How Robots Score 5-0 Vs. Amazon in the Dispute Resolution Challenge


Disputes are a big part of accounts receivable and processing them takes away a huge chunk of manpower and time. Things get more complicated when you have to adopt a complex workflow just for handling deductions from only one customer – Amazon. Although Amazon has ties with several vendors, the Amazon Vendor Central is a nightmare for deductions analysts because of its cumbersome processes for resolving disputes.

Read on to find how technology can automate dispute resolution on customer portals such as Amazon Vendor Central.

Contents

Chapter 01

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Chapter 02

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO RAISE A CLAIM ON VC?

Chapter 03

HOW ROBOTS FARE AGAINST VENDOR CENTRAL

Chapter 04

ROBOTS AND REAL WORLD AMAZON DISPUTE CASES

Chapter 05

SUMMARY
Chapter 01

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Accounts Receivable is probably the most challenging job in the finance portfolio since it primarily involves convincing external parties to part with their hard-earned savings. A customer might cite multiple reasons why they cannot pay an invoice, but an unresolved dispute is the only valid reason why they should not pay an invoice.

AR teams across all industries and sizes are keen to resolve any open disputes and clear the payment but resolving customer claims/queries is not a cakewalk. It is a complicated process that involves:

  • back-and-forth communication across multiple teams such as sales, credit
  • aggregating documents such as claims, POD, BOL from various sources
  • disputing timely with proper denial correspondence

Further complications arise when you are receiving a high volume of claims from a single major customer, such as Amazon. Your analysts have to deviate from their normal routine to resolve these queries, such as logging into a specific web portal such as Vendor Central to dispute these claims manually.

Customer, carrier, and vendor portals are a specific niche when it comes to A/R automation, and Amazon Vendor Central is one of the most widely used customer portals owing to Amazon’s omnipresence. However, customer portals, including Vendor Central, are notorious for making life hard for analysts trying to transact on them. So how do you handle customer portals and save productive time while improving process outcomes? Read on to discover…

This ebook is for you if

You or your team are handling resolving customer queries/claims on their web portals and can relate with any of the below:

1. Raising disputes is a taxing exercise – It involves navigating through claims in the VC (Vendor Central), identifying the dispute, attaching the proper backup documentation, and posting it. This takes time and is highly inefficient. Will a technology solution eliminate the manual steps associated with dispute resolution in VC?

2. Vendors are penalized for no fault of their own – Invalid deductions pop up frequently where the vendors get disputed without any valid reason and get charged for it. Will technology provide options to counter against invalid claims?

3. Lack of visibility – A primary driver for boosting operational efficiency is to achieve real-time end-to-end managerial view of metrics and statistics. Will technology allow me to complete visibility to adopt corrective measures based on drill-down capabilities?

4. Lack of preparedness for the future – Any enterprise-grade technology solution must be ready for the future. Will the technology solution remain relevant in the face of the growing deduction volumes and complex dispute resolution workflow?

Read on as we try to address the above issues by presenting a use case of Amazon Vendor Central.

Chapter 02

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO RAISE A CLAIM ON VC?


Highly manual processes for disputing in Vendor Central

HighRadius

Disputing claims on Amazon Vendor Central is a challenge due to a primarily manual-driven process coupled with a non-intuitive interface. Some of the key issues associated with disputing on VC are:

a. Claims download: This process involves dispute analysts logging in multiple times in the system throughout the day just to check for claims. Every claim has to be manually downloaded from the portal as it cannot be fetched in bulk.

b. Document upload: Information related to each dispute has to be painstakingly keyed into the portal. Given the large claim volumes, this could delay raising disputes significantly.

c. Information key-in: Every time there is an invalid dispute, analysts have to manually type and send the denial correspondence with relevant documents attached, such as claims, POD, BOL, to Amazon.

d. Manual correspondence: Ensure process compliance and standardize credit management process by indexing all credit data and decisions for new applications and current portfolio. Enable informed credit decisions with access to credit history.

e. Non-standardized cross-team collaboration: Given that disputes involve teams from multiple departments, including cash allocation, collections (if handled separately), logistics, sales, and supply chain, analysts often end up wasting time in coordination instead of actual dispute research.

