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Five ways supplier onboarding planning will make your Approved Payables programme a success

06 Aug 21

Behind every great success you see there is always meticulous planning. From Italy winning Euro 2020 to gaining the backing of all four dragons in Dragon’s Den, success isn’t merely a string of fortunate events – thorough preparation is key.

For an Approved Payables programme to be a success, everyone needs to know exactly what their role is and the technology needs to be customised to suit the needs of your business.

A critical component of an Approved Payables programme is the onboarding strategy, the strategy needs to be outlined, planned and agreed between the buyer, funder and the technology provider. In this article we explore 5 key areas that will help drive a successfully programme.

1. Collaborative ‘one team’ approach

As the old saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ the same can be said for a Payables Programme. Input from Tech, Treasury, Operations and Finance is required during implementation through to go-live of a payables programme. Experience tells us that for a truly successfully Payables Programme buy in from the Procurement team is also critical to programme, within your business Procurement are the gatekeepers to your suppliers and hold the key to fast and effective onboarding. A lack of collaboration between the stakeholders on the Buyer side can cause onboarding delays, best practice is to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear from the beginning and for all stakeholders to be included and engaged as soon as possible.

As part of your implementation and onboarding process, it is key to work with your provider to ensure that the procurement team have sufficient information, training and confidence in the programme.

Your platform provider will normally provide you with training material and may offer dedicated training sessions with the procurement team to explain the following aspects of a Payables Programme:

  • How an Approved Payables programme works
  • Programme overview and structure
  • How the software can help fulfil the role of the procurement team
  • How the programme can provide a ‘win-win’ solution for both the Buyer and supplier
  • Case Studies / Success stories and lessons learnt
  • Top Onboarding Tips
  • Software Demo
  • FAQ’s

2. Comprehensive analysis of the supply chain

Full visibility of the supply chain can help your technology provider complete a deep dive spend analysis into your supply chain. The detailed analysis can support the onboarding strategy and identify pricing differences (arbitrage) between the supplier and buyer, if payment terms are being negotiated between the Buyer and Supplier, the analysis will help calculate the corresponding working capital benefit for both parties, the analysis can also help to provide the  potential funding line requirements for the programme. The supplier Analysis is typically performed on the top 80% of spend, however, the buyer and technology provider may also choose to cap the spend analysed or remove suppliers that are not suitable.

An Approved Payables programme needs to have clear parameters when it comes to choosing which suppliers are to be onboarded. A thorough supplier spend analysis will easily and quickly identify suitable suppliers and segment them into onboarding tiers to create the strategy and approach for supplier onboarding.

3. Clear supplier onboarding strategy

A decent platform provider will work with you to build a strong onboarding strategy and approach to kick start the Approved Payables programme; the strategy should include:

  • Phased onboarding approach based on realistic timelines
  • Clear programme objectives
  • Templates for marketing materials
  • Outline of key supplier benefits 
  • Payables Finance Calculator comparing the suppliers cost of funds vs. the potential Payables Programme Margin 
  • Dedicated Supplier Onboarding Team to guide and support suppliers through the onboarding process
  • A supplier onboarding tool to manage the onboarding and secure collection of documents required to join the Approved Payables programme
  • A client service desk to provide on-going support (if needed) post onboarding

In a recent webinar ‘Supply Chain Finance in Asia: Implementation best practices’, the panel were unanimous in the importance of having a clear supplier onboarding strategy. Sarat Mohanty, Head, Global Supply Chain Finance Implementation, Standard Chartered Bank said, “It’s critical to have a clearly structured and orchestrated approach when it comes to onboarding buyers and suppliers into each individual programme.”

4. Flexibility, open communication and effective processes

Communication is another important factor for a successful Approved Payables campaign. An all-encompassing implementation and post go-live Supplier Onboarding strategy should include clear objectives and timelines that all parties should be working towards. There should also be clear guidance, process maps and documentation to show how each stakeholder within the business is key to programme’s success and where within the programme their role sits. Having a well thought out onboarding strategy is key but you and your suppliers’ priorities could always change and therefore there needs to be a degree of flexibility to accommodate and cater for any changes.

Your platform provider should work with you to make the end to end operational procedures clear, provide a facility to manage the Supplier Onboarding, including, a dedicated Supplier onboarding team and support desk to support both you as the buyer and your supply chain.  

5. Tech matters

No Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) is effective without proper installation and maintenance. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your technology team is fully briefed or is in close contact with your platform provider.

Most providers will provide training sessions and support desk services, which will ensure the smooth implementation of the technology into business. As well as this, A supplier onboarding tool can help buyers, funders and the platform provider manage the supplier onboarding effectively, The Demica onboarding tool allows suppliers to seamless move from programme registration through to trading invoice using a single secure web based application.

At Demica we pride ourselves in our onboarding service, providing our corporate clients with a fully detailed supplier onboarding strategy and dedicated project management support to ensure a smooth integration of our platform into your technical infrastructure. We also provide support services once your programme is up and running to ensure that progress is made efficiently, and you benefit from a high performing programme.

Get in touch with one our expert team to see how our onboarding services can support your Approved Payables programme.

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