How would an automated national accounts billing program benefit both your buyers and sellers? Here are five benefits a cloud-based solution can provide.
Earlier this month, Matt Clark, Chief Operating Officer of Corcentric posted a blog on the Corcentric website detailing why companies that sell their products to national accounts through a distributor/dealer network need to digitize and automate their billing program.
As the “man in the middle,” so to speak, companies that sell this way need to make sure that both their sellers (dealers/distributors) and buyers (national account customers) are having their needs met. That means buyers know that the price they pay is consistent throughout their network, regardless of where a purchase is made. Sellers need to know that the buyer is a good credit risk and that they will be paid on time. And both groups need to have visibility into their invoice and payment status 24/7.
A company that is still dependent on paper and manual processes for billing simply cannot satisfy these goals. In order to do so, these enterprises need to replace this antiquated way of doing business with an automated, cloud-based solution that will increase productivity, reduce costs, and build and retain good will on all sides. If your company fits this description, the solution you choose should offer transparency, accountability, and flexibility; and one that easily integrates with any systems and platforms being used.
According to Clark’s blog, here are the five top benefits a network should realize when you transition your national account billing program to a cloud-based, automated solution:
- Inefficiencies eliminated – Nothing eats at the bottom line as much as inefficiency, especially when it results from a transaction system that’s dependent on paper and manual processing. But you’ll have to ensure that both the buyer (your national account customer) and seller (your dealer/distributor) buy into your chosen digital billing solution.
- Guaranteed price/contract compliance – When you have a network consisting of numerous members (buyers and sellers), the possibility for different prices and contract terms for the same product may vary from location to location. With a cloud-based automated solution, every time a buyer makes a purchase, they can be confident that the price they’re paying is the same for everyone in their organization, regardless of where they make the purchase.
- Real-time credit status provided – Checking on a customer’s credit is not only time-consuming; sometimes, the information you find is not even reliable. A solution that includes a credit management function will do the checking for you, providing real-time customer credit status and credit reviews. This will help reduce two issues that can cripple a seller: overextending credit to a bad risk or putting a hold on a customer account that might, in fact be, a great credit risk.
- Ensured system interoperability – The solution you choose must have the capability to integrate with a wide variety of ERP and accounting systems. The last thing you want is to implement a solution that requires the sellers and buyers to have to make significant IT resource investments adhering to rigid and inflexible standards.. A cloud-based system that is able to receive and send data electronically in a wide variety of formats and transport methods eliminates those concerns and increases the speed to value for all parties in your billing ecosystem.
- Data and analytics capabilities necessary for business growth – Any solution you consider needs to have a robust data capture and analytics component. The business intelligence garnered from accurate, real-time numbers and information at the line-item level will allow executives within the enterprise to make more reliable forecasts and informed decisions.
However, the last thing you want is a solution that’s disruptive in any capacity. Clark states that the right solution is a one-to-many system, where everyone (buyer and seller) can make one single connection to be able to transact with everyone else in the network; a system that normalizes all buyer and seller document data; and a system that reduces the number of invoices and payments that need to go through the network.
From hundreds of invoices to a single invoice; from hundreds of payments to a single payment, this scenario would free up the time your people may now be spending on low value-added tasks. Instead, your finance professionals, whether in accounts payable, accounts receivable, or procurement, will now have the time to focus on more strategic matters and initiatives and foster growth.
See how Corcentric’s® OneConnect™ platform can transform a national accounts billing program.