As a result, dispute resolution:

HighRadius

Why not let robots do these menial tasks?

Chapter 03

HOW ROBOTS FARE AGAINST VENDOR CENTRAL


1. Claims and POD Aggregation

HighRadius

As a result, all claim/dispute information is exported from Vendor Central in one single batch eliminating the need for manual download.

2. Auto-coding Deductions

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Time spent on dispute identification and coding is now saved, and they are directly assigned to analysts who directly start working on them.

3. Web Push

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Deduction is claimed on the same day for invalid claims when the denial package is uploaded to Vendor Portal attached with POL, BOD, ASN.

4. Dispute Correspondence

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Analysts don’t have to write emails, attach documents for each customer separately.

5. Audit Trail

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Disputing timely with proper backup documentation results in faster resolution.

Chapter 04

ROBOTS AND REAL WORLD AMAZON DISPUTE CASES


1. Shortage Deductions

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73% of companies said that they face more shortage deductions from Amazon as compared to other customer – Amazon’s VOLT Workshops, Attain Consulting Group.

How they are resolved:
1. Analysts login to VC and download each claim manually.

2. The ASIN number in the claim is manually matched with the invoice number in the ERP. The ASIN appellation of Amazon is complicated and modified repeatedly.

3. Analysts go through the claims individually and identify the shortage disputes.

4. Analysts collect backup documents from carrier portals, emails, and paper.

5. Analysts open each dispute separately in VC and upload the relevant documents such as POD, BOL, claim.

6. Analysts key-in the relevant information in VC for each dispute.

How does Automation help

HighRadius

2. Pricing Deductions

Why do they happen
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63% of companies said that they experience pricing challenges with Amazon – Amazon VOLT Workshop, Attain Consulting Group.

How they are resolved:

1. Analysts login to VC and download each claim manually.

2. The ASIN number in the claim is manually matched with the invoice number in the ERP.

3. Analysts go through the claims individually and identify the pricing disputes.

4. Analysts login to VC and download negotiated pricing documents.

5. Analysts upload the pricing documents relevant to that particular pricing dispute.

6. Analysts key-in the relevant information in VC for each dispute.

How does Automation help

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3. Co-op Deductions

Why do they happen

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How they are resolved:

1. Analysts login to VC and download each claim manually.

2. The ASIN number in the claim is manually matched with the invoice number in the ERP.

3. Analysts go through the claims individually and identify the co-op disputes.

4. Analysts check product catalog and pricing agreements in VC.

5. Analysts go back-and-forth across Sales and Credit teams for deal sheets and trade documentation.

6. Analysts key-in the relevant information in VC for each dispute.

How does Automation help

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4. Vendor Chargebacks

Why do they happen

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Amazon will review your performance from the prior six weeks and issue Amazon Vendor chargeback fees based on the following criteria:

  • 2% cost of product: if the ASNs submitted have less than 100% compliance but greater than 95% from the trailing six weeks.
  • 4% cost of product: if the ASNs submitted have between 70% – 95% compliance from the prior six weeks.
  • 6% cost of product: if the ASNs submitted have less than 70% compliance from the prior six weeks.

How does Automation help

Audit trail

Robots track all forms of communication with vendors and store all backup documents in one source for effortless disputing in case of invalid chargebacks.

Auto- compliance

  • Attaches all relevant documents for disputing
  • Eliminates errors due to manual keying in
  • Disputes as soon as a claim is raised

Audit trail

Why auto-resolve disputes?

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What Robots can do?

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Bonus: Drill-down Capability

Additional visibility with Reports

Robots provide real-time out-of-the-box and custom reports for end-to-end managerial view. It allows drilling down on inefficient sub-processes and applying speedy corrective measures.

What Robots can do?

