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Five Steps to Increasing eInvoicing Supplier Adoption

Today, almost half of business-to-business invoices within the U.S. are traded electronically, growing at 13% each year*. Why the shift from paper to electronic invoicing?

  • Quicker invoice approval
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Improved visibility over liabilities
  •  Lower processing costs
  • Reduction in late payment penalties and interest
  • Better Compliance

A recent 2012 PayStream survey* indicated that almost a third of participants listed “increasing electronic invoicing” as a top financial automation goal. Although the desire is there, a quarter of those surveyed felt supplier resistance was the most significant barrier preventing their procure-to-pay adoption.  

The good news is you can help to influence supplier adoption by following these five simple steps:

1. Engage your supplier from the beginning, not after implementation

By involving your suppliers early in the process of evaluating e-Invoicing options, you have a better chance of gaining their support and insight into what may keep them engaged; such as what suppliers are already using and what fees, they may be paying today.

2.  Segment your supplier base

Not all suppliers are good candidates for paper to electronic invoicing migration. By segmenting your supplier base, you can better identify those that you are going to target. Look at annual invoice volume or spend criteria and focus on those strategic suppliers to drive the most value. Make sure to identify and communicate incentives to further support transition.

3.  Develop a comprehensive strategy

A plan will enable suppliers to more readily adopt your platform of choice. Identify how to communicate (phone/email /direct mail). Develop a campaign using a combination of methods; such as reserving phone support for strategic suppliers and leverage email for smaller suppliers. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how your e-Invoicing vendor can help you in this area. Will they help develop communication materials or train suppliers? What does this support cost?

4.  Offer suppliers multiple options

Not all suppliers are alike. Offer multiple options and allow suppliers to choose the e-Invoicing methods that make the most sense for them, for example, invoice submission; higher volume suppliers may prefer system to system integration. Mid-tier suppliers may agree to log in and key invoice information or drop off a file. Some suppliers may never go electronic; does your vendor offer scan and capture services to complement e-Invoicing?

5.  Provide ongoing support for suppliers

Support through enablement is important; ongoing support is crucial. If suppliers face challenges and cannot find support, you may see them switch back to paper invoices. Look into what support your vendor can provide for suppliers, if none, do you have the internal resources to manage this process? Will there be additional costs for this support and how will you offer it?

Following these simple steps could give you the advantage you need to see your e-Invoicing goals come to fruition.

 Learn more about ADP’s electronic invoicing opportunities.


 * PayStream Advisors, Electronic Invoice Management – Going with the (Work) Flow, Dec 17, 2012.


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