Rule 7: Activate, activate, activate

Director, Center of Excellence, Global Sales

I hope you have enjoyed my series of blog posts looking at the common myths about e-invoicing and my top recommendations for any business embarking on an e-invoicing program.

What the series has hopefully shown is that successful e-invoicing can offer numerous benefits to today’s organizations including improved collaboration, better cash flow, contract compliance, discount capture, higher quality data, optimized ordering and more efficient invoice processing (plus improved visibility). Yet too many companies are still being held back, believing that e-invoicing is simply too complex.

Hopefully I’ve shown you that the reality is quite different. In my last blog post in the series I will look at how activation of both customers and suppliers is critical to success.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more information about further posts by following Basware.

Rule 7: Activate, activate, activate
 

I have already touched on this area within the series of blogs but I wanted to reinforce in my final post: activating all parties as quickly and comprehensively as possible is key to success. Without active engaged suppliers and customers, it is unlikely e-invoicing can succeed within a business. While you may be able to dictate the move to e-invoicing to your suppliers, you will not be able to do this with your customers—and it is far better to make everyone involved enthusiastic participants.

Ensuring this rule is adhered to shouldn’t be difficult and the benefits won’t be limited to your own business. Suppliers and customers stand to gain too. An effective e-invoicing capability can offer all participants better collaboration, the opportunity to realize specific discounts and improve cash flow.

The operator you choose for e-invoicing should have a compelling approach to activation and ought to be able to assign experts to make the whole process run more smoothly. They should have practical and proven tools to get customers and suppliers involved quickly and working with the system effectively, including:

  • An open network to enable the greatest number of companies to participate with the lowest barriers to entry
  • Activation kits containing all the information and resources to support customers and suppliers in the transition
  • Direct integration capabilities to your customers’ and suppliers’ ERP and accounting systems

I advise that the key to success is to take a staged, pragmatic approach, which should focus on the largest, most active customers and suppliers first. It should look to ensure that any new suppliers join the e-invoicing system immediately (this is often specified as part of an initial RFP).

Once again, customer and supplier activation should not be solely your responsibility, your operator should be able to deliver a dedicated service that supports you across the entire process. The result is that you will be able to get your key customers and suppliers activated faster and begin seeing the true value of e-invoicing sooner.

What this series of blogs has shown is that the benefits of e-invoicing are there and the barriers are not what you think. I believe the time to begin your move to e-invoicing is now.

After all, what’s holding you back?
 

Category: E-Invoicing