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You are what you eat, so what are you feeding your VIM?

Anything less than a 100% digital B2B partner community increases risk

Are you getting the most from your Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) solution? Many businesses that have invested in a VIM solution to manage their cashflow are making strategic decisions based on an incomplete picture. In today’s world, anything less than a 100% digital B2B partner community increases the risk of lost invoices, bad data from manual re-keying of invoice data, and an inability to properly take advantage of the opportunities for invoice management and payment discounts. Businesses need to ensure every invoice is captured by the VIM if they are going to properly execute their VIM strategy.

Businesses that have invested in a VIM solution have done so in hopes of gaining greater control over their invoice payments and cashflow. A properly deployed VIM receives all inbound invoices and processes them for key business decisions, such as internal approval, validation against what was ordered/shipped, and payment optimization. This directly adds value to the business by providing strategic cashflow management opportunities.

However, these businesses are operating their VIM with an understood risk: they understand that in order to successfully implement a VIM strategy, they must work with a full picture. This full picture doesn’t come without a decent amount of work to fully onboard and enable the entire B2B partner community. Onboarding tool sets and supplier portals are excellent for enabling this community, and they greatly increase the picture formed within the VIM of the overall invoice/payment situation.

To a business owner, executive, or decision maker, being able to make a strategic business decision to optimize their cashflow is just one lever of control. This directly speaks to the magnitude of value that a VIM can provide a business. By creating a fully digitized B2B partner community, businesses can greatly increase the value they receive from their VIM solution, making this lever of control stronger and more widespread.

Most businesses understand that in order to execute an effort to achieve a fully digitized community, there is a heavy technical component, which can add a great deal of complexity and stress to the situation. These technical resources have a responsibility to support their business customers, and doing so involves managing all the technical streams through which invoices are received and helping to assist the business in answering key questions. An attempt to get each partner fully digitized will yield great benefits through the reduced needs of the supported community.

If you step outside the Accounts Payable (AP) box, then you can see the other areas of a business that support the feeding of clean, digital invoices to their VIM. The main users here are the supply chain operations and vendor relations groups. These users are required to support the partner community through enablement and collaboration, and therefore, have a vested interest in enabling and utilizing a streamlined invoice process, as part of the overall order lifecycle. Their role also includes handling inbound inquiries from the B2B partner community, so providing a B2B supplier portal has the opportunity to significantly reduce these inquiries by offering their partners a place to research and answer their questions without engaging the business.

Ultimately, the opportunity to improve is in front of us. We know the value that a VIM solution can provide, but are you really getting the most out of your VIM?

Obtaining a full picture is critical to making the right business decision at the right time, and without a fully digitally enable B2B partner community, you could have holes in that picture. By enabling your B2B partners to participate in the digital exchange of invoices, and ideally, all B2B documents, you can begin to fill in those holes and gain greater control over your cashflow.

OpenText Business Network wants to help your business maximize your Vendor Invoice Management investment with a cloud-based solution set focused on increasing VIM insights through complete channel management and by achieving full partner community digitization and enablement, the highest level of invoice quality and compliance, and full order lifecycle visibility. Contact us to learn more.

For more information on how OpenText helps businesses achieve a complete picture for your VIM solution, please visit our website, read the white paper or view the on-demand webinar.

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Jeff Eckel

Jeff Eckel is a Product Marketing Director for OpenText Business Network focused on supply chain automation, retail, vendor compliance, the ethical supply chain and B2B integration. During his 14+ year tenure at OpenText, he has held positions in Product Management, Solution Consulting, and Professional Services and is Pragmatic Marketing certified. Jeff has over 20 years of experience in delivering technical business solutions and holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship.

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