Eight ways to communicate with your suppliers

Eight ways to communicate with your suppliers

Best Practices for your Accounts Payable team to communicate with your suppliers when implementing change

Change is hard. When implementing new technology, whether it’s Oracle ERP Cloud, EBusiness Suite or something else, you have to remember that, even if it is going to enhance the way people do their job, careful consideration needs to be given to how that change is going to be implemented.

It’s not really about the technology. It’s about communication.  Communication not only with your team but also with your suppliers, focused on what benefits they too are going to get out of it. After all, you are wanting your team and your suppliers to start working differently and they might not necessarily see that as a positive.

You need to be continually involving your team in the process and continually communicating on what they should expect. How you engage them in the process of change can be the difference between success and failure.

We’ve been working in the invoice automation software business now long enough to know what works and what doesn’t work and ultimately what will enhance your processes to maximise the efficiency gains.

Here are some observations and ideas that we know work – our top eight tips for getting what you need from your suppliers.
Obviously, we would not expect you to implement all of them but look at what could work for your organisation and see which ones you could implement to gain some quick wins.

How to communicate with your suppliers to enable faster payment

To get the best out of your software, you need your suppliers to be sending invoices in a certain format. Here’s how you could communicate this to them:

1. Diagrams and images

Diagrams and images are much clearer than words, so a good picture will always work better over mountains of instructions.

2. Vendor Invoices

Use a sample vendor invoice and show them what you want and where, before you implement anything.

3. Instructions

Be clear on specific instructions for your different types of suppliers and what you require and why.

4. What is a PDF Invoice?

When you ask for a PDF Invoice explain what you really mean - an invoice that has NOT been scanned but cleanly electronically produced.

5. Advice

For your suppliers that do not follow your instructions or make it easy for you, consider how your procurement team can help by giving feedback to your suppliers. They can encourage suppliers to review their processes.

6. Encouragement

Offer encouragement; If they make it easy for you to work with and process their invoices, reciprocate by paying them promptly rather than making late payments.

7.  Supplier Workshop

Hold a seminar or webinar for suppliers to hear what you want from them and make sure you listen to what they want from you. Working together has to work both ways.

8. Top Suppliers

Find out your biggest suppliers by volume (Top 50-100) and have meaningful conversations on how those suppliers are serviced to the best level of efficiency. You want them to be your ambassadors and producing invoices exactly how you want them. It might be time to reward them with a star award scheme.

For additional information on accounts payable, please see  Mi Invoices


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People don’t like change. Changing long-established ways of working is hard, learning new software is hard, and staff may feel slightly threatened by its implementation.



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