Onboarding Suppliers to a Supplier Portal
When people consider using a supplier portal in accounts payable automation, one of the most common responses is the belief that their suppliers would never agree to make the switch. While it’s true that onboarding suppliers to a supplier portal can seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be. In over 20 years of experience working with accounts payable departments and suppliers, we’ve found that the lack of faith in the functionality of a portal is actually the biggest setback, not suppliers. What’s most important to recognize is that, aside from making the decision to move to a portal, your AP team isn’t going to be doing the heavy lifting when it comes to a supplier portal.
An enterprise-level accounts payable automation solution should take care of onboarding suppliers to a supplier portal for you. Ideally, when you make the decision and begin meeting with the solution provider, you provide them with a list of suppliers you want on the portal, and then their team goes out and begins working directly with your suppliers to make it happen. This includes addressing supplier concerns and questions, setting them up in the system, and continually being there should suppliers have any questions or run into any problems throughout the use of the product.
Additionally, a recent supplier survey found that suppliers enjoy using supplier portals. Of course, both accounts payable personnel and suppliers need the portal to be user friendly and affordable, but this shouldn’t be a difficult promise to deliver. In fact, according to this survey, suppliers ranked InvoiceWorks, the iPayables portal, an 8 out of 10 for ease of use, with some making comments that “it couldn’t be any better.” So, if your company is feeling the need to level-up your current level of accounts payable automation, don’t underestimate a portal. Portals provide straight-through processing, faster approval and payment times, increased discounts, greater protection against fraud, and more. Plus with the right solution provider, onboarding suppliers to a supplier portal won’t be something you even need to worry about.