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Strategy + Technology = Successful Supplier On-Boarding

28 August 2018

5 minute read

Strategy + Technology = Successful Supplier On-Boarding

100% supplier on-boarding is possible – want to learn how? Read on for the re-cap of our recent webinar on simplifying supplier on-boarding with Basware.
 
Implementing e-invoicing can be hugely beneficial for any business because it enables streamlining of accounts payable (AP) processes, leading to improved efficiency and increased control over cashflow and finance processes. In a recent webinar, our senior compliance manager Henri Liuska showcased new tools available to Basware customers that can accelerate and simplify the process of onboarding suppliers to their e-invoicing system so they can realise benefits faster.

Supplier On-Boarding is Critical to 100% Spend Visibility

In the webinar, Henri pointed out that the supplier onboarding process is crucial to the success of any e-invoicing initiative: if suppliers do not take the opportunity to use e-invoicing, your business cannot possibly realise the full potential business benefits of automation – and spend visibility is one of those main benefits. To achieve 100% spend visibility, you must on-board 100% of your suppliers – not just the big, sophisticated suppliers, but also the small guys and your long-tail suppliers. Otherwise, there will be gaps in the financial data and you won’t be able to make the strategic decisions that move your business forward and maximise ROI.
 
“You can have fancy AP systems and fancy AP processes, but without the onboarding you’re not able to get the value from those processes,” said Henri. The greater the number of suppliers that use the solution, the more the business will benefit from faster AP processes and a steady flow of valuable business data into your systems – improving cashflow, operational efficiency, the profitability of the business, and helping to inform business decisions. “You’re able to get more visibility of the business and to utilise more value-added services, like analytics, based on the better data that you get from e-invoices and your suppliers,” he explained.

Success Starts with a Supplier On-Boarding Strategy

Henri emphasised that supplier on-boarding can be a simple process – the Basware Network offers solutions that automatically convert invoices to true e-invoices without asking the supplier to change how they operate today (all they have to do is change the address to where they send invoices). But it always helps to start with a plan to strategically roll-out the solution to the supply base.
 
He outlined the importance of taking a phased approach:

  • Get support from senior management to champion the project internally with the team and externally with key suppliers.

  • Set goals with realistic, attainable targets to on-board groups of suppliers.

  • Develop a campaign that communicates changes to the suppliers and encourages their participation.

Tips to Build Your Supplier On-Boarding Plan

Henri discussed the importance of the right strategy while showcasing the new Basware tools that make supplier on-boarding a simple process. Here are the 3 key takeaways from the webinar discussion:

1. Leverage Intuitive Tools

Henri ran through a short demonstration of the user-friendly tools that Basware is making available to customers, explaining how a simple, intuitive solution helps customers simplify their approach to on-boarding suppliers. These tools support customers in automating more aspects of the purchase-to-pay process and communicating the invite to join the Basware Network more efficiently across the supply base. Customers can use these tools to define onboarding targets and monitor progress. For example, they can set targets to increase e-invoicing adoption rates with suppliers based on the percentages of invoices they want to receive electronically (e.g. – 30% by day 45, 60% by day 90, 100% by day 120, etc.), set start and end dates for supplier on-boarding campaigns, and customise the landing pages to which suppliers will be directed to when they begin the on-boarding process. He also explained some of the different ways that the tools can be tailored, for example: specifying which data types should be requested from suppliers.

2. Demonstrate the Value

Joining a business network needs to be easy and beneficial for suppliers, especially when it comes to smaller suppliers. That is why Basware makes it possible for suppliers to select an approach that works best for them, whether it’s using an existing e-invoicing solution connected to Basware’s global network, sending PDF invoices, using an invoicing portal, or even continuing to send paper invoices that Basware converts to true e-invoices through our scan and capture service. Basware is the only solution on the market that doesn’t make suppliers change how they operate to join the network – that’s how we help you achieve 100% supplier on-boarding. Not only is it free and easy for suppliers to send invoices to their customers, they can also join other programs being offered (like dynamic discounting) in one step. Basware also has 230 “interoperability partners” to connect with other business networks – forming the largest open business network in the world. Suppliers already using another e-invoicing solution can check whether or not that system is one of our interoperability partners, then access clear instructions through the Basware Network on how to use both solutions together. So, look at the scenario from your suppliers’ perspective and make sure to communicate the value they’ll see to their own business by joining the Basware Network.

3. Think Global

Customers should also think about their supply base from a holistic, global approach to streamline supplier on-boarding across operations in all geographies. Henri explained that for customers seeking hands-on support for supplier enablement, Basware also offers expert services to help plan and execute supplier enablement programs. He also touched on future areas of focus for Basware: “For large multinational customers, we’re going to introduce a new holistic approach, for running global digitisation programs.” With this new approach, Basware can customise supplier enablement programs for multinational customers to ensure they deliver the value of Basware solutions in all countries where they do business. Through these programs, Basware’s experts help customers navigate varying market practices, local regulations, and other challenges of supplier on-boarding on a global scale.

It’s Worth the Effort

While Henri noted that often customers are eager to start receiving e-invoices right away and using their new automation solution, supplier on-boarding requires attention and the right approach. But the effort will pay off. The potential financial and operational rewards that both a business and its suppliers can enjoy are significant. “When you get the first results … you can easily see the value,” he said.
 
For the full discussion and demo of the improved supplier on-boarding tools available in Basware, view the on-demand webinar. And as always, reach out – we’re here to help!