Vendor Invoice Management and B2B Network Integration

On many occasions, both in different posts and webinars on our website, you have been able to verify the utilities and advantages that Opentext Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions (VIM) provides us. Also in the same way, we have talked about B2B networks, and what their advantages are and the alternatives that the market provides us for this purpose.

In this post, we want to inform you of how the combination of both solutions provides us with a perfect integration of the purchasing process with the accounts payable department, that is, having the ability to manage the entire process from end to end. Do you want to know how? We tell you:

What is VIM and what does it bring to this integration?

VIM is an add-on that is installed in SAP and serves to solve the main problems that an accounts payable department has, and in this way boost it to a next level of efficiency.

The main challenges it faces and that will help us manage our day-to-day activities are the following:

  • Eliminate paper as soon as possible, and we will do it using a very powerful OCR that digitizes the invoice. In this way we will eliminate the role of the equation, avoiding all the inconveniences and expenses in which this affects.
  • Receive invoices and documents from virtually any source. These invoices can be in paper format, image, invoices scanned in PDF format using OCR, or sent through an email assigned for this purpose. It also collects electronic formats like IDOC, XML used by SAP Ariba, and of course UBL used by Tradeshift.
  • VIM is a collaborative tool, which means that it will help us with invoice queries and exceptions, it is sent to the right person at the right time and they already know what they have to do.
  • It oversees compliance, ensuring you adhere to preconfigured industry rules, roles, actions, and best practices to ensure customers are compliant at every stage of the process.
  • In addition,it allows us to approve the invoice from anywhere, relying on Fiori. This gives us a balance between having control as well as automation.
  • Cost reduction and release of resources. Eliminating repetitive tasks and focusing solely on what needs to be done at the time of doing it, since the processing of the invoice is perfectly aligned and homogeneous.
  • Better relationship with suppliers and between different departments. This will allow us to earn and save money since we will exponentially improve process times, and of course, the invoice cycle will be reduced considerably.

What are B2B networks and what do they contribute to this integration?

It is increasingly common to find companies that choose to incorporate SaaS or PaaS solutions into their digital ecosystems to complement their ERPs, and e-Procurement platforms are a good example. In addition to giving us Access to B2B networks and the millions of companies that are part of them, integration with these platforms is simple and provides a high return on investment. Some of the best known suites for their age in the market can be SAP Ariba or Coupa, we can also find new platforms such as Tradeshift.

The main advantages that these platforms can provide us are:

  • Eliminate repetitive, inefficient and manual processes. This means that we reduce a lot of time in reviewing the information manually, investing time in developing spreadsheets, telephone or mail service. They allow us to improve financial control in addition to ensuring regulatory compliance.
  • Automated workflows for purchasing management. They allow us to generate order requests, manage receipts and payment processes through electronic invoicing, payment notices, etc. This provides us with a reduction in time, costs and risk.
  • B2B Networks. B2B networks give us access to thousands of suppliers, to commercial operations, they allow us to share information through the internet, and not only that, it allows us to collaborate in real time with our suppliers, for example, that suppliers see in real time the status of your invoices.
  • Marketplace. This concept, more commonly known for its application to B2C purchases, has gained great relevance in B2B networks. It allows us to manage electronic purchases, from creating purchase requests, that these requests themselves pass to orders that are sent electronically to our suppliers, access catalogs, etc. Thanks to business networks, we can find supplier networks globally.
  • Electronic invoice with firewalls. They prevent documents from reaching our company that do not comply with certain rules that we have set, in this way we can prevent certain invoices that do not meet the points that we want, from directly reaching our ERP system.

What does integration consist of?

The integration allows you to receive directly in VIM invoices and payments that we receive through these platforms. These received documents have to comply with the rules marked in the firewalls that have been established by us in the suite. Once verified that our rules are met and passed, they are integrated into our system through VIM to continue with the process.

VIM can be integrated with any of the suites through the solutions it has for electronic invoicing as we have seen previously. For example, SAP Ariba already has a specific channel to receive invoices. Once the invoice arrives at VIM, it is processed and it is verified that it complies with all VIM business rules, then the invoice is posted. The status of the document is then automatically updated in the suite, allowing the supplier to view the status of the invoice in real time and track it. This way we will have a fully integrated side-by-side process.

With VIM and the suites we will increase the autopost, that is, the manual intervention in the life process of the invoices will be significantly reduced. This causes an increase in productivity, reduction of costs and risk, and above all, improving the relationship with suppliers, since they can interact with them from the suite itself, avoiding calls or email chains, etc.

If you need more information or help in your decision process, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you.

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