Solving the Problem: Multiple Portal Requests from Customers

Podcast-Logo-1.jpgThe following content was derived from the Amalto podcast featuring Bryan Pederson, Vice President Operations and Strategic Alliance with Amalto, as he is interviewed by guest host Ernie Martin, Founder of Receivable Savvy.

Question: How do you see the issue with suppliers fielding multiple portal requests from customers?

Pederson: First, I’ll give a little history on Amalto. The issue concerning portals and how to address it was how our company was founded. Our founders worked for a large oil and gas producer where they were trying to implement the company’s e-commerce page to enable suppliers to submit their invoices. The biggest complaint they received was that this was yet another system that suppliers needed to use to submit our their invoices. At that point, they identified an opportunity to try and solve this particular supplier challenge.

The problem with having multiple interfaces or multiple portals is that you don’t have a single place to be able to view your invoices. Some suppliers believe they are currently automated because they have multiple portals where they get to submit their invoices electronically. In reality, they’ve lost the visibility they need to have with those invoices because they now have multiple systems they must engage in order to track all of their invoices. It’s like having 10 different online accounts at different banks where you must log in separately for each one to see where your checks are going. You want to see where money is coming in and where money is going out. That type of visibility is very difficult to track, provided you know where to go to find that information.

Question: What are some of the more significant pain points for suppliers that have these different portals and different connections?

portal integrationPederson: The first one that comes to mind is managing all those different logins. Each one of those accounts has a different web page, login credentials and suppliers must make sure their staff is segregated; are they managing certain portals, customers or regions? With that comes complexity and having to administer different those usernames, passwords and rights to each of those systems. Next, there are the different rules to follow because their customers are not all the same. Even though there may be ten customers on one portal, their requirements may be different and a supplier organization’s staff will have to know which rules to follow for which customer.

There is also training to consider. If suppliers have any turnover, they will have to train the new hire on potentially 10 or 12 different portals. When a supplier is doing business with a customer, the fact that they will have to train staff on a piece of software or system that they do not actually own is certainly painful based on the company’s that I’ve spoken to.

To listen to the full episode and find out how suppliers can properly address these pain points, click here