How to Automate Vendor Onboarding and Up-Level Payments Strategy
PaymentWorks helps the city's finance team drive efficiency, revenue and peace of mind.
Are you ready to learn how one city’s finance team was able to automate vendor onboarding to drive efficiency, revenue and peace of mind?
You’ve heard it before: an organization takes a decentralized approach to vendor management. Every man, woman, and intern for themselves. That means manual vendor paperwork collection, errors galore, data gaps, and so much back and forth, that it would make your head spin.
You probably know the rest: First, department teams get bogged down collecting essential vendor information. Then, Finance lacks the visibility it needs to make sure everything is secure. Finally, there’s no room for an effective payment strategy.
But wait, there’s more. Here’s the thing: you have to read the case study to get the full scoop. Get it here or click the image below.
Paper checks are expensive to send. You have to print mail and pay postage on each and every one. Snow Rutkowske of Huron describes in detail the painstaking effort required to print and prep paper checks:
However, moving existing vendors to EFT payments is no walk in the park, either – at least not without automation in place.
Decentralized organizations face mountains and molehills when it comes to transitioning vendors from checks to EFT. First, it means calling every single vendor. Secondly, you have to validate and verify bank details. And thirdly, you have to actually set up the EFT payments for each individual vendor. It’s not nothing.
When you automate vendor onboarding, however, most of the heavy lifting evaporates. Manual processes are eliminated. If you’re working with a good partner, you’ll probably get guidance on best practices for transitioning vendors from checks to EFT.
In many cases, it’s fairly seamless to onboard new vendors to EFT through the automated vendor onboarding platform. Existing vendors can move over when it’s time to make updates to their vendor data (like when they change addresses or need to update bank account info).
I can already hear departments cheering in the background for this one. When you automate vendor onboarding, you free up precious time and resources.
In other words, you take unnecessary manual tasks off of people’s plates so they can focus on core business initiatives, adding value, and being more strategic. It’s a win for everyone.
Moreover, when you automate vendor onboarding, you have the opportunity to let vendors take ownership and control of their data. This cuts down on errors – and frustrations on both sides.
The beauty of placing the onus on vendors to input their data is that there’s less room for error, more room for security and a clear path to faster payments. Jenn Glassman does a great job talking about how nice it is to automate payments without incurring loads of risk:
Many automated vendor onboarding platforms allow vendors to select their preferred form of payment at the time of onboarding. As a result, there is no need to go back and make changes later. Vendors can easily select EFT, virtual cards or even select options for dynamic discounting.
The best part? It can all happen right from the start.
Isn’t it a great feeling when you get things right the first time? That’s the beauty of being able to automate vendor onboarding. With the right platform, vendors can enter their information, select their preferred payment method, and get up and running right away.
What’s more, if you do need to make changes, vendor data is just as easy to update. There’s no back and forth, no scrambling to find and verify and re-verify bank account info for your vendors, or fingernail biting over whether or not a bank account change request is real or vendor impersonation.
Just easy-peasy vendor management processes that come off without a hitch.
Get leadership on board – We all know that organizational change requires buy-in from the top. Get executives excited (dare I say “pumped”) for the new opportunities and strategic edge that everyone will enjoy when you automate vendor onboarding. Not sure how? Snow Rutkowske is back again with some helpful tips for getting buy-in:
Focus on strategic vendor onboarding – Vendor onboarding and management often get relegated to administrative functions. It just isn’t so! In fact, once you automate vendor onboarding, the vendor desk has much more time to be strategic and focus on things that add value to the organization’s core mission. It often requires an organizational mindset shift to see the endless opportunities for strategic growth that come from automating vendor onboarding. Documenting your procedures for vendor onboarding and change management is a great way to open everyone’s eyes to how things are – and the possibilities of what could be.
Pay attention to what’s broken – Yep, we said it. Focus on what’s not great. By highlighting what’s not working well, you can jumpstart conversations about how to make things better. We recommend doing an inventory of your procedures as highlighted above, but also documenting exceptions to those processes. It’s a great way to call attention to what’s broken and how that impacts vendor risk management.
Companies that automate vendor onboarding tend to rest easier about compliance. Vendor risk management and compliance is no joke. One misstep can have major consequences – and that includes financial, operational, and reputational consequences.
Automated vendor onboarding makes sure both parties are coloring inside the lines. In other words, it takes on the heavy lifting to ensure that the company and its vendors adhere to industry standards, regulatory requirements, and internal policies.
Automated workflows enable consistency, reduce manual (and error-prone) labor, and instantly align the onboarding process with the most recent compliance standards.
Most importantly, organizations can be more proactive with their compliance. An automated platform that tracks and stores and verifies all the necessary information minimizes vendor risk and keeps panic attacks at bay.
If you’re still fine-tuning your vendor compliance processes, check out our handy compliance planning document here.
PaymentWorks is the foundation of vendor master data and helps organizations of all kinds automate vendor onboarding. PaymentWorks provides customers with secure, compliant, and optimized business payments.
Featuring the industry’s only payments security warranty for fraudulent payments and a network of tier one partners, PaymentWorks enables customers in healthcare, higher education, K-12, state and local government, enterprise and more to capitalize on the opportunity to digitize the payments process while reducing risk, controlling costs and earning revenue.
All this talk about how to automate vendor onboarding has us revved up for the ultimate vendor management holiday: Vendor Management Appreciation Day (VMAD)!
What it is: It’s a way for everyone to come together in honor of one of the most important, sometimes under-recognized roles across industries: vendor management.
What we’re doing: We’re offering a slew of gifts and an impressive calendar of events.
How to participate: Join the party and keep an eye on your inbox for reminders about new gifts and new things to add to your calendar.
VMAD is a brand-new holiday geared toward unifying vendor management professionals and celebrating innovation in the field.
We’ve been releasing gifts each month to help you supercharge your vendor management efforts. We’re also planning some awesome events so everyone can connect and celebrate the important, strategic role of vendor management.
Learn more here, and grab some free vendor management goodies.
Explore our blogs below. They’re filled with action items you can implement right away.