All about Supplier Portal: Features and Benefits
At times, your finance team might struggle to keep up with the demands and inquiries of multiple suppliers. A missed email or an unseen message can lead to significant issues for business processes and harm your brand reputation. As the relationship between buyers and sellers forms the foundation for business success, we cannot afford such risks.
Hence, a supplier portal is a vital solution that can simplify your communication with suppliers and provide them with the proactive control they require in every process and order.
What is a Supplier Portal
Supplier portal is a proactive solution designed to optimise your company's procurement procedures, offering a secure and efficient online platform for interacting with suppliers, enhancing communication and process efficiency.
The supplier portal is an integrated online platform, used for entering supplier information, submitting documents, displaying status, and communicating. With a supplier portal, document submission can include contracts, electronic purchase orders, vendor invoices for AP and payment
For companies working with multiple suppliers, a Supplier Portal is an indispensable tool. They offer a secure and convenient way for businesses and suppliers to monitor orders, address concerns, and maintain effective communication, fostering mutual understanding with their suppliers. Supplier portals also serve as information hubs, providing insights into supplier performance. Through evaluations of past orders, shipments, and customer feedback, companies can promptly detect issues and enact suitable solutions.
Suppliers typically register on these portals, utilising them to monitor their business interactions, overseeing the supply of goods and services to the company, including details like timing and quantity. Ultimately, a supplier portal stands as a critical asset for companies heavily reliant on suppliers. By bridging the gap between suppliers, customers, and management systems, supplier portals facilitate improved efficiency, communication, and overall satisfaction throughout the supply chain.
What does a supplier portal do?
Through a Supplier Portal’s centralised platform, you can gain complete control over tasks spanning from supplier onboarding to order management, invoice processing, and communication.
Suppliers within your supply chain can submit invoices using the supplier portal, email, or through OCR scanning, which involves capturing data for invoice details. This approach prevents invoices from being overlooked, avoiding delays in payment processing.
Suppliers can effortlessly manage purchase orders, invoices, and payments. Some platforms also offer a dedicated Supplier Self Portal provides suppliers with a comprehensive overview of their orders, including easy tracking of delivery statuses for smoother workflows.
Invoice Status Checks
Invoices are integral to every business, so with a Supplier Portal, you can assist your suppliers in staying up-to-date with all invoices - tracking completed and overdue invoices while accessing relevant details.
Invoice and payment inquiry forms
Supplier portals replace the need for manual inquiries about invoice status and payment details through an automated process. This automation significantly reduces the time required by vendors and businesses. Through the supplier portal, vendors and businesses can access real-time status updates, helping both parties achieving accounts receivable objectives and effectively managing cash flow.
Having a dedicated, safe and secure communication channel streamlines your interactions with suppliers, helping you stay up to date with conversations and crucial updates. Both you and your suppliers can access all emails, sending and responding with just a single click.
Benefits of a Supplier Portal
Increased efficiency for business operations
Leveraging a supplier portal integrated with accounts payable automation software has the potential to decrease paper usage, thereby promoting greater environmental sustainability. This integration can significantly minimise the occurrence of data input errors and provide services that reduce the reliance and resource drain on accounts payable staff.
Moreover, businesses can quickly onboard suppliers, effectively manage all suppliers via one platform, reduce manual admin tasks and administrative bottlenecks. With a supplier portal, both parties benefit from a centralised platform to manage purchase orders, invoices, and payments, enhancing overall efficiency.
Enhanced Order and Invoice Tracking
Implementing a supplier portal can enhances precision, reduce lost paperwork, resolve issues, and create greater visibility into the present status and payment history to both parties. Consequently, time-consuming phone calls and disruptions are virtually eliminated.
Suppliers can easily track the delivery status of each order, facilitating smoother workflows and improved customer satisfaction. Efficiently monitoring invoice status enables timely payments and better financial management.
A dedicated communication channel streamlines interactions between businesses and suppliers, fostering clearer correspondence and fewer missed updates. Utilising a supplier portal also shifts a portion of the workflow to suppliers, enhancing data precision, arranging submitted documents, automating procedures, managing payment disputes, and enhancing bidirectional communication, encompassing the provision of current updates on status.
Enhanced Security and Risk Minimisation
Internet-based supplier portals offer a secure access to confidential data, so you can rest assured that all your information remains safe and private, accessible only to you and your suppliers. All supplier portals are accessible from any location, whenever you have an active Internet connection. All changes and updates can be made within the supplier portal system, with instant notifications sent to you and those who are involved. This ensures you won't fall victim to online theft or fraudulent transactions.
Related: Supplier Portal and Its Benefits
How to make supplier portal a useful tool for your businesses
Despite numerous impressive features and benefits for suppliers, several still encounter traditional obstacles in terms of invoice submission and payment requests. Here are some essential approach for ensuring the effective approach that you can use to make supplier portal a successful tool in managing supplier information and facilitating payments.
Articulating benefits of supplier portal to your suppliers
Transitioning suppliers from conventional invoice-to-pay interactions to engagement through web supplier portals demands proactive communication. A concise, effectively composed email containing detailed and basic instructions is typically enough to convince suppliers to begin using supplier portal. Ideally, more than 90% of suppliers can adopt this approach, alleviating the considerable workload of manual data entry and addressing payment inquiries.
Make localised language an option
As a growing number of businesses are partnering with international suppliers, the international supplier is an ideal fit for supplier portals. A supplier based in Rome, for instance, can avoid the delays caused by time zone differences and language barriers by using a supplier portal in Italian to submit their information.
Provide supplier appropriate support based on their payment preferences
Offering suppliers a selection of payment methods empowers them to adopt the most advantageous approach. This choice also enables them to securely furnish essential banking information for precise payments. Any supplier portal should provide updates about payment approvals and remittances, and optimally, automatically notify suppliers of payment status or any payment-related concerns via email. This particular feature is compelling for suppliers seeking engagement with the portal, provided the information is accurate and easily accessible.
Choosing your ideal supplier portal
When deciding a supplier portal tailored to your company, carefully consider its functionality aligning with your business size, type, requirements, and financial situation. The ideal supplier portal should improve efficiency and reduce operational expenses.
It is advised that you generate a checklist outlining crucial attributes for a supplier portal that align with your company's budget. When assessing and choosing supplier portal software, distinguish between capabilities and features listed as preferences versus indispensable essentials. You can also consult reviews and ratings for software offering supplier portal capabilities.