Four ways to eliminate paper in procurement

By Lucy Dixon
Reducing paper use is an easy way companies can improve sustainability in procurement. Bob Cohen, Basware VP, North America, says: “Reducing paper...

Reducing paper use is an easy way companies can improve sustainability in procurement. Bob Cohen, Basware VP, North America, says: “Reducing paper is a win-win situation for companies. The billions of paper invoices sent annually not only destroys trees but also creates problems for organisations as well, by minimising visibility, creating inefficiencies, and increasing costs. By reducing or eliminating paper invoices and implementing other green financial practices, companies can minimise their carbon footprint, as well as improve their visibility and control over cash flow, spend and working capital.”

Here are four ways to eliminate paper in procurement:

1. Implementing e-invoicing. Companies can reduce and even totally eliminate paper invoices by using cloud-based business commerce networks to send and receive invoices globally.  In addition, companies can realise up to 80 percent cost savings, gain accuracy, and eliminate time-consuming and manual processes, such as printing, mailing, scanning, keying in invoice data, manually matching invoices to orders and archiving.

2. Creating a green supply chain ecosystem. By helping their suppliers establish e-invoicing through supplier on-boarding, supplier portals and other services, many companies are receiving 100 percent of their invoices electronically, while also promoting eco-friendly practices throughout their trading ecosystem.   

3. Encourage electronic purchases. Companies can eliminate large paper catalogs for employee purchasing by providing e-catalogs over business commerce networks. This practice also helps companies enforce their purchasing plans and policies and support the vendors that provide the best value.

4. Make payments electronically. By implementing electronic payment practices, companies can forgo the need for checks and cash in B2B financial transactions. It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s also a more efficient and effective way to conduct business. By using solutions that combine e-invoicing and e-payment networks, both buyers and suppliers can benefit from improved cash flow.

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