Lessons in Maximizing Supplier Enrollment from Tungsten Insights 2015

In between presenting this morning at Tungsten Insights 2015, and facilitating a panel discussion later today with suppliers on supplier networks and e-procurement solutions (or marketplaces), I sat in for a breakout session led by Selina Yankson, head of campaign management for Tungsten. Selina shared a number of items in her “secret sauce” to maximizing supplier enrollment. She also talked about new approaches Tungsten is taking, as well as enrollment components of Tungsten’s next generation supplier portal.

We’ll leave the details of the portal for future analysis as well as some of the key lessons learned over the years in scaling global programs. But here are a few of Selina’s quick tips that jumped out from her talk.

  • The detail is in the data – don’t ignore the importance of data collection as a “pre-step” to enrollment. Poor quality A/P and vendor data will slow program enrollment.
  • Data ages fast – you can speed up enrollment by insuring vendor file data is less than 3 months old. Stale data requires significant workarounds for automated outreach (and manual outreach for high-touch strategic suppliers).
  • Create compelling supplier communications – don't be dull! Grab supplier attention in content. And think about how suppliers actually read (i.e., they read “down” when speed reading emails versus left to right). Communication structure and design matters, not just the words!
  • Focus on enrollment approaches that drive to a means to a transaction end – not just supplier registration. The end game is about driving e-invoicing volume, not about enrollment. Keep that in mind and you’ll drive toward the right set of KPIs and metrics for measuring enrollment success.
  • Make sure e-invoicing is “business as usual” – suppliers need to understand that there is no turning back to the old status paper quo. This needs to come through in communication and constant reinforcement along with nuanced language that influences vs. just communicates (i.e., moving “toward” something rather than “moving away” from something).

Kudos to Selina for a great presentation, especially around how to communicate with suppliers through clever language and the right structural elements to maximize vendor enrollment. Stay tuned for additional coverage from Tungsten Insights throughout the day (and deeper analysis on Spend Matters PRO in the coming weeks).

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