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Effective supplier onboarding

What you should expect for supplier onboarding

April 10, 2024

You’ve embarked on a supplier enablement campaign to expand your ability to pay suppliers with virtual cards (or another form of payment). You’ve analyzed which suppliers can quickly be transitioned, and you’ve now identified additional suppliers who are willing to be onboarded to this new form of payment. These are big wins! 

Now that you’re at the supplier onboarding stage, what should you expect from your payments provider and this process? We break it down in the final blog post of our three-part series on supplier enablement. 

Check out Part 1 on supplier enablement and Part 2 on supplier analysis

What is supplier onboarding?

Supplier onboarding is the process of bringing on a supplier’s accounts receivable team to process payments from a buyer. The supplier onboarding process begins once a supplier has agreed to accept a new form of payment. 

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Why is supplier onboarding important? 

Payment acceptance is a critical factor when buying decisions are made. When suppliers don’t accept a certain form of payment, that comes at a cost to you in many ways, including that you may: 

  • Choose to buy from another supplier that does accept your preferred form of payment, even if that supplier is charging higher costs. 
  • Get the supplier to accept a certain form of payment, but at an additional cost to you.
  • Miss out on the ability to generate rebate revenue by purchasing with virtual cards and instead choose a form of payment that lacks rebates or increases your risk of fraud. 

What effective supplier onboarding can do for you?

Plain and simple, you can buy from more suppliers using the payment methods you prefer. And if we’re talking about virtual cards, that means: 

  • Optimized cash flow due to faster payments.
  • Reduced fees by reducing the potential for late payments.
  • Improved supplier relationships.
  • Reduce the risk of fraud.
  • And many more perks with virtual cards!

What should you expect from your payment provider?

The buyer-supplier relationship is vitally important to your business. To effectively onboard suppliers, that relationship needs to remain top of mind. In onboarding suppliers to virtual cards, your payments provider should: 

  • Work in lockstep with you on determining via a supplier analysis which suppliers are most likely to accept virtual cards. 
  • Take on much of the work on the supplier’s behalf, because time lost to onboarding is one of their biggest concerns when accepting a new payment method. 
  • Help you negotiate with suppliers to ensure mutual profitability. 
  • Have experience partnering with you to enable you to pay the new suppliers quickly within your ERP (enterprise resource planning). 
  • Provide ongoing support and attention to your account after the suppliers are onboarded to ensure you get the desired results.

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