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Having to manage your supplier base and the
constant communications with vendors creates
significant inefficiency in Accounts Payable and
Purchasing.
Self-service supplier portals are the crucial
component in the P2P initiative to automate all
routine interactions, from receiving an invoice to
delivering remittance advices, driving process
automation, and productivity.
sharedserviceslink and PaymentWorks conducted a
survey on shared services' use of supplier portals.
Read on for our results.
The majority of our respondents were Finance
professionals, but Procurement and P2P
professionals were well represented.
We asked our respondents about their experience
thus far, and their aspirations for future supplier
interaction.
We found 4 main trends in supplier self-service,
and went on to develop 5 ways to make sure your
supplier automation project is a success.
First, the trends...
The appeal of self-service, which is prevalent in
the consumer world, is finally trending in the
corporate world. Companies are tired of manual,
routine communications which tie up valuable
resources, and suppliers increasingly prefer to
exchange information online.
What type of supplier portal are you using,
or planning to use?
already have
supplier
portals and
are planning
to implement
one in the next
two years!
There is significant
growth in the use of
supplier portals
75% of respondents have over $1 Billion
in annual revenue
About our respondents
Conclusion
Research brought
to you by:
© sharedserviceslink and PaymentWorks 2015
Supplier
Self-Service
The Future Is Here!
5 ways to make
your supplier portal
a success
INFOGRAPHIC REPORT
Function
19%
53%
23%
5%
Other
Finance
Purchasing
North
America
South America
Asia/
Asia Pacific
Europe
Middle East & Africa
P2P
Location
47%
3%
3%
35%
12%
Annual
revenue$5bn +
$1bn-$5bn
Less than $100m
$100-$250m
$250-$500m
$500-$1,000m
52%
6%
2%
4%
13%
23%
1
Multiple features
make the business
case work
4
Supplier portals are
implemented to
increase productivity
2
Carefully define your
requirements and
evaluate solutions on
their ability to
address them
Has your
company
implemented
a supplier
portal?
49%
49%
39%
39%
12%
No, but we
are likely to
implement a
supplier
portal in the
next two
years
Yes, we
have a
supplier
portal
No, we have no
plans to implement
a supplier portal
What type
of portal
do you
have?
33%
31%
36%
Third-party
portal
Home grown,
developed
internally
ERP based
portal
What type
of portal
will you
implement?
48%Third-party
portal
11%
Home grown,
developed
internally
41%
ERP based
portal
Communication with suppliers is
essential. However spending hours
communicating via phone and email
about routine issues is a drain on
your resources, and one that supplier
self-service tools can easily automate.
What are your objectives for implementing a
supplier portal?
High adoption is
essential for high
satisfaction
3
What is the impact of a high volume of
routine supplier communications?
Respondents planning to implement a supplier
portal, are doing so chiefly to drive process
automation and supplier satisfaction. Cost
reduction comes in a distant third place. This
indicates companies aren’t just focussed on
reducing headcount, rather they are primarily
concerned with organizational efficiency and
effectiveness.
One of the biggest impacts a supplier portal can
have is to reduce the volume of routine, manual,
two-way communications into AP and Purchasing.
What were the biggest challenges
implementing the supplier portal once the
project had been initiated?
What features do you believe are most
important for a supplier portal to have?
(Average rank from 1-9)
What percentage of your payments are
electronic?
Invoice Status is the clear winner as a feature, as
it is key to reduce the number of supplier
inquires. Increasing the accuracy of vendor
master data, and increasing the use of electronic
payments should be included in every business
case. Dynamic discounting ranked low, but it is an
emerging capability which can help build the
business case for your portal program.
In summary, supplier portals are growing in
popularity, with about 50% of respondents
planning to implement a self-service supplier portal
solution in the next 2 years. However, achieving
objectives requires solution champions to be aware
of all the factors and ready to follow best practices.
For those of you considering a supplier portal or
wishing to improve on your existing solution, here
are 5 essentials for optimizing your experience
with supplier portals.
Supplier self-service is a fast-growing trend.
Supplier portals can be a very effective tool to
increase productivity and improve supplier
satisfaction.
If you are looking at new tools, be sure your
business case is as strong as possible, and
understand adoption is the key to satisfaction. This
requires a solution that meets your suppliers
requirements and that is easy to use.
About PaymentWorks
PaymentWorks enables large and mid-sized
companies to exchange information securely with
suppliers to ensure efficiency throughout the
invoice to pay process.
