be? If you’re experiencing problems like these, you’re a great candidate for a centralized supplier portal and AP Automation.

2. Commit to Change Management

Creating sustainable process transformation requires a commitment to change. Align your internal stakeholders on your goals and be sure to prepare for extra inquiries from your suppliers during the transition. It may be a bit of a bumpy ride, but it will be worth it.

3. Make Onboarding a Priority

Without a commitment to change, mediocre supplier participation rates will doom your initiative to failure. You must deploy a comprehensive supplier onboarding program that includes effective awareness campaigns, clear communications and training, and strong policies and procedures. Direct Commerce has a proven track record for working with customers to achieve 100% supplier adoption.

Once you get the conversation started, feel free to tap into our expertise for specific guidance based on your particular situation. We may all be working from home these days, but we’re all working!

Just email or call 415-288-9700, and one of our team members will show you how to transform your supplier relationships, and your business, with supplier portals and AP Automation.

Topics: Workflow, Automation, Supplier Portal