The deal isn't done yet but that could change as early as later today. It seems that Tungsten, an investment vehicle established by Edmund Truell, founder of private equity firm Duke Street Capital, has OB10 in it sights as part of a strategy to acquire...
In the final extract from The Supplier Engagement Handbook, Jo Harris shares best practices that will help ensure that all of suppliers – not just those with the highest volumes – adopt e-invoicing.Self-guided enrollment To roll out e-invoicing successfully, all suppliers must participate, from the largest and most strategic to the smallest, occasional vendor. You can run self-guided enrollment alongside your high-touch outreach with sophisticated techniques that quickly engage your thousands of lower-volume suppliers. For self-guided enrollment to be effective, the following components are crucial:
It’s not easy to find real best practice advice for e-Invoicing and supplier enrollment. This extract from The Supplier Engagement Handbook describes recommended steps on how to offer suppliers that send a high volume of invoices or have complex organizations a more consultative enrollment approach.
e-Invoicing – high-touch enrollment of suppliers
Accurate contact details
Before starting a communication effort, it is important to have accurate contact information. Ideally, this includes up-to-date details for sales contacts and the people in billing and collections. No one is happier to accommodate your needs than your sales contacts; use them to your advantage.
Creating a comprehensive and coordinated strategy is essential and must take into account all your stakeholders. A common pitfall is to solely focus on the messages to suppliers. It is just as important to communicate the vision and objectives of the program within your own organization to achieve the necessary buy-in and support. Use a careful mix of channels and media to communicate both internally and externally, including your website, intranet, press releases, social media, posters and existing newsletters.
From outside of Latin America, electronic invoicing in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the others, seems complex and mysterious. What information that is available to understand it is mostly in Spanish or Portuguese. For those of us who are a little rusty on our Spanish and Portuguese, even the English written information is difficult to grasp because the concept of e-invoicing in Latin America is fundamentally different to the concepts familiar to Europeans and North Americans. But for any business that trades in South America it is crucial to understand the new invoicing landscape.
This is the first in a short series of articles by Jo Harris, Director of Programme Management at OB10. They are extracts from The Supplier Enablement Handbook, a best practice guide for e-invoicing and we’re especially pleased to feature them in Purchasing Insight.The deepest and broadest hands-on experience of implementing electronic invoicing comes from the e-invoicing vendors themselves and as more and more organizations take on board the benefits of automating finance processes, sharing some of the lessons learned is extremely welcome.
e-invoicing - the supplier engagement plan
Before you start talking to your suppliers about e-invoicing, you must have a detailed plan in place to support your enrollment campaigns. Internal stakeholder support, clear messaging and a thorough understanding of your supplier-base demographics will mark the difference between an easily dismissed email and a set of strategic communications.
It depends how you interpret e-invoicing. In its EDI guise it’s been around for over 20 years but its modern incarnation, XML data transported over the internet, grew out of the dot com boom of the late 1990s so which ever way you look at it, e-invoicing has been around for more than a decade. And we’re now moving into a new era. Its take up has grown to an astonishing level partly due to mandates in various parts of the world and partly because, frankly, it’s a no-brainer. When a technology is new and untested, there is a natural and pragmatic suspicion that prevents widespread adoption. We have, collectively, had over a decade to understand how to get it right. For established electronic invoice programs, they have had time to iterate and refine and for those just embarking on the e-invoice journey, there are well-established paths to follow. There is no need to create methodologies from scratch, no need to reinvent the wheel. Even the business case is simple because it can be based on others’ experience, not some theoretical savings exercise. The latecomers have got it easy and that’s great for everyone. So where can you access sources of best practice? How can you get at the experience of the last decade or so?
Moving away from paper invoicies to electronic invoices isn’t just about delivering business efficiency and the automation of business processes. It’s as much about eliminating paper and saving the planet – right? And in places like Mexico where e-invoicing is soon to be compulsory, we should see a dramatic improvement in the carbon footprint of finance departments all over the country shouldn't we?. What will happen to printer sales? Will printer manufacturers go out of business? And what about print supplies? It’s ironic but, as a direct result of the introduction of mandated e-invoices, there may well be a boom in printer sales in Mexico.
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