Buyer & Supplier e-invoicing: Changing relationships

As the digital world transforms, the relationships between buyers and suppliers is ever changing.

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Hear our customers at BT Group, Imperial College, and Mondelez talk about how e-invoicing is mutually beneficial, and can help build trust and confidence in those relationship. Whether you are an e-invoicing or accounts payable manager, or you manage procurement and global processing, the transition to e-invoicing can help bring buyers and suppliers closer together.

Sam Green, Global Process Owner, Purchase to Pay, BT Group – It adds an element of trust. I think the buyer’s focus was that the buyer got the accountability. Working on the day-to-day relationship developing between the supplier and the lines of business or leading people, knowing that the relationship is there to make things go straight, with feedback that is critical to their relationship.

Steven Howes, e-Invoicing Manager, Imperial College – Sometimes you have to be quite direct, sometimes you have to be quite strong. If you can’t mandate using e-invoicing, then you have to do the next best thing and really leverage the companies you can get onboard. Often there are times when a softer approach works, where you have private discussions with people, and you do in-house demos. You spend a little more time and invest and really spend time selling the mutual benefits of be-invoicing.

Doru Procopiu, Accounts Payable Manager, Imperial College – You have to emphasize that, so always, it actually works quite often.

Ian Brown, BPS, e-Invoicing Solutions for BT Group – Change is not something a lot of people take lightly and it impacts suppliers are in that same position. You are asking them to move from something they have done for years to something that is very new to them; they don’t take lightly to it. But you then come across suppliers who are very proactive, who like to take on the challenges.

Mark Boswell, Procurement Process Business Manager, Mondelez – I think it brings visibility to it. I don’t think it comes easy, because you have to rely on our own databases, our own systems, to be accurate and consistent. I think the technology helps you to see what’s possible, but it’s not an easy thing. I don’t think technology comes quickly to our industry. It is not a quick transition, but I think if everybody is treating electronic invoicing in the same way they do today as they did a paper invoice perhaps five, ten years ago, you’ll see the same transition as what it would be for mobile phone communication, from a landline telephone or from the fax machine to email. So, you know, 10-15 years has already gone fast.

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