Streamlining Supplier Connections with TradeCentric and Coupa
Today's post is written by guest author Tom Roberts, Chief Marketing Officer at TradeCentric. Tom leads TradeCentric’s marketing and partnership strategy and execution. TradeCentric is a certified CoupaLink Technology Partner that transforms the way organizations do business by enabling punchout, purchase order, and invoice automation through Coupa.
TradeCentric — formerly PunchOut2Go — offers complete integration with the Coupa platform to help companies streamline supplier connections and ensure that procurement, payment, and invoicing processes keep up with the speed of market evolution.
This is especially critical as supply chains diversify and companies look to expand their supplier networks while controlling costs and complexity. TradeCentric and Coupa make it possible for companies to streamline supplier connections with direct integration, onboarding at scale, and the automation of critical processes. Here's how.
Check Out TradeCentric in the Coupa App Marketplace
Driving direct buyer-supplier integration
While the Coupa platform is natively capable of allowing suppliers to integrate directly, TradeCentric found that only a handful of companies and the largest suppliers can leverage the processes needed to drive direct integration.
Consider Mars Veterinary Health, a global division of Mars Petcare, which has a network of 2,500 veterinary clinics, diagnostic labs, and hospitals worldwide. Given the disparate geographical nature of its business model, Mars needed a distributed approach to supplier integration and procurement — one that allowed the organization to connect with a large number of key suppliers while enabling clinic-based ordering. This ensures the right supplies get to the right place at the right time. Under a traditional supplier model that sees products and materials delivered to a single, centralized facility, clinics didn’t have the flexibility to get what they needed when they needed it. This approach, in turn, reduced the overall efficacy of care for pets. They turned to TradeCentric and Coupa for help.
Uniquely positioned at the intersection of e-commerce and e-procurement, the TradeCentric app on Coupa makes it possible for companies to deliver on the benefits of direct integration, while providing the large-scale payment systems integration necessary to centralize this supplier, procurement, and payment data.
Onboarding B2B suppliers at scale
Given the shift from single-source to multi-layered supply chains, there's a growing need for companies to onboard suppliers at scale — and ensure that onboarding processes require as little work as possible for suppliers. Consider a company that's just made the shift to the Coupa Business Spend Management (BSM) platform and is looking to onboard a host of new suppliers while also shifting over their current supplier base.
Where Coupa provides the user-friendly network necessary for non-procurement professionals to begin the process of onboarding, the TradeCentric platform offers the ability to handle large supplier volumes at scale. In addition, specialized professional services teams are available to streamline supplier shifts and put solutions in place.
Along with ease of supplier onboarding, businesses are also looking for solutions that are value accretive. In other words, they don't simply want tools that limit the amount of work required by suppliers — they want solutions that offer value for suppliers and customers alike. For Mars Veterinary Health, this meant the ability to work directly with their suppliers to find the best-fit products for their clinics. Armed with in-depth knowledge about pet care and bolstered by Coupa and TradeCentric, Mars Veterinary Health was better positioned to both onboard critical suppliers and allow clinics and hospitals to pinpoint which products met their requirements.
This reflects a larger shift in the procurement and payment marketplace. As cloud-based solutions become commonplace and customer experience becomes a key differentiator between success and failure, tools can't simply do the job — they need to provide value-added benefits that keep suppliers happy and keep customers coming back.
Automating PO’s and critical processes
Procurement, payment, and invoicing processes become more complex as the number of suppliers used by organizations ramps up. Manual operations that offered reasonable success 10 years ago now introduce a significant risk of error or the need for redundant data entry, both of which can cause a significant loss of time and resources.
The TradeCentric app helps enable automation via the Coupa platform with PunchOut, which allows companies to shop and then pull back data from a supplier e-commerce solution with both negotiated prices and real-time inventory. Once purchases are approved, a PO is automatically issued, and key information is generated and reported. This includes PO acknowledgment, shipping notifications, and ensuring POs are issued in the correct data format each supplier system requires. The TradeCentric platform can natively handle data transformation from one protocol to the other and also helps improve automatic PO to invoice matching and reconciliation. By deploying processes that allow reconciliation to run "on rails" rather than requiring manual oversight, both suppliers and businesses benefit.
Companies get the advantage of automatic processes that ensure POs and invoices are in sync, while suppliers gain the benefit of fewer disputes and faster payments. It's a win-win.
And it doesn't stop there. In addition to helping companies better manage suppliers, purchases, and POs, TradeCentric acts as the bridge between suppliers and the next level down of suppliers' suppliers, in turn helping to close the information gap as data flows up from tertiary and secondary suppliers to primary suppliers and on to companies themselves.
Learn More About TradeCentric in the Coupa App Marketplace