Addressing Communication Challenges With Supplier Enablement and E-Invoicing: Lessons From a Fortune 500 Food/Beverage Company

Earlier in this series, we shared some of the key lessons learned, gleaned from our discussions with the P2P process owner for a large food and beverage company (see Part 1 and Part 2 for these initial tips). Today, we continue our exploration based on additional secrets this organization unlocked in its supplier enablement and e-invoicing journey based on their rollout of the Taulia solution (and previous experience with Xign).

Even with an initial well-constructed strategy in place with support tactics, it is inevitable in any deployment that things will not always go as planned, or issues will arise that couldn’t possibly have been pre-determined. One issue for this organization was around communications to suppliers requesting information. It turned out that a surprising number of suppliers going through the onboarding process believed the outbound email and phone-based efforts were “phishing” efforts designed to steal their confidential information (e.g., banking details).

After discovering this, the organization made sure that all communications had a specific number to call at the company that could confirm information and prove this was not a scheme to extract information. The AP organization also began to notify supplier relationship owners in advance of communication that this issue might come up, so they too could get involved and let the vendor know to expect communications and information requests on the topic.

Yet another key lesson learned in the process is to not rush into a specific invoice discounting or supply chain finance program (the organization in question has designs on both, in fact). Rather, treating the supplier enablement process as a critical element by itself – not just a means to an end – is essential to getting all of the moving parts right. If it is just viewed in the context of a broader trade financing deployment effort, the nuance and detail will get lost, thus stunting the onboarding efforts and prolonging the time to get to financing opportunities.

As our analysis continues, we will turn our attention to the importance of “carrots” for supplier enrollment – and how to get the most from nuances of treating suppliers most appropriately in the enrollment and onboarding process.

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First Voice

  1. Ryan V:

    I’m curious regarding your statement: “Yet another key lesson learned in the process is to not rush into a specific invoice discounting or supply chain finance program”

    I understand that many invoice discounting and reverse factoring companies can lock you into long term contracts and require businesses to fund all invoices through the factor, however what if that was not the case?

    It’s an incredibly flexible solution for businesses that need short term cash flow help.

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