Life Before and After a Supplier Portal

By Nexus • November 28, 2018

As companies look to automate, it can be difficult to determine which components of the solutions under consideration are mission critical. What does the digital transformation of your AP department need to include to ensure your success? If there’s a web-based supplier portal that complements a potential AP automation solution, do you need it? Performing a quick comparison of life with and without a vendor portal can help you make the determination if a portal is a ‘nice-to-have’ or a necessity.

Pre-portal:

  • Time-consuming supplier inquiries - questions regarding invoice, approval, and payment status are frequent and taxing on your staff. Team members often need to perform extensive research - relying on disparate systems and repositories - before being able to respond to the supplier.

  • Challenging supplier data management - your staff needs to add new suppliers to your master vendor file and manage any updates or changes one by one. They may need to scramble to find vital supplier information if being audited or furnishing this information for tax purposes. Suppliers often need to be chased down to provide necessary information.

  • Paper-based invoicing - physical invoices from your suppliers arrive via mail, fax, or email. They’re then manually entered into the AP system, coded, and routed to various approvers. It’s not uncommon for invoices to be late, lost, or paid twice.

  • Reliance on paper - supplier contact information, copies of purchase orders and invoices, and compliance documentation often need to be stored in file folders and filing cabinets.

Post-portal:

  • Improved supplier communication - both you and your suppliers will have access to the same accurate data in one shared system of record. Suppliers can view up-to-date invoice and payment status, historical data, and other pertinent information right within the portal without needing to inquire with your staff.
  • Seamless vendor enrollment and management - define your supplier profile requirements and then allow new suppliers to self-enroll online, submitting all the necessary information and documentation up front. They can also manage their contact information, payment elections, and important documentation in one central hub, without any intervention from you.
  • Electronic invoicing - suppliers can login to the portal to submit invoices directly to your team. From there, they can be digitally coded and passed through to your AP software, where they’ll go through automated approval workflows. Submitting invoices online gives both buyers and suppliers the ability to check invoice status anytime, for fewer lost invoices and duplicate payments.
  • Digitized and organized data - instead of storing supplier information in different emails, drawers, and folders, you can securely store all purchase orders, addresses, contracts, and historical data in an easy-access platform. So, whether you need to look back for a supplier form, payment detail, or other documentation, you can do so within the portal.
  • Prepped to scale and adapt - as you add new properties and suppliers, you’re equipped with a software solution that can easily accommodate these units and connections. Furthermore, portals allow businesses to adapt to meet changing demands. When processes are online, it’s much simpler to make updates or enhancements to them.
B2B vendor portals can deliver tremendous value to both buyers and suppliers, and should definitely be leveraged if offered as part of an AP automation suite. While the portal operates in the background, facilitating customer service and business processes, organisations can be free to focus on assessing performance and data and boosting growth, reputation, and revenue.


Contact Nexus today to learn more about how how our supplier portal accommodates the needs of both buyers and suppliers. 

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