Tradeshift, a provider of supply chain payments and marketplaces, has launched Tradeshift Engage. This is a ‘seller engagement’ platform designed to build digital collaboration between suppliers and buyers. It aims to do this by delivering value for both sides of a transaction from day one.
Tony Alvarez, VP Network, Tradeshift, said: “A lot of businesses are trying to get their heads around the impact that social distancing measures are having on their day to day operations. Despite rapid advances in technology that are enabling many businesses to carry on under a semblance of business as usual, the connectivity between buyers and sellers remains an outlier. Heavily paper-based, the processes which underpin these relationships are starting to break down.
“Businesses we’re talking to want to digitise at speed. But the traditional approach to supplier onboarding remains slow and cumbersome. These are unique times, and we’re not claiming to have all the answers. What we can do is make it quick and easy for buyers and sellers to establish a digital connection, get money flowing again and stay close to one another during a turbulent period.”
The business challenge
According to a recent study by Ardent Partners, businesses send about 50% of all invoices on paper. The study revealed that digitisation of this process ranks as one of the top priorities among AP departments.
Current social distance (related to Covid-19) measures make paper invoice processing unattractive if not potentially dangerous. As such many businesses are now looking to accelerate invoice digitisation projects.
The challenge, however, is that many buyer onboarding processes are complex and cumbersome. This means such projects are often:
- prone to failure (due to a lack of supplier buy-in).
The relevance of Tradeshift Engage
For enterprise companies which seek to rapidly digitise their supply chain relationships, Tradeshift Engage ‘flips the challenge of supplier onboarding on its head’. Rather than coming to sellers with a lengthy to-do list, buyers looking to encourage suppliers to connect with them digitally can offer a value proposition which:
- brings immediate and tangible benefits
- avoids (or minimises) the heavy-lift associated with traditional supplier onboarding initiatives.
Tradeshift Engage delivers to sellers a cloud and mobile app solution. This requires minutes to activate. Thereafter, Tradeshift Engage:
- offers sellers data-driven insights based on their relationship with the buyer
- provides real-time visibility into transactions
- adds the ability to finance payables ‘on-the-go’.
The Tradeshift Engage app provides sellers with a full set of eInvoicing, ordering and fulfilment tools. These include:
- digital Invoice and Credit Note creation
- the ability to respond to POs (and PO changes)
- the sending of shipping notices (and receipt status).
Sellers can engage and collaborate with multiple buyers through Tradeshift Engage’s single interface with its real-time issue resolution. A dashboard enables sellers to maintain an overview of everything in-flight.
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
Enterprise Times has discussed Tradeshift in the context of blockchain. Tradeshift is more about addressing supply chain pinch points rather than blockchain.
The approach Tradeshift has taken to seller engagement promises an end to the form-filling, data integrations portal wrangling and data discrepancies that often inhibit large-scale supplier onboarding. Instead, by introducing an app/cloud approach, the Tradeshift system draws on existing data from the buyer’s ERP or system of record to complete a supplier profile which includes a full and accurate history of transactions.
According to Tradeshift “early adopters of Tradeshift Engage have seen unparalleled levels of uptake by their seller communities”. The (unnamed) example given states that one major international buyer:
- was able to connect with 5000 suppliers in just four weeks
- reduced seller support calls to zero.