  • Reports provide a view on the number of deductions and the type of deductions happening periodically for different geographies, warehouses, vendors, and customers.
  • Reports provide C-level Executives with visibility on cash flow and working capital metrics such as Deductions Day Outstanding, write-offs, the volume of deductions, deduction values, and more.
  • Reports allow managers to track the productivity of analysts and take instant corrective actions on identifying process inefficiencies.
Chapter 05

SUMMARY


Before

  • Each claim is manually downloaded from VC for resolving resulting in delayed dispute resolution
  • Vendors wait for 30 days for repayment and then raise a dispute, if not paid
  • No option to batch deductions
  • All data elements need to be manually keyed in when disputing
  • Piling up of unresolved disputes results in more write-offs
  • Insufficient time dedicated to research and resolution of disputes
  • High Days Deduction Outstanding and low invalid deduction recovery

After

  • All claims are pulled from VC in a single batch, along with BOD, POD from portals
  • Dispute raised with proper back up as soon as an invalid claim is raised
  • Deductions can be processed en masse
  • Data elements automatically entered into the system with high accuracy
  • Automated resolution results in lower write-offs
  • With automation, analysts have additional bandwidth to research and resolve disputes
  • Less DDO and high invalid deduction recovery
Chapter 01

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Accounts Receivable is probably the most challenging job in the finance portfolio since it primarily involves convincing external parties to part with their hard-earned savings. A customer might cite multiple reasons why they cannot pay an invoice, but an unresolved dispute is the only valid reason why they should not pay an invoice.

AR teams across all industries and sizes are keen to resolve any open disputes and clear the payment but resolving customer claims/queries is not a cakewalk. It is a complicated process that involves:

  • back-and-forth communication across multiple teams such as sales, credit
  • aggregating documents such as claims, POD, BOL from various sources
  • disputing timely with proper denial correspondence

Further complications arise when you are receiving a high volume of claims from a single major customer, such as Amazon. Your analysts have to deviate from their normal routine to resolve these queries, such as logging into a specific web portal such as Vendor Central to dispute these claims manually.

Customer, carrier, and vendor portals are a specific niche when it comes to A/R automation, and Amazon Vendor Central is one of the most widely used customer portals owing to Amazon’s omnipresence. However, customer portals, including Vendor Central, are notorious for making life hard for analysts trying to transact on them. So how do you handle customer portals and save productive time while improving process outcomes? Read on to discover…

This ebook is for you if

You or your team are handling resolving customer queries/claims on their web portals and can relate with any of the below:

1. Raising disputes is a taxing exercise – It involves navigating through claims in the VC (Vendor Central), identifying the dispute, attaching the proper backup documentation, and posting it. This takes time and is highly inefficient. Will a technology solution eliminate the manual steps associated with dispute resolution in VC?

2. Vendors are penalized for no fault of their own – Invalid deductions pop up frequently where the vendors get disputed without any valid reason and get charged for it. Will technology provide options to counter against invalid claims?

3. Lack of visibility – A primary driver for boosting operational efficiency is to achieve real-time end-to-end managerial view of metrics and statistics. Will technology allow me to complete visibility to adopt corrective measures based on drill-down capabilities?

4. Lack of preparedness for the future – Any enterprise-grade technology solution must be ready for the future. Will the technology solution remain relevant in the face of the growing deduction volumes and complex dispute resolution workflow?

Read on as we try to address the above issues by presenting a use case of Amazon Vendor Central.

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HighRadius Integrated Receivables Software Platform is the world’s only end-to-end accounts receivable software platform to lower DSO and bad-debt, automate cash posting, speed-up collections, and dispute resolution, and improve team productivity. It leverages RivanaTM Artificial Intelligence for Accounts Receivable to convert receivables faster and more effectively by using machine learning for accurate decision making across both credit and receivable processes and also enables suppliers to digitally connect with buyers via the radiusOneTM network, closing the loop from the supplier accounts receivable process to the buyer accounts payable process. Integrated Receivables have been divided into 6 distinct applications: Credit Software, EIPP Software, Cash Application Software, Deductions Software, Collections Software, and ERP Payment Gateway – covering the entire gamut of credit-to-cash.