A supplier portal, also known as a vendor portal, is an online platform that allows businesses to communicate with and interact with their vendors. It’s a collaborative platform where both the customer and the supplier may enter data, send documents, track orders, and manage their business relationship.
A supplier portal, at its most basic level, eliminates paper. To take it a step further, it’s an interface that significantly improves and combines B2B communication.
When we consider all of the implications of using paper or not using paper, of integrating or not integrating, we’ll realize how many facets of doing business a supplier portal can affect. Many of the broad benefits of digitization are already well-known—for example, consider the following:
- It considerably reduces the time it takes to process documents. The digital medium enables rapid access to information.
- Access across devices and places offer greater flexibility in the workplace, ensuring that information is always available from any point of access.
- Digital trumps paper when it comes to searching for and evaluating information.
- Standardization promotes process consistency by establishing mandatory fields and standardized routines.
When it comes to digital transformation in general, we’ve all grown to recognize and embrace these benefits. But what type of improvement could we make to the supplier relations niche? What may specific applications look like in practice? In this blog, we’ll go over the top three use cases that Supplier Invoice Portal sees from HubBroker customers.
There are several steps to complete when starting a business connection with a new provider. This includes entering the supplier’s master data into your ERP system. Because it’s your system, you’d generally be expected to get this data on your own. With a supplier portal, however, you may simply delegate the duty to the provider.
A self-service option in a portal is a critical feature that allows vendors to enter data independently. Moving away from the portal interface, a procedure for adding a new supplier is triggered in your ERP system, and the master data is updated as soon as you authorize a modification through ERP integration.
Suppliers can update their data at any moment under this arrangement. The benefit to supplier companies is that the obligation for maintaining their data full and up-to-date no longer falls on your shoulders, but rather on the supplier’s.
In practice, corporate processes frequently follow a procedure that looks somewhat like this: You create a purchase order in your ERP system. You transmit the purchase order to the vendor, either printed or as a PDF. The vendor re-digitizes the document through PDF2XML conversion and extracts the information to import it into their ERP system. You will receive an order confirmation from the vendor system, which will be forwarded to you through e-mail or standard mail. Then, because this information must be entered into your ERP system, you digitalize the order confirmation.
These kinds of operations tend to get out of hand over time, and just visualizing them demonstrates how absurd and inefficient they are: Information that is available in digital format is printed and then re-digitized. This is true not only for the order and order confirmation, but also for the delivery bill or product receipt, as well as the invoice. Incompatibility and a lack of interfaces cause these gaps in a sequence of necessary activities.
A supplier portal can substantially improve operations in workplaces that have only been partially transformed. Documents and data can be sent digitally throughout the lifecycle of a process, avoiding the interruptions caused by switching media. This scenario demonstrates the significance of document interchange in the procurement process and how a supplier portal can effectively address common inefficiencies in this area.
There’s no doubt that discounts are appealing. Isn’t it possible to save another 5% off invoice totals?
Many of your suppliers have most likely already established business relationships with you based on broad terms defining payment and discount terms. What doesn’t always come to mind right away is that you presumably have a lot of regular suppliers with whom you haven’t specifically negotiated any set terms.
And it’s there that you’ll find your true potential. If you work under the concept that there’s no harm in asking, you might just be able to get a few more vendors to give you discounts. What is the best way to approach a supplier with this idea? You may, for example, give a tiny additional discount in exchange for early payment.
A supplier portal gives you the flexibility you need for ad hoc partnerships like these. You specify the supplier, the time frame, the kind of invoice (or the individual invoice), and the terms.
A supplier portal, on the other hand, is just as well suited to dealing with several suppliers at once. It offers all of the benefits of standardization and automation, which are critical for ensuring that effort does not outweigh savings. Dynamic discounting is the process of establishing payment arrangements for discounts or price reductions in exchange for faster payment. It’s a feasible technique to save money you wouldn’t have had otherwise by using a supplier portal.
At first look, a supplier portal may appear to be an afterthought that necessitates more effort. However, when evaluating the three applications listed above, it definitely stands out as a top performer in terms of reducing staff workload, improving and speeding up procedures, and enabling greater discount opportunities. Check out HubBroker’s Supplier Invoice Portal for more information on how a portal will help your business become more profitable.