Our ERP-agnostic, cloud-based software is quickly
deployed and set apart by EnterpriseConnectSM
,
a networking model that achieves rapid, organic
supplier adoption.
For more information contact
info@paymentworks.com
A supplier portal is not a magic bullet, but it can
play a crucial role for a large portion of your
supplier base. Process automation and
eliminating routine manual work allow you to
focus staff on higher value activities.
Look for
functionality fit for
the future
With the growth of social networking and mobile
computing, the way we communicate is changing
rapidly.
The B2B world is catching up. Suppliers expect to
be able to check information online, and are
increasingly comfortable with, and expecting, chat
functionality, news feeds, and secure online
connectivity. If your solution doesn’t feel
comfortable now, imagine how out of date it
might feel in 5 years? Cloud-based solutions offer
an environment that is continually enhanced
without disrupting the Network or requiring IT
assistance.
Have an honest
conversation with
your Suppliers, IT, and
Purchasing
A successful solution will mean different things to
different people. Be sure to gain input from the
various stakeholders about your existing or future
tools. Synthesize the input, re-examine your
requirements, and share your conclusions with
them.
Build a strong
business case, and
make sure you are
taking advantage of
all functionality
If properly implemented, supplier portals can
deliver tremendous value to you and your
suppliers. Be sure your existing, or future business
case reflects the full value of what they offer.
• Carefully measure how much time and
money is spent on routine tasks, such as
responding to supplier inquires, updating
vendor master information, processing check
payments, delivering remittance advices etc.
Supplier portals should be used for the full
range of suppliers, both large and small.
• A comprehensive, feature rich solution will
help build the business case by providing more
value to you and your suppliers, which, in turn,
will drive adoption.
• Carefully consider all the solutions in the
market. Evaluate the options carefully for the
cost to deploy and support, range of features,
ease of use, upgrades and total cost of
ownership. Be sure to include new offerings like
cloud-based solutions.
User friendliness
is key
The success of your portal will largely depend on
how well designed and how intuitive the tool is,
and if it provides clear and compelling value to
the supplier.  Intuitive solutions require less time
spent on training and convincing suppliers to use
the portal, and a much smaller investment in
ongoing support
76% of respondents said increasing electronic
payments was a priority. Those for whom it was
not a priority were predominantly electronic
already. Rates of electronic payments were much
higher in Europe than in North America.
The extent that supplier portals have eliminated
routine, manual supplier communication
correlates with levels of satisfaction.
All of the respondents who say they are ‘not
satisfied’ eliminated fewer than 25% of supplier
communications via the portal.
All who reduced supplier communication by 50%
or more were satisfied.
So what are the main barriers to adoption?
63%
28%
7%
2%
Cost reduction
Achieve process
automation goals
Improve supplier
relations
Optimize cash
management
24%
23%
22%
17%
4%7%3%
101-500
501-1000
26-100
25-100
Less
than 25
I don’t know
More than
1000
Assuming handling each
supplier communication takes 8
minutes, they quickly add up to
the equivalent of dedicated FTEs!
Minutes
per week
Hours per
year
FTEs needed
500 4,000 3,467 1.7
1,000 8,000 6,933 3.3
1,500 12,000 10,400 5.0
Number of supplier
communications
per week
How
satisfied
are you
with the
portal?
30%
11% 6%
14%
39%
Partially
satisfied
Not
satisfied
Extremely
satisfied
Very
satisfied
Satisfied
42%
42%
28%
8%
Training & operational
support to internal/
external users
Getting supplier
participation/
registering suppliers
Internal systems
integration
Other
The biggest obstacles are supplier
adoption and providing on-going
training and support. This indicates
that companies need to consider
carefully the user experience of the
true end-user – the supplier – when they
pick solutions, and ensure the tools are easy
(and, ideally, free to use) for suppliers,
require little-to-no training and work with
your existing infrastructure. The onboarding
process is critical.
4.6
6.4
4.4
4.3
Invoice status
Invoice submittal
Dispute resolution
Account maintenance
4.3Remittances
3.6Electronic payment
3.2New vendor set-up
2.9
Purchase order
transmission
2.3Dynamic discounting
Worldwide
Less than 25%
Europe
North
America
14%
11%
22%
53%
10%
7%
13%
70%
15%
15%
36%
34%
25-50% 51-75% More than 75%
said the biggest reason they were
not paying electronically was due to
not having electronic bank details of
suppliers.
