Leading Provider of Communication Products

  • Programme to remove 100 per cent of paper to boost productivity and increase supply chain visibility
  • Automation of the accounts payable (AP) process was a critical component to the programme


To achieve 100 per cent paper removal, find a way to electronically enable large number of GNFR SMB’s

The AP team had made substantial inroads already by exchanging EDI documents with all of their EDI-capable vendors. They then introduced a B2B e-commerce managed service to automate further with the extraction of electronic PO’s from their Oracle ERP, converting them into EDI documents and automatically routing them to vendors. The vendors would return standardised EDI invoices, which were automatically converted into Oracle’s native invoice data structure and uploaded into the ERP. A different approach was taken with another segment of vendors who were included in a p-card programme to eliminate paper within that group.

This left a significant challenge for the company, with more than 13,000 Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) who provided Goods Not For Resale (GNFR). The SMBs were not EDI-capable and didn’t have the resources or the invoice volumes for an EDI solution.

Steps to Success

  1. Utilise EDI with EDI-capable vendors
  2. Automate further with ERP and B2B integration
  3. Consider outsourcing your B2B integration to a specialist
  4. Look at P-cards or other strategies for relevant vendors
  5. Address the rest of the vendors like these GNFR SMB’s with an appropriate solution
  6. Think about all your business documents, not just invoices and implement something to address them all in stages

Electronic invoicing with SMBs via web-based forms service

The solution to address the remaining 13,000 SMB’s was to implement a simple web-based forms service. Vendors were provided with an easy-to-use web-based forms service where they received PO’s and could easily create invoices as turn-around documents, or could create invoices from scratch if required. The web-based forms service was integrated to the company’s Oracle workflow module for invoices that require approval(s) prior to approval. The company also realised that the benefits of this approach could be extended to other business documents, not just invoices. They planned from the start, to utilise the same service for other business documents, in the second phase of the programme. With this simple solution the company has successfully implemented more than 9,000 SMB vendors on their e-invoicing programme already.


  • Well on the way to becoming paperless in AP
  • Improved AP personnel productivity
  • Data quality/integrity risks that hinder the ability to trade with/pay vendors have been reduced