University of Tennessee System: More Profit and Peace of Mind
More Profit and Peace of Mind With PaymentWorks
Decentralized organizations face countless challenges when it comes to vendor onboarding and management. The kicker? Most of those problems stem from lousy vendor data management.
Vendor data management is integral to everything: risk mitigation, building a payment strategy, gaining insights into different vendors, and more.
Many organizations have siloed, piecemeal ways of managing vendor data, which can skew insights and open the door to fraud.
This reality hit home for the University of Tennessee System (UT System). So they decided to make a change.
Burdened with managing 19,000 active suppliers for five campuses across the state, the team at The University of Tennessee System (UT System) decided to automate vendor onboarding and management with PaymentWorks.
Keep reading if you want to find out:
Click here or the image below to read it.
Vendor master data impacts the entire organization, even though people don’t always realize it. Obviously, vendor data impacts your relationships with suppliers and vendors. Bad data means constant changes and updates, potential payment snafus, and unnecessary and often frustrating back-and-forth with vendors.
Vendor data management has the power to streamline internal processes while guarding against fraud. It can have significant impacts on the bottom line, too. Think about it: solid vendor data management offers valuable insights that allow you to practice more strategic vendor management.
On top of that, good vendor data management means fewer manual changes – and fewer manual changes mean fewer opportunities for fraudsters to wedge their way in. Here’s the catch: great vendor data management requires automation. Without it, clean vendor data is an uphill battle.
The UT System was deeply aware of the pitfalls of non-optimal vendor data management. Here’s what it looked like:
And all of this made sense. The Accounts Payable team had a lot on their plate, including managing suppliers for the entire university system – totaling more than 19,000 active suppliers.
When your vendor data management is that expansive, the possibilities for things to fall through the cracks (or unwanted things to creep in) are astronomical. The UT System was largely concerned with social engineering and vendor impersonation fraud.
Moreover, the Accounts Payable team was small but mighty. It became overwhelming to have just one person onboarding vendors, verifying and managing the influx of W9s, and converting suppliers from checks to electronic payment types. And it wasn’t just the volume of manual tasks required; the sheer liability resting on one person’s back got to be too much.
The team started exploring options for a vendor management platform, though the search was long and winding. Additionally, they found that many vendor management and payment automation software products were not comprehensive. Some could look at bank accounts but couldn’t verify the Tax ID.
Maybe you can relate to this.
Maybe UT System’s story rings a little too close to home. It’s not uncommon for organizations to lack the internal resources for optimizing vendor data management. Before you know it, it’s at the bottom of the priority list, and things start to slip.
While it might not seem like a big deal, especially when other “more important” things are front and center, not addressing vendor data management issues can have dire consequences.
Duplicate entries, discrepancies, and bad data: Without automation, vendors may be accidentally added to the system more than once. And if you’re relying on manual labor to onboard and check vendor data, you’re bound to run into inconsistencies. A name gets mistyped here. A wrong vendor name gets links to the wrong bank account there. It’s all very concerning and can lead to headaches for you and your vendors – and more time wasted.
Incomplete data: The next offender is incomplete data. You may think you have everything you need for an onboarded vendor, but over time, you come across missing fields. One vendor doesn’t have a tax ID. Another vendor is missing a contact email address. You’ll likely have to reach out to those vendors by phone or email, which opens the door to fraud and, you guessed it, wastes time.
Outdated information: Is data being updated regularly? While too many unnecessary changes can be a risk, not updating vendor information enough is not good either. If most of your vendor data hasn’t been updated in months or years, you probably have bad vendor data. Don’t forget sanctions lists are updated regularly, and vendors must continuously be checked against these lists. Not doing so can lead to expensive non-compliance.
Dirty vendor data is a direct result of bad vendor data management. And it’s common in organizations that don’t have automated processes.
Don’t worry; UT System’s story has a happy ending. They were able to get PaymentWorks up and running quickly. This allowed UT System to get vendors onboarded without a ton of assistance from IT. This enabled a fast implementation and go-live.
Then, once they figured out how to move vendors into PaymentWorks, they automated the feed to the ERP. By getting the data mapping right before integrating with their ERP, UT System saved a ton of time. Additionally, it made the switch to a new ERP even easier because they could clean the entire vendor file by having all existing vendors onboard with PaymentWorks.
Hear UT System’s AP Director, Tisha Marshall, talk about that process here:
So UT System can be sure the new ERP has accurate, up-to-date vendor information for 100% of their vendor file.
Automating vendor data management has allowed UT System to:
The benefits of vendor data management automation are significant. In the case of UT, The work they could do with their manual processes now automated proved so significant that the system invested in an additional headcount for the team! Yes, you can cut down on time wasted on manual tasks that are prone to mistakes. But you can also be more value-focused and boost ROI with the right strategy in place.
With automated vendor data management from PaymentWorks, you can keep your master clean and accurate. Your vendor onboarding and management processes can be organized, secure, and efficient, ensuring peace of mind for your entire organization.
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.
The party continues all year long! We’re still celebrating Vendor Management Appreciation Day (VMAD), and we highly encourage you to join us!
Why? Because there’s no expiration date on honoring one of the most important, under-recognized roles across industries: vendor management.
Join us in observing Vendor Management Appreciation Day (VMAD)! We’re gearing up for the 2024 celebration, and we want you to be a part of it!
VMAD is a unique 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.
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