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The Many Benefits of a Supplier Portal

One of the concerns among accounts payable managers when considering AP automation is their relationship with suppliers. Though there are many benefits of a supplier portal, they worry that their suppliers won’t buy into the system because of some feared headaches and costs on their end.

The developers at iPayables took this into account when they developed their first supplier portal twenty years ago. They’ve been improving it ever since, always keeping in mind how important your suppliers are to your company.

Last year, a survey was conducted to see how we were doing, and the results showed that concerns with suppliers can be easily dispelled. Not that we didn’t expect this, since our customers have reported happy suppliers for years. But now we have survey results from 190 suppliers to confirm that iPayables’ supplier portal is having a positive impact all around.

While there are many benefits of a supplier portal, two mentioned in the responses to our survey were our portal’s ease of use and the fact it is free to suppliers. On the first count, suppliers found the portal easy to learn and implement. Plus, being able to send an invoice electronically in a format designed for easy use goes a long way toward cutting time and reducing matching errors.

Suppliers also appreciate that the supplier portal is available at no cost to them. This benefit may contribute to their willingness to work out dynamic discounts. The other reason, of course, is better cash flow for the supplier. Accounts payable departments still stuck in the paper invoice realm can only dream of early-pay discounts – they’re busy just trying to avoid late fees – but suppliers are only too happy to establish discounts based on the number of turnaround days.

When a supplier uses an enterprise-level portal, they can keep up with what happens after an invoice leaves their office. Where once that same supplier had no idea where the invoice stood in the workflow, now they can see what’s going on from their own computer. Instead of blind guessing, the supplier becomes part of the process, helping to correct any errors and resolving matching exceptions quickly and efficiently.

All of these benefits are attainable through a reliable, web-based management system that requires no paper, no scanning, and no lost or stolen documents. For your suppliers there is everything to gain at no out of pocket cost.

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