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Resources

Vendor Self-Service

How Much Does It Cost to Communicate
with Vendors?

How much does it cost your organization to answer a vendor invoice status inquiry?

 

Don’t feel badly if you don’t have the answer at your fingertips. According to a recent survey by Financial Operations Networks and InvoiceInfo, only 1 out of 10 respondents track AP customer service metrics, making the cost to communicate with vendors the most overlooked AP activity metric.

 

More Invoice Inquiries on the Horizon - AP
Should Prepare Now

If you are like most accounts payable professionals, you are constantly challenged to introduce automation and other best practices to reduce invoice-processing costs, cut head count and improve productivity. While many AP operations are considering various types of AP automation to achieve their goals, most AP departments do not have vendor self-service portals at the top of their automation to-do lists. In fact in a recent survey, 89% of companies reported that they didn’t track how much it costs to answer invoice payment status inquiries.

 

Making a Case for Vendor Self-Service Portals

The cost to answer vendor and internal invoice inquiries can add up quickly. Whether your organization has a dedicated customer service staff or AP team members are balancing customer service duties with other tasks, there is often a big cost to this that is not always included in the calculation of cost per invoice.

 

Customer Self Service: The Wave of the Future

For many of us, it doesn’t seem that long ago that if we wanted to plan a vacation we called a travel agent. Or, if we wanted to buy a new book we walked into Border’s Bookstore. Or, if we had a bank transaction we walked into a bank, stood in line and talked with a teller.

 

10 Questions to Ask When Considering a Vendor Self-Service Portal

Are you and your accounts payable colleagues tired of spending precious time answering invoice inquiry questions from your vendors and internal customers? If you are ready to automate your AP customer service with a vendor self-service application and start reducing cost and improving productivity, following are 10 questions you should ask when considering a portal:

 

How a Vendor Self-Service Portal Helps Reduce Cost, Increase Productivity and Enhance AP Customer Service

Accounts payable works every day with many different departments and people, both within and outside the organization, including employees, purchasing, vendors and regulatory agencies. Accounts payable is unique in the sense that its “customers” are not those companies that buy their company’s products or services, but individuals and organizations that have an interest in some aspect of the AP process. AP’s internal customers are the organization’s employees — those who purchase goods or services that AP is responsible for paying as well as employees who are reimbursed for T&E.

 

Vendor Self-Service Portals: A Win-Win for
Both AP Departments and Vendors

Is responding to supplier calls and emails taking up valuable staff time? Studies have shown that dealing with basic supplier inquiries, such as payment status and answering suppliers’ calls and emails can use up to as much as 24% of a staff member’s time.

 

The Movement Towards Self-Service in Business Processes - How AP Can Get Onboard

Self-service has become a key initiative in customer service in nearly every industry. We see it in booking hotel and air travel, online banking, human resources, employee expense management and online shopping. A study by Aspect Software and the Center for Generational Kinetics found that “across every generation, online customer service is currently the most preferred type of customer service.” The study reports that for “Millennials,” from the age of 19-37, the preference for online self-service is even stronger. In addition, the study found self-service that resolves a customer’s issue can improve a company’s reputation. The study also showed that “65% of Americans say they feel good about themselves and the company when they can solve a problem without talking to customer service.”