How shared services are finding fresh ways to engage suppliers
Blog12.06.2012 Comments (1)
Electronic invoicing, Finance shared services
Whatever type of business you are running, invoice processing technology is unlikely to succeed if your suppliers are not engaged in the process from the start. You can have the latest technology but find the process as arduous as ever if they do not understand the hows and whys of your new initiative.
But obtaining and maintaining supplier engagement can make a significant difference to the success of a supplier-focused programme like ‘no PO, no pay’, or an e-invoicing implementation.
So how can true supplier engagement be achieved?
Sending out paper leaflets, emailing information packs or holding face to face meetings and training sessions are common approaches, though they can be a drain on time and money.
One organisation I spoke to yesterday has adopted a novel approach that incorporated the benefits of accessible human interaction and more formal instruction, without the expense. They have begun piloting instructional videos available to their suppliers via YouTube.
The videos are part of a series, each tackling a particular area of the e-invoicing process. For the business, making the video is a one-time cost. For the suppliers, learning the new system is accessible, flexible, encourages a practical understanding, and can all be done from the comfort of their own office.
One size cannot fit all
Inevitably, however, one size cannot fit all. Remote learning does not allow for questions to be answered immediately, nor does it ensure the instructions will be followed properly. But such instructional videos are a fresh way to engage and excite suppliers. The organisation I spoke to are still waiting on supplier feedback, though in the meantime let me know if you run a similar communications campaign and how you feel you fared with it.
Are you using any specific methods to engage with suppliers? Have you heard from an organisation doing it well?