The True Value of Supplier Visibility in B2B Payments

By PrimeRevenue • Published June 22, 2022 • 4 minute read

Oftentimes, B2B payments can be perceived as a black hole when it comes to cash management. Suppliers don’t know when their invoices are approved or if their cash is coming or going. Buyers lack insight on what their suppliers are able to provide them.

Invoices go in and payments come out, but no one can really follow what happens in the middle. Both sides of the transaction aren’t able to monitor the process to make sure everything is accurate and running smoothly.

But supplier visibility matters a great deal. Without access to critical financial data, a false picture is painted of a corporation’s financial position. This is especially true in the B2B world, where arguably the largest source of cash, outside of payroll, is supplier payment, particularly for physical goods suppliers.

Visibility has become more than a consolation feature -it is an essential part of business and a critical part of B2B payments.

How Visibility Improves Your Business (and Your Relationship with Your Suppliers)

Suppliers have become increasingly aware of how being kept in the dark, in regard to their invoices and cash flow, holds them back. This hindrance not only impacts their business, but how they perceive working with you as well.

Visibility allows suppliers to forecast their financials and plan ahead. Knowing if an invoice has been approved and when they will be paid can make all the difference. On the buyer end, it also prevents delayed payments. On-time payments, or in some cases early payments, maintains good record keeping for buyers and provides anticipated cash flow to suppliers, yet it remains one of the most challenging aspects of B2B payments. Approximately 46 percent of suppliers shared that late payments were a challenge for them with their customers.

Not only are payments often late, but there’s a lasting trend where suppliers are not able to track the state of their invoice at all. The details of the invoice are hidden from them. Was the correct amount due processed? Has the invoice been received? Approved?

Conversely, buyers can have a difficult time learning when to expect their purchases to arrive, even after acknowledging that some products are regularly delayed by supply chain disruptions.

Accurate information and transparency keep both sides of the transaction satisfied. Visibility will help build trust and confidence, which leads to customer retention. It also enables both buyers and suppliers to provide better customer service, since they can pinpoint exactly where the issue is rather than wandering through the dark.

Paying suppliers can be a cumbersome task for buyers, though. There are different regulations and currencies to consider, as well as different systems in place that make B2B payments feel like an obstacle course. Supplier visibility helps alleviate some of the burden and risk when critical payment information is readily available and easy to find.

Visibility can also be an asset to suppliers who are looking into trade financing. When the right solutions are implemented to provide transparency to suppliers, other programs can be added to assist them with planning ahead when it comes to invoices and cash flow. Look at supply chain financing, for example. Also known as reverse factoring, supply chain finance allows corporations to tap into working capital trapped in their supply chain to either pay suppliers early or lengthen payment terms. Optimizing cash flow is a positive consequence of working openly with suppliers.

Working Efficiently with Suppliers Should Be Top of Mind

Working with your suppliers’ pain points and priorities in mind will keep you on the right track of delivering exactly what they need without suppliers having to ask for it. When you can offer a platform that makes your relationship with your supplier feel like a partnership, goodwill and cooperation are natural consequences that help keep business working well. Sharing information, expectations and fulfilling commitments allows every party involved to prosper.

With supplier visibility performing as such a differentiator in the B2B payment sphere, it is a highlight that shouldn’t be neglected. PrimeRevenue has recognized the value in visibility for quite some time, putting the SurePay Platform in a position to stand as a leading example.

SurePay allows both buyers and suppliers to stream payment processes, gives suppliers a transparent view of what stage their invoice is in, and operationalizes all maturing and on-time payment programs from a single system. For our suppliers, having a single solution simplifies getting paid.

Reach out to us for a demo of our B2B payment solutions that will bring visibility to the forefront of your suppliers’ journey with you.