If you use, or plan to implement, a modern ERP system and accounting software and deal with repetitive orders, order lines and/or purchased parts, it’s high time to ask customers as well as suppliers to send digital orders and invoices.
Digitization is often like the chicken-and-egg dilemma; you want to move forward, but so do the customers. Your customers also want to move forward, but so do you as a supplier.
The same goes for supply chain integration, especially the use of EDI and UBL.
If the customer doesn’t provide you with those files, there may be no point in buying or installing software that can handle them. Vice versa, of course, too. At least, so it seems….
The point is: Have you ever explicitly asked for this to be delivered to you?
Just briefly about UBL and EDI….
Universal Business Language (UBL) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
(Also check out my YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjtbk7CsBE )
UBL and EDI are electronic document formats that provide a standardized way to exchange information between companies. If you want to do business with the government or very large institutions, you almost can’t escape it already.
Why? It helps reduce processing time, reduce errors and improve overall data accuracy. Large companies already know this and therefore even enforce it, because they understand the profits to be made from it.
Two magic emails that can cut imports in half.
See, once your suppliers and customers provide the files, you have a business case!
Don’t let the idea that clients can’t provide digital files bother you. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Send these two emails to your top ten suppliers and customers:
To your customer:
We want to serve you even better, so we kindly ask you to provide your orders, if possible, with a UBL or EDI attachment in addition to your regular PDF attachments.
Adding these attachments allows us to read your order directly, which not only saves time, but also prevents any errors by eliminating manual input.
As an example, we would like to point out that the invoice you receive from us already comes with an additional attachment: the invoice in .XML format and UBL format. This attachment allows your system to read the invoice directly, saving you time and preventing errors.
If you have other options for submitting your order digitally, please let us know. We will then look at the options with you.
To your liver nacier:
To make the processing of your invoices smoother, we kindly ask that you provide your invoices with a UBL or EDI attachment, in addition to your regular PDF attachments.
This attachment allows us to read your invoice directly, which not only saves time, but also prevents errors by eliminating manual entry.
By way of illustration, we would like to point out that the purchase order you receive from us already includes an additional attachment: the purchase order in .XML format and UBL format. This attachment allows your system to read the order directly, saving you time and preventing errors.
We hope you can respond to this wish. If you have any questions or other options for submitting your invoices digitally, we would love to hear from you.
PS. For the attentive reader: Of course, you then want to provide your own quotes, invoices and purchase orders with UBL attachments. If you haven’t already done this, you can leave it out, but in any case, I would recommend doing so, of course.