Financial Operations Network | Why a Vendor Self-Service Portal is Important
If you do not have a portal to enable self-service by your vendors, you should. Why? Vendor self-service save you time and money, and is good for vendor relations.
Vendor self service, Vendor Portal, AP customer service, time savings
16415
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-16415,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,hide_top_bar_on_mobile_header,qode-theme-ver-16.8,qode-theme-bridge,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.5,vc_responsive
 
Article

Vendor Self-Service: Valuable to You, Valuable for Vendor Relations

Vendor Self-Service: Valuable to You, Valuable for Vendor Relations

If you do not have a portal to enable self-service by your vendors, you should.

Why? Vendor self-service is valuable to your accounts payable group or department in terms of cost to provide customer service to both your internal and external customers. It’s also valuable in regard to your supplier relations.

Consider the following three ways vendor self-service is important.

First, in what Forrester has dubbed the age of the customer, your customers expect it. That is, they expect ease in doing business — and this includes AP’s customers.

The digital revolution has changed the way people transact and interact. The assumption is that information is readily available and easy to get. This notion is reinforced by daily experiences from shopping to banking from our mobile devices. Those consumer experiences bleed over into business expectations: “If I can handle all my personal accounts easily myself, why can’t I handle our business accounts that way?”

What’s more, while technology has been revolutionizing the way things are done, generational demographics have been shifting as well, accelerating certain expectations in the workforce. According to Pew Research, in 2015 Millennials are now the largest generation in the work force, with 53.5 million, versus the Gen-Xer’s 52.7 million, and the Baby boomers’ 44.6 million.

The generation that has grown up with mobile devices is now the biggest group in the workforce. If they have no grasp of the seismic shifts that have taken place while they came of age, they have little patience for what strikes them as incompetency, whether in consumer or business mode. Gen-Xers, meanwhile, learned to be fast adapters as they grew up and they keep up. It’s the Boomers, often still making the decisions, who need to understand and respect the change in expectations.

Second, self-service is good for suppliers (as well as for AP’s internal customers). It becomes easy for suppliers to provide the information you need to set them up for payment. And it puts power into their hands, enabling them to find out invoice status or payment date quickly and easily, without having to make a phone call or wait on an email response. They like it.

Third, it helps AP. The 80/20 rule applies in supplier inquiries: 80 percent are easy-to-answer questions about status — simple information inquiries — while 20 percent involve problems of some complexity requiring human involvement. A portal can relieve your staff of that 80 percent of the call and email interruptions, and only have to deal with the 20 percent that really require their attention. That’s a big decrease in distraction, enabling them to remain focused on higher-value work. So a vendor portal saves AP time and money.

When companies enter into a relationship, their people hope for the same thing — that the benefits of doing business can be realized without a lot of friction or pain. Vendor self-service is a means to that important end.

To see how vendor self-service solutions can benefit your operations and your company click here to request more information or call (678) 335-5735.



Stop Calls and Emails, Enhance
Service and Increase Profit!

InvoiceInfo saves labor hours and cost by helping suppliers and internal staff easily and instantly get answers online to their invoice-payment questions.

If you are like many finance leaders today, you are being challenged to reduce costs more quickly. InvoiceInfo delivers real bottom-line results almost immediately, allowing you to deploy your customer service staff to focus on more productive, bottom-line oriented tasks.

Let us show you how InvoiceInfo's vendor self-service portal can help your organization eliminate invoice inquiry emails and calls while enhancing service to your accounts payable customers.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Get Up and Running Quickly and Seamlessly

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are standalone applications that can be up and running in as little as two weeks, with little or no IT resources required.

The faster your online portal is up and running, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits. InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are dedicated solely to helping AP and procurement departments slash the time and expense of servicing vendors, while improving customer service for their suppliers.

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are simple solutions with big results. They are easy to implement and easy to use. Here’s how one customer described the process: “You give vendors a URL, provide instructions about what they need to know and tell them to go use it.” It really is that easy.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Improve Productivity with a Self-Service Solution

For most organizations, deploying a technology solution is a significant investment, and like most investments, the decision point ultimately comes down to the expected return on that investment.

According to a recent benchmark study by The Accounts Payable Network, 60% of AP customer service calls are from vendors while 40% are from internal customers. Vendor issues actually make up even more of the AP call volume than the 60% identified. Many times when a vendor has an issue, the vendor contacts their buyer or purchasing representative, who in turn contacts AP. Even though the call comes from an internal customer, the question originated with the vendor.

Vendor calls affect productivity in your organization exponentially. When vendors call the requisitioner, they are affecting that person’s productivity. Your internal customer’s productivity shrinks when fielding the vendor’s call and again when making the follow up call to AP and getting back to the vendor. Finally, AP’s productivity suffers as a result of the internal customer’s call, the payment status research and the follow-up communication.

