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Blog__Supplier Collaboration Portal

How Supplier Collaboration Portal enhances your AP team's Performance

Sumitro Giri

Sumitro Giri

Product Management Consultant

In today's automated and digitally transformed world, any business can make the backend processes of the Accounts Payable (AP) team even more seamless by integrating a Supplier Collaboration Portal on their end. The inbuilt automation and other secondary features in the portal will make it easier for the AP team to connect and manage their 3rd party suppliers. A secure Supplier Collaboration portal with its user-friendly interface, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and personalized workflows will make it easier to collaborate with the suppliers. The AP team would no longer need to waste hours in manual processes; they could instead invest their time in more valuable activities.

"Companies with advanced supplier collaboration capabilities do around 4.9% better than their peers without one" – McKinsey

Let's do an in-depth deep dive into what a Supplier Collaboration Portal can do for your business’s, Accounts Payable department, and how incorporating one can transform the way you coordinate with suppliers.

Supplier Collaboration

What does a Supplier Collaboration Portal do in Invoice Processing?

A Supplier Collaboration portal in Invoice Processing serves as an enabler that allows the AP team of your organization to connect with 3rd party suppliers of goods. It helps businesses network with suppliers, significantly streamlining their invoice processing workflows.

Supplier Collaboration do

The Supplier Collaboration Portal enables suppliers to create and track their invoices, modify purchase orders, track invoice approval, and handle grievances with ease, ensuring seamless communication and improving business relationships.

It makes the whole invoice processing cycle more automated, painless, a lot more streamlined, and gives you accurate and up-to-date information in a matter of seconds. The AP team goes through a smooth and effortless sourcing cycle. The Supplier Collaboration Portal for Invoice processing serves as the best platform to cooperate, coordinate, and collaborate with a supplier.

Supplier Collaboration benefits

Any self-service supplier collaboration portal provides a seamless interface for the supplier to submit invoices, download documents related to invoices, upload ASN, revise documents (purchase order or invoice), coordinate, and check other miscellaneous details.

Essentially, such a system will remove the manual effort required during the invoice processing by automating most of the tasks that would typically have to be completed manually by both the company and the supplier. That’s not it, a Supplier Collaboration Portal has other benefits too:

"When it comes to managing supplier information, companies that take a supplier information management approach, leveraging self-service technology, save an average of $430 per supplier" - AMR Research

The above statistic reinforces the cost benefits associated with a Supplier Collaboration Portal. As the AP team deviates from physical processes that needed paperwork and hefty documentation, they save a ton of money in paper and printing costs. Plus, companies now need to allocate fewer resources to handle the whole invoice processing – again saving money.

Moreover, fewer delays, errors, and full visibility means you always be in the know-how throughout the whole sourcing cycle. Also, the AP team can pay the agreed invoice costs on time and avoid any penalties or even pay early to avail extra discounts from the suppliers.

  • Eliminate the administrative burden of supplier management on the AP team.
  • Suppliers get real-time flexibility to communicate with the AP team, track their invoice status and raise invoices.
  • The supplier will easily access, view, acknowledge, tweak (if need be), process, and respond to the PO’s.
  • The supplier should confirm the PO and conveniently add delivery dates and corresponding invoices.
  • The portal also stores a log of every event associated with a Purchase Order.

Top Indispensable features of a Supplier Collaboration portal

Any Supplier Collaboration Portal that you integrate on your backend can’t go without these mandatory features. In order to truly simplify and streamline your manual tasks, the portal must have the fundamental features, without which you are not going to achieve much efficiency in your supply chain.

These features serve as the building blocks of your invoice processing cycle. The best Supplier Collaboration Portals can empower your AP team – give them the best visibility and insight into the entire PO and invoice cycle, from start to finish. Here are some must-have pivotal features for your Supplier portal:

Purchase Order Collaboration

Purchase Order Collaboration

Supplier added to the portal will receive a notification once a purchase order is released. The supplier can easily access and view the details of the Purchase Order from the AP team. Plus, both the suppliers and the AP team can collaborate on any of the Purchase Orders, through the inbuilt messaging interface.

