Momentum Building for Supplier Portal Adoption

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An effective supplier portal can reduce invoice capture and entry costs as well as expenses related to routine vendor inquiries. Yet, adoption of supplier portals has been surprisingly sluggish.

That appears to be changing.

For the first time, the majority of companies with more than $5 billion in annual revenues (57.1 percent) say their organizations are using a supplier portal, according to the results of the 2013 AP Automation Study conducted by the Institute of Financial Operations (IFO).

Adoption should only pick up steam from here.

Organizations are looking for ways to more easily communicate invoice status — a task that can otherwise eat up valuable staff hours — and to allow suppliers to submit their invoices online to help eliminate paper-based processes.

In fact, invoice status was cited as the most important driver for implementing a supplier portal for more than a third of respondents to IFO’s study (37.8 percent), while self-service web form invoice submittal was the key driver for 21.6 percent of respondents.

But a supplier portal also helps automate payment status and the submission of invoices as PDF files, as well as the submission non-purchase order invoices. Suppliers also can use a portal to “flip” purchase orders into electronic invoices, streamlining processing and eliminating potential errors.

It’s not surprising that the majority of respondents to IFO’s study who have a supplier portal are satisfied with the technology. Some 44.7 percent companies told IFO they are “satisfied” with their supplier portal, while 17 percent said they are “extremely satisfied” with the technology.

Direct Insite offers a supplier portal that makes it easy for companies to securely receive legally compliant electronic invoices directly into their accounting system -- without operator intervention. The portal also provides suppliers with self-service access to invoice and payment status without having to call or e-mail anyone.

Our self-service supplier portal has helped some of the largest companies in the world significantly streamline their accounts payable processes, gain better financial control and invoice transparency, and reduce supplier inquiries regarding invoice and payment status -- all while improving supplier relationships.

To learn more about Direct Insite’s supplier portal, e-mail me at