This is key to all vendor invoice dematerialization projects. It is one of the levers of the implementation methodology and it optimizes the overall processing. Hereafter a few key steps, including:

  • Preparation of management standards (Master data files) and authorizations,
  • Standardization,
  • Implementation of rules and controls based on customer business processes, etc …

The advisory role and experience feedback are very important to help companies to abandon manual practices and replace them with digital ones.

The expenditure commitment process, for instance, revolves around repository data that identifies the purchase orders, suppliers of the company, represent alone half the work. The rest relates to the invoice processing from reception to archiving. The archiving, or long period conservation of the document, concerns both the sender and the receiver of invoices.

Companies could / should sub-contract the legal part of document handling to service providers that preferably have the ISO certification (for instance Electronic Archiving process certification, to confirm ability to archive digital and physical documents in a safe place simultaneously.


For a quick ROI and future prospects

The advice so far is to proceed by steps. For example, for companies who question the approach, by conducting a pilot phase before rollout will reassure them about the implementation costs and adapt the solution on a small scope. The connection to the ERP is not the simplest.

  • If the interface is done asynchronously (by file transfer), the connection and ERP update can be done easily,
  • However, an update in near real time (synchronous) between the workflow and ERP, requires:

– Working with several departments such as IT, business, marketing,

– Develop interfaces that ensure the relationship between applications (e.g. using APIs ”Application Programming Interface” allowing exchanges between remote systems).

Finally, relying on outsourcing/pooling and taking into account the volumes and indirect costs, the company that outsources the supplier’s e-invoicing could get an ROI that could rapidly be measured in a few months.

In the future, this process could very well surf on the phenomenon of a ”Big Data” boom, allowing providers to remotely monitor the demand for such agencies/shops and anticipate needs…