An automated billing solution can help suppliers achieve their goal of getting paid in full and on time.
When it comes to transactions, the concept couldn’t be simpler. I have something you want to purchase. I sell it to you and you pay me. Done and done. Except, when it comes to B2B transactions, simplicity goes out the window and complexity enters.
In the past, we’ve written about that complexity, especially from the standpoint of the customer. We’ve covered the inefficiencies and extra costs that result from reliance on paper-intensive and manually-driven processes. We’ve discussed the benefits customers have realized from implementing automated solutions in their financial processes, especially solutions that offer full visibility into transaction status. But what about sellers; how does an automated solution benefit them?
In the past, we’ve written about the complexity of transacting with buying groups (GPOs) or national account programs. These complexities don’t simply disappear when a supplier deals directly with a distributor as the end user rather than an intermediary. The same problems and concerns exist and that means that the need for an automated billing solution that simplifies and streamlines processes is just as great.
But suppliers need a solution that goes well beyond just automating processes. They need one that includes the ongoing participation of transaction experts, as well as a solution that provides visibility into each step of the payment process. They need a solution that includes a web-based portal where all of this information can be stored and shared; a portal that gives all users 24/7 access and real-time information. What are the biggest supplier benefits that an automated billing solution like this can create?
- Ending reliance on error-prone paper and manual processes – When suppliers are directly linked to customers digitally, the problem of lost or mis-keyed invoices disappears. Whether they’re mailed, phoned, or faxed, invoices that are totally dependent on human intervention are going to be prone to human error. That’s why more and more companies are relying on e-invoicing to eliminate these issues.
- Eliminating “Tower of Babel” communications – Many problems stem from the lack of a single digital language. Suppliers may find themselves dealing with hundreds of different EDI systems from distributors throughout the country. They need a solution that transforms all document data into normalized data that can be exchanged with all parties involved.
- Ensuring price control management – When a supplier has agreed-upon pricing with a distributor group (think AutoZone which has thousands of stores throughout the country), an automated solution will ensure that the price for a product will be the same, regardless of where that product is purchased. Buyers can rest assured that contract compliance has been fulfilled.
- Automating rebates – Rebates go directly to a distributor’s bottom line, so ensuring that those rebates are correct is vital. Different distributors may have different rebate structures with the supplier; an automated billing solution should be able to calculate rebates per distributor and communicate that information to the buyer.
- Streamlining the payment process – In today’s business environment, cash flow has taken on an increasingly important status. Companies need to feel confident in knowing what they’re going to be paid and when. An automated billing solution that connects buyers and sellers means no more short pays or late pays, and that gives suppliers the opportunity to make strategic moves that will hopefully lead to company growth.
- Providing credit status – Every seller knows the ups and downs their customers can experience. A solution that includes tracking of existing customers’ credit rating, as well as those of prospective customers can give a supplier the information necessary to move ahead with a transaction or possibly a re-negotiation of contracts.
- Reducing disputes – There’s nothing more important than the relationship a supplier has with its customers. Disputes can threaten that relationship, so the faster a dispute can be tracked and resolved, the better for the relationship. Any solution a supplier chooses should have web-based dispute resolution as part of its offerings.
See how Corcentric’s technology and transaction experts can help relieve supplier anxiety.