To meet the CFO’s objectives of safeguarding the cash flow, A/R leaders from the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry are keen on working with their teams to ensure faster resolution of disputes. But the teams usually must deal with either or all of the following challenges in the process:
Further complications arise when teams receive a high volume of claims from a major customer, such as Amazon. Analysts have to make an extra effort to resolve these queries, such as logging into a specific web portal like Vendor Central (VC) to dispute these claims manually. A/R leaders need to ensure their teams can handle customer portals seamlessly and reallocate their bandwidth to more strategic decision-making tasks.
This blog tries to address the issues above by presenting a use case of Amazon Vendor Central.
Teams handling customer claims on their web portals can relate with either of the following scenarios:
The biggest question on every A/R leader’s mind is whether a technology solution can eliminate the manual steps associated with dispute resolution in Vendor Central, and provide options to counter against invalid claims?
The A/R collections team handles many tasks, from managing all outstanding invoices, resolving customer payment problems, and reducing the volume of aging receivables.
Often, a simple miss-step in one of these processes can result in delinquent client engagement and lead to invoice disputes. An invoice dispute occurs when a client decides they shouldn’t pay an invoice. This can have a serious impact on a company’s cash flow regardless of the reason for the dispute
In some cases, up to 5% of invoices are written off due to invoice disputes. Things get more complicated when you must adopt a complex workflow just for handling deductions from only one customer like Amazon. Although it has ties with several vendors, the Amazon Vendor Central is challenging for deductions analysts because of its cumbersome processes for resolving disputes.
Let’s find how technology can automate dispute resolution on customer portals such as Amazon Vendor Central.
a. Claims download: This process involves dispute analysts manually downloading each claim one by one 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, which could delay raising disputes significantly.
c. Information key-in: Whenever there is an invalid dispute, analysts must manually type and send the denial correspondence with relevant documents attached, such as claims, POD, BOL, to Amazon.
d. Manual correspondence: Analysts must manually send correspondences related to every dispute when they’re doing their research. This time-consuming to-and-fro process unnecessarily delays the dispute resolution.
e. Non-standardized cross-team collaboration: Resolving disputes involves teams collecting relevant information from multiple departments, including cash application, collections, logistics, sales, and supply chain. Analysts often waste their bandwidth due to the poor collaboration between internal teams.
As a result, the dispute resolution process:
As a result, all the claims/disputes information is exported from Vendor Central in one single batch eliminating the need for manual download.
Spent on dispute identification and coding is now saved, and deductions are assigned to analysts who can directly start working on them.
The deduction is claimed on the same day for invalid claims when the denial package is uploaded to Vendor Portal attached with POL, BOD, ASN.
Analysts don’t have to write emails or attach documents for each customer separately.
Disputing on time with proper backup documentation results in faster resolution.
Robots track all forms of communication with vendors and store all backup documents in one source for effortless disputing in case of invalid chargebacks.
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.
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.