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Maximising e-invoicing adoption

Adopting these practices will ensure that your company should achieve very high penetration of e-invoicing, up to 60-80%+ supplier adoption in 4-6 months.

1. Ensure internal buyer commitment by:

  • getting senior management support to project, and a member on the steering committee
  • assigning an internal owner and champion of the project
  • setting yourself challenging, yet realistic targets, on how to
  • develop clear communications so your suppliers understand the essential benefits
  • define a 3-year strategy, but implement step-by-step, focusing on the quick-wins first and the suppliers who generate 80% of the invoices

2. Ensure e-invoicing is an integral requirement in the buyer sourcing process for:

  • all new contracts
  • any contract re-negotiations

3. Make it easy for suppliers to use the e-invoicing system by:

  • accepting any format of invoices. (It’s up to you/your eInvoicing supplier to be able to accept them, not your supplier to adapt.)
  • accept PDFs by e-mail and OCR to convert to electronic plus have ability to convert, configure supplier set up from first invoice
  • make sure don't have to change their systems to send XML or EDI
  • make using the portal dead simple - it should be no harder to use than buying a book on Amazon. And make sure they don't have to install any software

4. Use all systems and/or functions to encourage adoption, e.g.

  • allow suppliers to send e-invoices using PO Flip
  • etc.

5. Sign up suppliers fast by:

  • having a dedicated team partnering with the e-invoicing supplier
  • agreeing the sign up milestones for those suppliers that send 80% of the invoices
  • ensuring the sign up process is as simple and easy as possible, use online forms
  • keep reminding the suppliers of the advantages of e-invoicing by e-mail and/or phone 

6. Provide dedicated supplier support offering:

  • dedicated support if they get stuck, to give them every option to get in touch and get them going again, via email, phone, chat, messenger, knowledge centre, etc.
  • set an opt-out date when suppliers have to formally register that they won’t be adopting e-invoicing, and after this date, introduce a penalty fee for those still submitting paper invoices

7. Minimise supplier cost of joining the e-invoicing scheme by:

  • never, ever charging supplier fees, i.e. make it much cheaper to submit an invoice, not more expensive
  • minimising supplier’s admin and system changes required

8. Reward suppliers who sign up with cash flow support by:

  • offering your suppliers the opportunity to be paid early in exchange for a discount. (For some suppliers this is the clincher in deciding whether to join an e-invoicing scheme.)

Developed by CTMfile with suggestions and ideas from many suppliers and practitioners in the e-invoicing and procure-to-pay business.

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