38%
For those planning to use supplier
portals, 48% are considering
Third-Party Portals over ERP based
portals or home-grown solutions. As
in many other sectors, companies are
increasingly drawn to SaaS solutions that are
plug-and-play, with lower up-front investment
and lower support and operating costs.
Beyond reducing routine, manual
work, supplier self service can bring
a wide range of benefits including
improving vendor master data,
increasing electronic payments or
capturing early payment discounts, all of
which can be built into your business case.
1
2
3
4
5
How many
supplier
communications
do you receive
per week?
8

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Supplier Portal Infographic

  • 1. Having to manage your supplier base and the constant communications with vendors creates significant inefficiency in Accounts Payable and Purchasing. Self-service supplier portals are the crucial component in the P2P initiative to automate all routine interactions, from receiving an invoice to delivering remittance advices, driving process automation, and productivity. sharedserviceslink and PaymentWorks conducted a survey on shared services' use of supplier portals. Read on for our results. The majority of our respondents were Finance professionals, but Procurement and P2P professionals were well represented. We asked our respondents about their experience thus far, and their aspirations for future supplier interaction. We found 4 main trends in supplier self-service, and went on to develop 5 ways to make sure your supplier automation project is a success. First, the trends... The appeal of self-service, which is prevalent in the consumer world, is finally trending in the corporate world. Companies are tired of manual, routine communications which tie up valuable resources, and suppliers increasingly prefer to exchange information online. What type of supplier portal are you using, or planning to use? already have supplier portals and are planning to implement one in the next two years! There is significant growth in the use of supplier portals 75% of respondents have over $1 Billion in annual revenue About our respondents Conclusion Research brought to you by: © sharedserviceslink and PaymentWorks 2015 Supplier Self-Service The Future Is Here! 5 ways to make your supplier portal a success INFOGRAPHIC REPORT Function 19% 53% 23% 5% Other Finance Purchasing North America South America Asia/ Asia Pacific Europe Middle East & Africa P2P Location 47% 3% 3% 35% 12% Annual revenue$5bn + $1bn-$5bn Less than $100m $100-$250m $250-$500m $500-$1,000m 52% 6% 2% 4% 13% 23% 1 Multiple features make the business case work 4 Supplier portals are implemented to increase productivity 2 Carefully define your requirements and evaluate solutions on their ability to address them Has your company implemented a supplier portal? 49% 49% 39% 39% 12% No, but we are likely to implement a supplier portal in the next two years Yes, we have a supplier portal No, we have no plans to implement a supplier portal What type of portal do you have? 33% 31% 36% Third-party portal Home grown, developed internally ERP based portal What type of portal will you implement? 48%Third-party portal 11% Home grown, developed internally 41% ERP based portal Communication with suppliers is essential. However spending hours communicating via phone and email about routine issues is a drain on your resources, and one that supplier self-service tools can easily automate. What are your objectives for implementing a supplier portal? High adoption is essential for high satisfaction 3 What is the impact of a high volume of routine supplier communications? Respondents planning to implement a supplier portal, are doing so chiefly to drive process automation and supplier satisfaction. Cost reduction comes in a distant third place. This indicates companies aren’t just focussed on reducing headcount, rather they are primarily concerned with organizational efficiency and effectiveness. One of the biggest impacts a supplier portal can have is to reduce the volume of routine, manual, two-way communications into AP and Purchasing. What were the biggest challenges implementing the supplier portal once the project had been initiated? What features do you believe are most important for a supplier portal to have? (Average rank from 1-9) What percentage of your payments are electronic? Invoice Status is the clear winner as a feature, as it is key to reduce the number of supplier inquires. Increasing the accuracy of vendor master data, and increasing the use of electronic payments should be included in every business case. Dynamic discounting ranked low, but it is an emerging capability which can help build the business case for your portal program. In summary, supplier portals are growing in popularity, with about 50% of respondents planning to implement a self-service supplier portal solution in the next 2 years. However, achieving objectives requires solution champions to be aware of all the factors and ready to follow best practices. For those of you considering a supplier portal or wishing to improve on your existing solution, here are 5 essentials for optimizing your experience with supplier portals. Supplier self-service is a fast-growing trend. Supplier portals can be a very effective tool to increase productivity and improve supplier satisfaction. If you are looking at new tools, be sure your business case is as strong as possible, and understand adoption is the key to satisfaction. This requires a solution that meets your suppliers requirements and that is easy to use. About PaymentWorks PaymentWorks enables