25 October 2022

Inefficient trade account management is costing suppliers money

In late 2021, a survey* with 200 senior IT and business decision-makers at supplier organisations and 400 business decision-makers at buyer organisations was conducted. The results were surprising.

It’s no secret that B2B trade account management systems are a vital piece of the supply chain puzzle for suppliers.  

They allow for communication, collaboration, and accountability between buyers and suppliers. However, the fast-paced and often integrated nature of today’s supply chains means that any inefficient interaction with a trade account management system has a tangible impact on the bottom line. 

Finding a trade account platform that accommodates the complex and interconnected architecture of today’s supply chains has historically been difficult for suppliers. Consequently, despite advances in technology, suppliers are still using outdated buyer account management practices that require manual or labour-intensive processes which damage a supplier’s bottom line.  

Adding to this, buyers are demanding more from their suppliers, and the number of touchpoints between buyers and suppliers has increased significantly over the past decade.  

Suppliers must be able to manage their buyer accounts in real-time, at scale, and with high accuracy. This requires a new approach to account management—one that automates onboarding new customers, invoice reconciliation and reporting – whilst also being fast and reliable.  

Unfortunately, the latest results from a recent survey show that the majority of suppliers are struggling to manage their buyer account processes in a way that is efficient, cost-effective, and fast.

In late 2021, a survey* with 200 senior IT and business decision-makers at supplier organisations and 400 business decision-makers at buyer organisations was conducted. The results were surprising.  

Outdated systems are holding businesses back from achieving their full potential  

The report concluded that despite the modern era and technological advances, suppliers lack the tools to properly support buyers, and have been investing in technology solutions that were not fit for their purpose. Over two-thirds (68%) of suppliers were using a non-purpose-built solution to manage their business buyer experience.  

This band-aid approach is affecting suppliers’ profitability. The non-purpose-built solutions ultimately require more staff to maintain them. Suppliers even reported having to use an average of three to four technology solutions and having an average of 29 FTEs involved in managing buyer accounts at their organisation — adding complexity and raising costs.  

Non-purpose-built systems slow down processes and cause an unnecessary burden on employees 

These non-purpose-built buyer account management platforms are also costing more. Almost half of all suppliers surveyed indicated that buyer account management costs increased due to in-house manual or labour-intensive processes. According to these suppliers, the costs had increased by an average of 21% in the past 12 months.  

Adding to the strain is the manual or labour-intensive processes relating to matching payments to open invoices (60%), chasing unpaid invoices (57%), and reporting on business buyer activity (57%) which make up a significant portion of trade account management processes.

Extended delays in payments have become the new ‘normal’ 

In a post-pandemic world, suppliers are feeling the pinch. Payment terms are often stretching out, and when they aren’t, late payments are a growing issue, further impacting the suppliers’ bottom line. Incredibly, 38% of suppliers reported an increase in the amount of time taken to receive payments from their buyers which was impacting cash flow. 

By automating the process of managing buyer accounts, suppliers can spend less time on manual paperwork and more time selling their products and services. 

Intelligent business account management systems are the solution 

Suppliers can reduce the time, effort and cost associated with managing accounts by adopting a business account management system that is fast, automated and intelligent. Opypro is the one platform with everything a supplier needs to scale and grow. Opypro is a Software as a Service solution (SaaS) that allows companies to manage their trade accounts end-to-end, including applications, credit checks, approvals and account management – all in one simple system. 

It’s time to leave the outdated, manual and labour-intensive systems behind and supercharge your business accounts.  Learn more about how Opypro can help your business today.

*“Reimagine Buyer Account Management: Modernize Account Management Practices To Boost Your Bottom Line” A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Openpay, December 2021