The supplier can even modify the Purchase Orders - Header and Line items. The AP team viewing the modification request can either approve or reject the said modifications. The AP team will receive automatic notification and updates about any modification request. Plus, post approval (the modification) from the buyer side, the Purchase Order (PO) gets updated automatically.

Clicking on any of the POs will reveal all the info about the particular Purchase Order – from materials, description of materials, unit price, to quantities and much more. The status on the POs can be New, Accepted, Modification Requested, and Delivered. Plus, the collaborative space lets suppliers chat and leave messages for a particular PO.

  • Access and Access View Purchase Orders
  • The portal allows Purchase Order Acceptance.
  • The portal allows Purchase Order Modifications by the suppliers.
  • Suppliers can update item attributes (line items) – including delivery capacity.

Invoice Collaboration

Invoice Collaboration

Suppliers can submit invoices – with minimal data entry, besides this they can view all the invoices that were submitted. Suppliers can also attach additional documents while submitting an Invoice. Furthermore, suppliers can view the status and payment information of an invoice. Click on Invoice to reveal all the invoices.

The status on the Invoices can be Draft, Submitted, processing paid, and rejected. Clicking on any of the invoices will fetch all the details on your screen under Invoice Header, Invoice Items, and Collaborations. This may include invoice type, due date, submitted date, total amount, and much more.

Some invoices (type) can be NPO-based (No purchase order) and the supplier has directly created the invoice. Plus, the collaborative space lets suppliers chat and leave messages for a particular PO.

  • Suppliers can create invoices for any of the Pos
  • You can also archive the invoice for record-keeping and easy retrieval at a later date.
  • Check the status of the invoice to know whether the payment has been made or not.
  • Resolve invoicing discrepancies and resolve any issues/disputes in the collaborative space.
  • Plus, view all the payment details – bank details and so on.

Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN)

At the time of delivery, the supplier can create an Advanced Shipment Notification (Shipping note) for any of the purchase orders just by selecting a purchase order. Buyers viewing the delivery requests from suppliers can Approve or Reject the same. On approval, the supplier gets a notification. The ASN gets created in buyers' SAP with the delivery details.

Notification Engine

Notification Engine

The notification engine runs in the background to prompt the AP team of the business of any modifications to the purchase order, changes to the invoice, upload of invoice from the supplier side, or any other changes that happen on the available documents in the interface. For any activity on the portal, an email notification gets triggered.

Helpdesk

Helpdesk

The helpdesk on the portal allows seamless back and forth communication between the supplier and AP team. Exchange messages, resolve discrepancies, and discuss any aspect of the order/invoice in detail. No need to connect on any other channels, such as email and phone. The intuitive and centralized interface keeps everything in one place to help you coordinate effortlessly.

Top 5 benefits of using a Supplier Collaboration Portal?

5 benefits of using a Supplier Collaboration Portal

Wrapping Up

The in-built automation and workflows help to free up time for the AP team so they can dedicate these hours to more valuable activities. Streamlined and automated processes make it easier to share and collaborate, thus saving time.

The inherently inefficient legacy approach that resulted in lower service attainment, higher costs, and disruption in the fulfillment processes does not yield the best output. On the other hand, the reduced manual backend processes help the business and AP team invest their time in other value-based activities. Supplier inquiries are drastically reduced, so the Accounts Payable team can avoid answering large volumes of phone calls and emails.

"The average hard-dollar cost savings achieved upon implementing a supplier management initiative is 12%." - Aberdeen Group

In today’s dynamic environment, organizations cannot rely on tedious, slow, and inefficient methods for engaging with suppliers. There is a need to improve the integration and collaboration process with suppliers to make it more efficient and cost-effective..

InSITE features a powerful yet intuitive Supplier Collaboration Portal that provides the highest returns through reduced overheads and helps to reallocate resources towards higher-value activities. To learn more about InSITE please visit https://www.applexus.com/applexus-insite

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