With a minimal investment of IT time and talent, you can start reducing customer service calls and expense in a matter of weeks. In addition, you improve vendor relations since you are giving your vendors what they want — answers to their questions immediately — a win-win for everyone involved!

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Easy and Economical Solution to Serve Vendors Around the World

InvoiceInfo can help you provide best-in-class customer service to your vendors around the world at a fraction of the cost.

Many organizations today have offices and operations throughout the world and are dealing with many time zones, different languages, and in some cases multiple ERP systems. InvoiceInfo currently supports different languages and can easily work with multiple ERP systems in different locations.

The key to good customer service is to provide the information that the customer wants when they want it. Whether your customer is a vendor waiting for a payment or a colleague that needs information on payment status, they want their information right away. If your organization has vendors and offices in other countries, they can be challenging and expensive to serve. But, with InvoiceInfo, your international vendors and internal customers can access the information they need when they need it.

With InvoiceInfo, you won’t have to staff your customer service team with 24-hour coverage in multiple languages to provide high-quality customer service around the world.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Enhance AP’s Role As a Strategic Partner

Learn how InvoiceInfo can help AP do more with less while continuously improving productivity and bottom-line results.

Many automation technologies such as scanning, workflow, e-invoicing, ACH, and electronic invoicing require significant investments of money, time and talent, making it difficult to get buy-in from upper management. Not InvoiceInfo!

If your goal for your AP department is to reduce costs quickly, call or email us today to learn more about how InvoiceInfo can help you achieve this goal through a quick, inexpensive and easy implementation of a vendor self-service portal.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Enhance Vendor Relationships

InvoiceInfo helps suppliers’ AR departments with simple and convenient access to invoice payment status online at a cost savings for all involved.

It may seem that the organization paying the vendor should hold all the cards in the relationship. But sometimes the opposite is true. Past-due payments and customer service perceptions can harm supplier relationships and disrupt the supply chain.

Your vendors and vendor relationship managers are living in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, so when invoice information is required, it is needed quickly and expected to be of high quality. With InvoiceInfo, your suppliers get answers to invoice inquiries real time, 24/7 with no need to leave messages and wait for responses. Studies show that confidence in data increases when suppliers access invoice and payment information themselves.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Give Procurement and Buyers the Tool They
Need to Respond to Vendors Quickly

Not only can InvoiceInfo be used by suppliers to learn the status of invoice payments, it can also be used internally within your organization.

In addition to reducing calls from vendors regarding invoice status, you can also reduce internal emails and calls from co-workers wanting to learn the status of invoice payment, and save time and effort and boost efficiency and productivity across the organization. Studies show that 40% of AP customer service calls are from internal customers. Many of these are from requisitioners who have received calls or emails from the supplier checking on payment status. These calls are often more expensive for the company because the internal staff member has taken the call or received an email from the supplier, contacted AP for the payment status and had to return the call or email the supplier.

By providing the vendor with a convenient and credible online option to get the answers it needs regarding payment status, you can eliminate multiple calls/emails between the vendor and the requisitioner saving time and money.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Eliminate Difficult Vendor Calls and See
Productivity and Staff Morale Soar

Reduce invoice payment inquiries and “promote” your vendor service team to more satisfying and profit-producing tasks.

By sharply reducing inbound calls and emails regarding receipt and payment status that your AP staff must handle individually, your staff can focus their efforts on more productive, cost-saving activities, learn new tasks, feel more confident and boost their careers.

According to a recent American Express survey on customer service, more than one-third of consumers have lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year. Of those who lost their temper, three in ten “hung up the phone.” Your staff will no longer have to deal with difficult collectors who can be upsetting and disruptive. Your staff will feel that their time and talents are being put to better use and will feel better about themselves, their jobs and their organization. Reducing these calls can be a real productivity and morale booster for your AP department!

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link

Simplify and Streamline Vendor Onboarding

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file each paper document, approximately $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document and $220 in re-creation of a document.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all your W-9’s, W-8’s and other registration documents completed online and instantly filed online for easy access when needed? With Vendor Self-Service Onboarding Module, VendorInfo, you can onboard your new vendors in one convenient location and eliminate paperwork and hassles.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link


Verify the Accuracy of Vendor Information and Stay in Compliance with IRS and Treasury Department Regulations

Government regulators are increasing the complexity of regulations and penalties associated with vendor-related non-compliance.

Penalties for incorrect 1099’s have more than doubled in recent years. Over the last several years, OFAC has levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its SDN list. In addition to fining these companies, the Treasury Department posts the names of infringing organizations along with fines paid.

VendorInfo Onboarding Module verifies the accuracy of vendor information and helps protect your organization by avoiding embarrassing penalties and fines.

VIEW ALL BENEFITS
close-link