large and mid-sized companies to exchange information securely with suppliers to ensure efficiency throughout the invoice to pay process. Our ERP-agnostic, cloud-based software is quickly deployed and set apart by EnterpriseConnectSM , a networking model that achieves rapid, organic supplier adoption. For more information contact info@paymentworks.com A supplier portal is not a magic bullet, but it can play a crucial role for a large portion of your supplier base. Process automation and eliminating routine manual work allow you to focus staff on higher value activities. Look for functionality fit for the future With the growth of social networking and mobile computing, the way we communicate is changing rapidly. The B2B world is catching up. Suppliers expect to be able to check information online, and are increasingly comfortable with, and expecting, chat functionality, news feeds, and secure online connectivity. If your solution doesn’t feel comfortable now, imagine how out of date it might feel in 5 years? Cloud-based solutions offer an environment that is continually enhanced without disrupting the Network or requiring IT assistance. Have an honest conversation with your Suppliers, IT, and Purchasing A successful solution will mean different things to different people. Be sure to gain input from the various stakeholders about your existing or future tools. Synthesize the input, re-examine your requirements, and share your conclusions with them. Build a strong business case, and make sure you are taking advantage of all functionality If properly implemented, supplier portals can deliver tremendous value to you and your suppliers. Be sure your existing, or future business case reflects the full value of what they offer. • Carefully measure how much time and money is spent on routine tasks, such as responding to supplier inquires, updating vendor master information, processing check payments, delivering remittance advices etc. Supplier portals should be used for the full range of suppliers, both large and small. • A comprehensive, feature rich solution will help build the business case by providing more value to you and your suppliers, which, in turn, will drive adoption. • Carefully consider all the solutions in the market. Evaluate the options carefully for the cost to deploy and support, range of features, ease of use, upgrades and total cost of ownership. Be sure to include new offerings like cloud-based solutions. User friendliness is key The success of your portal will largely depend on how well designed and how intuitive the tool is, and if it provides clear and compelling value to the supplier.  Intuitive solutions require less time spent on training and convincing suppliers to use the portal, and a much smaller investment in ongoing support 76% of respondents said increasing electronic payments was a priority. Those for whom it was not a priority were predominantly electronic already. Rates of electronic payments were much higher in Europe than in North America. The extent that supplier portals have eliminated routine, manual supplier communication correlates with levels of satisfaction. All of the respondents who say they are ‘not satisfied’ eliminated fewer than 25% of supplier communications via the portal. All who reduced supplier communication by 50% or more were satisfied. So what are the main barriers to adoption? 63% 28% 7% 2% Cost reduction Achieve process automation goals Improve supplier relations Optimize cash management 24% 23% 22% 17% 4%7%3% 101-500 501-1000 26-100 25-100 Less than 25 I don’t know More than 1000 Assuming handling each supplier communication takes 8 minutes, they quickly add up to the equivalent of dedicated FTEs! Minutes per week Hours per year FTEs needed 500 4,000 3,467 1.7 1,000 8,000 6,933 3.3 1,500 12,000 10,400 5.0 Number of supplier communications per week How satisfied are you with the portal? 30% 11% 6% 14% 39% Partially satisfied Not satisfied Extremely satisfied Very satisfied Satisfied 42% 42% 28% 8% Training & operational support to internal/ external users Getting supplier participation/ registering suppliers Internal systems integration Other The biggest obstacles are supplier adoption and providing on-going training and support. This indicates that companies need to consider carefully the user experience of the true end-user – the supplier – when they pick solutions, and ensure the tools are easy (and, ideally, free to use) for suppliers, require little-to-no training and work with your existing infrastructure. The onboarding process is critical. 4.6 6.4 4.4 4.3 Invoice status Invoice submittal Dispute resolution Account maintenance 4.3Remittances 3.6Electronic payment 3.2New vendor set-up 2.9 Purchase order transmission 2.3Dynamic discounting Worldwide Less than 25% Europe North America 14% 11% 22% 53% 10% 7% 13% 70% 15% 15% 36% 34% 25-50% 51-75% More than 75% said the biggest reason they were not paying electronically was due to not having electronic bank details of suppliers. 38% For those planning to use supplier portals, 48% are considering Third-Party Portals over ERP based portals or home-grown solutions. As in many other sectors, companies are increasingly drawn to SaaS solutions that are plug-and-play, with lower up-front investment and lower support and operating costs. Beyond reducing routine, manual work, supplier self service can bring a wide range of benefits including improving vendor master data, increasing electronic payments or capturing early payment discounts, all of which can be built into your business case. 1 2 3 4 5 How many supplier communications do you receive per week? 8