26 October 2022

Today’s supplier trade account management practices fall short

Many large-scale businesses are still using manual processes to manage their trade accounts. This is slowing business processing, increasing costs, and ultimately affecting the bottom line.

In today’s dynamic business world, the ability to manage trade accounts efficiently is crucial to business growth and success.  

Despite this, many large-scale businesses are still using manual or labour-intensive processes to manage their extensive trade accounts. Consequently, this is slowing business processing, increasing costs, and ultimately affecting the bottom line. 

In late 2021, a survey* with 200 senior IT and business decision-makers at supplier organisations and 400 business decision-makers at buyer organisations were conducted. The survey involved analysing the management of supplier trade accounts and how they affected business processes and buyer-supplier relationships. The results were unexpected.  

The most surprising result from the survey was the discovery that today’s buyer account management practices are simply not fit for purpose. Despite the new technologies of the modern era, suppliers are yet to upgrade their systems and are instead relying on outdated trade account management software and practices.  

The band-aid approach is impacting the bottom line  

After CRM systems and POS systems, non-purpose-built solutions (68% of all surveyed) were the most common technology solutions suppliers used to manage their trade accounts. These non-purpose-built solutions provide a band-aid approach to the ever-growing demands of trade account management. Unfortunately, these non-purpose-built solutions cannot manage the often integrated and complex nature of today’s supply chains. The outcome: more staff to maintain the ever-demanding non-purpose-built systems.  

A staggering 63% of supplier organisations agreed that manual or labour-intensive trade account management processes have increased losses at their organisation. 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! This only adds more complexity to the system and directly impacts the suppliers’ profitability. 

Arduous tasks are a distraction from business growth 

Two-thirds of all surveyed agreed that the majority of the labour-intensive processes involve matching payments to open invoices, chasing unpaid invoices, and reporting on business buyer activity. These buyer account management processes increase costs, slow business, and distract suppliers from delivering better business buyer experiences. If that wasn’t enough, these arduous processes are also making it difficult for suppliers to create meaningful reports on the organisational impact of buyers’ activities, or leverage data and insights to better engage buyers. Without these necessary reports and analyses, businesses simply cannot make strategic decisions on buyer trends.  

Access to real-time metrics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, allows a business to make effective strategic changes to significantly grow the business and strengthen the buyer-supplier relationship.  

Strengthening the buyer-supplier relationship in this post-pandemic world has never been more important. Suppliers are under pressure, they are feeling the pinch from the supply chain crisis, shortages, excess inventory, and delivery delays. These compounding issues only compromise the customer experience for business buyers, placing more importance on the need for a modernised trade account management system, one that serves the supplier whilst nurturing the buyer-supplier relationship.  

Automated, fast, intelligent business account management systems  

Suppliers can reduce manual and labour-intensive processes by adopting a business account management system that is fast, automated and intelligent. Opypro is a Software as a Service solution (SaaS) that allows companies to manage their trade accounts end-to-end, including invoicing and automated reconciliation. We make it easy for you to stay on top of your cash flow with real-time reporting and analytics tools, so that you can make informed decisions about your operations and finances. 

It’s one platform with everything you need to scale and grow.  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