02 Sep 2013 e-invoicing – self-guided enrollment
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.
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.
- Data maintenance
Self-guided enrollment relies on having good contact information for the thousands of companies that send a low number of invoices each year. While it can be easier to maintain contact details for larger suppliers, it’s difficult to do so for occasional vendors.
One piece of advice is to introduce vendor master data management into your daily processes, for example, ensure you request full contact details, including email addresses, from suppliers when they start working with you.
- Easy adoption
A supplier will only adopt e-Invoicing if the benefits are clear and registration is simple. These suppliers will need a very straightforward e-Invoicing option to meet their needs.
- Tailored, segmented messaging
If you only take away one message from this guide, it should be this: sending out a single blanket communication to all suppliers will have minimal impact on your conversion rates. It is critical to create tailored messaging based on best-practice campaigns.
- Automated campaign execution
As you have a large number of low-volume suppliers, it is important to minimize the manual effort required to communicate with them. By using a best-in-class automated communications platform, your tailored messages can be distributed to each supplier segment in a multi-step campaign, with escalation triggers along the way.
e-Invoicing is no longer a new tool adopted by a few organizations. If you choose to work with a service provider you should take advantage of this growth by selecting a network that has already enrolled a significant proportion of your suppliers – large and small.
And even if they’re not already on the network, the more requests a supplier receives to join, the more likely it is to act. The greater the number of customers a supplier can invoice through one network, the more value it sees.
e-invoicing: business as usual
While your enrollment campaigns are running, it’s important to ensure that e-Invoicing becomes the way you work with suppliers, and is engrained in your P2P process and corporate culture.
Keep in mind:
Electronic Invoicing (not supplier enrollment) is the goal. Your suppliers may have registered for e-Invoicing but are they still sending paper or PDF invoices? Don’t stop communicating. Remind them of the benefits e-Invoicing brings and the consequences of not changing their ways.
Make e-Invoicing the norm for new suppliers. Most companies have a high degree of supplier churn. Ensure new suppliers understand that e-Invoicing is the way they will get paid by making it clear in your request for proposals and including it as standard in your contracts. Your supplier campaigns will get existing vendors on board for e-invoicing. You must ensure it takes hold and becomes business as usual.
This is an extract from The Supplier Engagement Handbook, an e-book from OB10. You can download the entire e-book by completing the following form.