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How to improve your supplier relationships while lowering invoice handling costs


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Isn’t it frustrating when invoices arrive into your organisation which don’t have the information you require to process them? If compliance from suppliers was improved, this would bring enable huge improvements in payments on time. There are also plenty of untapped opportunities to leverage early payment discounts, improving your suppliers’ cash flow and
your own working capital position. So how can you achieve this? Nick Wood shares how an innovative e-invoicing solution is both improving invoice handling quality and reducing costs simultaneously, and shares how to:

• Onboard 70% of suppliers with a winning ‘free e-invoicing for suppliers’ business case
• Target smaller suppliers who need more validation
• Significantly reduce the cost-per-transaction in AP

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How to improve your supplier relationships while lowering invoice handling costs

  1. 1. Anglia Support PartnershipHow to improve your supplierrelationships while lowering invoice handling costs Nick Wood, Corporate Director
  2. 2. Agenda About ASP Drivers for change Selection criteria Why Tradeshift? Implementation Lessons learnt Conclusion
  3. 3. Anglia SupportPartnership (ASP) Founded in 2002 as a local shared services organisation Annual turnover of £36m, 49 NHS Customers Approximately 600 staff Broad range of support services primarily to NHS organisations that includes:  Financial Services and Finance Systems  Payroll  Estates and Property Management  ICT  Patient Meals Moving in to the broader public sector market
  4. 4. ASP FinancialServices Two operational bases – Essex and Cambridge Process in excess of 450,000 invoices per annum In excess of 10,000 suppliers Use Capita IB Solutions Integra Finance System Electronic Purchase to Pay system Invoices matched against Purchase Orders or authorised with automated workflows All invoices have an image for end user access Currently invoices entered on ledger via OCR or manually
  5. 5. Drivers forchange Merger of 2 local shared services operations completed – gave renewed drive to continue AP developments NHS customers continually pressing for cost reduction Prompt payment of invoices has been a KPI  Looking for ways to reduce time taken in all steps of the process
  6. 6. Example of 2011/12 Transaction Times Average Invoice Processing days per month 50 40 30Days 20 10 0 Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Inv to Receipt Receipt to Reg Reg to Pass Pass to Pay PY (Inv date to Paid)
  7. 7. Why e-invoicing? From previous slide: “post delay” obvious point to target Trial: staffing agency started to email pdf invoices Noticeable impact on their payment turnaround But AP staff needed to print and scan invoice Needed a solution which took electronic invoice straight into Financial Ledger
  8. 8. Key SelectionCriteria What would factors would influence supplier adoption?  Cost of using service  Interface should not be intimidating  Ease of integration to current accounting systems  Updates on invoice progress received without phoning  Invoices not rejected due to incomplete details
  9. 9. ASP objectives Reduce headcount by 1 WTE in first year Medium term goal (3-5 years)  70% transactions processed through e-invoicing  Headcount reduced by 5 WTE Long term goal – all invoices processed by e- invoicing, OCR diminishing and very limited manual input Good return on investment Conservative breakeven after 18 months Reduction in cost per transaction – ASP more competitive in market
  10. 10. Why Tradeshift? Reviewed several solutions Tradeshift seemed to offer a different approach Simple for suppliers to use  Standard interface formats for large suppliers  Social networking feel for small suppliers Quicker return on investment  For supplier – reduce postage, reduce phone calls vs. initial set-up  For ASP – investment in Tradeshift and ledger interface vs. releasing staff resource, improved accuracy
  11. 11. Why Tradeshift? Tradeshift is free for suppliers to submit invoices Tradeshift communicate with suppliers during on-boarding and set-up stages Secure feeder integrates with Integra Ledger
  12. 12. Implementation -ASP Timetable – 2011/12 Day 1 – initial technical discussion + 1 month – agreed validation rules with Tradeshift + 3 weeks – content of email campaign agreed + 3 weeks – first test e-invoice received from supplier + 5 days – initial awareness emails sent to suppliers +10 days – launch email to selected suppliers – targeted smaller organisations + 1 month– launch email to remaining suppliers
  13. 13. Implementation -Supplier engagement Initial phase concentrated on 6,000 suppliers On request from our clients removed suppliers whose invoices contained patient confidential data Already had email addresses for 2,500 suppliers Internal project obtained another 1,000 Focussed initial campaign on lower volume suppliers (10-100 invoices p.a.) Over 500 sign-ups following awareness campaign with “compulsory in future” message
  14. 14. Implementation - Results Conversion from invited to Tradeshift to activated account40% 29%30%20% 17% 12% 9%10%0% Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 % increase of documents sent 50 40 30 20 10 0 Kick off Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
  15. 15. Implementation -Next steps Phase 2  Onboarding of 6,000 suppliers in different geographic area  Targeting supplier usage in original area to achieve volume throughput
  16. 16. Lessons learned Communications with ASP customers  No centralised purchasing department hindered cascade of information to staff placing orders Suppliers went to customers with queries First time Tradeshift communicated with UK suppliers  Suspicion of emails which only had Danish contact details, even though sent from “familiar” address Engagement of Finance System supplier
  17. 17. Impact on purchaseto pay process Purchase order number can be compulsory field. No PO number means immediate rejection to reinforce policy Already operating electronic invoice approval – invoice information via Tradeshift generates a “template” invoice for approval plus any supplier attachments Reduction in phone calls from suppliers Reduction of carbon footprint Reduced cost per transaction Prompt payment of invoices
  18. 18. Conclusion How to improve your supplier relationships while lowering invoice handling costs  Flexibility of integration options offered  Have a strong and consistent message to suppliers  2 way flow of information  Good technical support  Use positive experiences of early adopters to reinforce message
  19. 19. Any questions?