It’s December – the season of lights, the season of giving. That sometimes means gifts from suppliers who want to say, “Thanks for your business.”
But suppose the circumstances were switched? Suppose the tradition was for accounts payable to give gifts to suppliers? What kind of gift might suppliers appreciate?
Well, imagine a credit and collections group in their last meeting of the year. They’re just wrapping up when one of them says, “Hey, do any of you send gifts to your customers in December?” A few comments are made in the affirmative and the negative when a supplier named Ted speaks up: “I know what gift I’d like to receive from our customers. To be paid faster throughout the next year!”
“Ha!” says Harry with a roll of his eyes. “Who wouldn’t?”
A third supplier, Elaine, warming to the idea of receiving a gift as well as giving one, observes: “Well, what we’d really like is an easier and faster way to find out if the customer got our invoice, and when we will be getting paid. You know – self-service. A way that avoids our having to call and leave messages, or send emails and not know if they got them …”
Jim jumps on that idea: “Everywhere else in my life I just click an app and get what I want, easy-peasy,” he said. “But our customers’ accounts payable, sheesh!”
Elaine responds, “Yeah, you know, eight or nine times out of ten when we have a question it’s an easy one. But we still have to get hold of someone to get an answer. It’s such a pain and waste of time. Instead, we want a way to find out what we need without having to bother them at all! It’d be so much faster, easier, and make for a more pleasant day!”
Just then Judy, a rather quiet AR manager, speaks up. “You want an online supplier portal,” she says.
“Yes! But a good one!” says Elaine. “Where if all we need is to find out when we’ll be paid, without having to jump through hoops, one that is there with answers anytime we have a question, even if we’re working late or are in another time zone or something.”
Jim adds, “And the customer could use it to give us instructions for things we need to know to expedite invoice processing.”
Bob chimes in, “And it should have a way for us to upload our tax information, like W-9’s and even invoices, and stuff.”
“That all sounds like a tall order,” says Elaine.
“But I know one that does that,” Judy replies, “InvoiceInfo!”
All ears perk up as Judy continues, “Your customers would like it too, because it saves them loads of time and money by not having to answer the phone or worry about the email queue for all those easy inquiries. It’s a ‘win-win,’” she says.
“Some of our customers have it. They said it would ‘empower’ us – I was skeptical, but it turned out to be true. We can get the information we want immediately, no matter when we want it – almost magically! We can communicate with our customer’s accounts payable department via the portal. And we’re able to upload our tax documents, and even invoices.
“Of course our customer saves time and money because we can get the information we want without interrupting them. And InvoiceInfo provides them services like IRS TIN match on tax IDs, verifying mailing addresses, and satisfying them that we’re not on a sanction list! My wish,” Judy concludes, “is for all of our customers to implement it!”
“Sounds great!” says Elaine, as she grabbed a candy cane from the bowl on the table. “If our customers would give us that, it really would be a happy new year!” And they all headed out into the dark evening, as candles were being lit in windows everywhere.
To see how InvoiceInfo’s self-service solutions can benefit your operations and your company click here to request more information or call (678) 335-5735.