One of the greatest challenges facing larger enterprises is their relationship with suppliers, including the transmission of RFx, proposals, purchase orders, order execution, delivery, goods receipt, invoices, payment, and the like. Companies from manufacturing, services, and High-Tech, which interact with anywhere between hundreds and tens of thousands of suppliers, dedicate enormous human resources to manage these activities, which are slow, labor-intensive and error prone.
"Every medium sized or large company invests a significant amount of time dealing with the various processes around procurement, supply chain, finance and payment," says Yossi Ben-Moshe, Head of Sales at Nipendo, a company that developed a cloud platform for hyperautomating these activities. "The financial supply chain in these companies is a complex, multi-step set of processes and business interactions, where each stage involves cross-functional staff members on both the customer and supplier sides, performing a large number of tasks, such as handling and approving purchase orders, identifying and correcting errors, manually performing data-entry of invoices, etc." he added.
"In order to significantly optimize processes of checking and confirming invoices, automatically approving payment, and coordinating the invoice-related cross-organizational functions, there needs to be in place a technology that involves artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic automation(RPA), which would remove errors and fraud and deliver 24/7 real time results.
There are many human interactions that take place between an enterprise and its suppliers, and each supplier might interact with 4-5 different people in each organization - the person who created the order, the interface person, the person who approves the order, a financial person, and others. The result is that suppliers receive multiple, sometimes inconsistent, or conflicting messages while no one sees the over all picture.
Another problem is around errors. For example, a supplier might not fill in all amounts, dates or order content in the format required by the customer. In such cases, the supplier might not get paid, having to reach out to several entities to rectify the situation. This could create supplier dissatisfaction on the one hand, and certainly a significant waste of resources, on the other."
"Nipendo," says Ben-Moshe, "came about having witnessed the significant technological developments in recent years and the understanding that robotic automation can be incorporated into the complex processes in procurement, finance, supply chain and payment. Our goal was to liberate organizations from these labor-intensive activities so that employees could focus on higher-value and more impactful issues and so that suppliers, essential to every organization, would find greater satisfaction knowing that they would not fall between the cracks."
"When Nipendo launched," says Ben-Moshe, "the market was flooded with ERP-based SaaS solutions that only partially addressed procurement problems - but supplies did not cooperate, and the investment made by organizations went down the drain. We chose a different path whereby our customers continue using their existing internal systems and processes.
You might say that our platform is like an intelligent intermediary between an organization's financial, ordering and confirmation systems, and those of the suppliers. It is an intelligent system that includes three primary layers, which together provide an end-to-end umbrella solution for all procure-to-pay processes:
In its first layer, the system translates the organizational processes: issuing an order and requesting approval from the relevant functions for work type, payment level, payment due-date, supply terms, etc.
In the second layer, the system enforces compliance of pre-defined organizational rules, whether general or supplier specific. For example, if the supplier needs to approve the order as well, the system will send a request and reminders to do so until the action item is addressed.
In the third layer, a continuous process of data confirmation occurs. The system continuously inspects all data present in digital documents, ensuring that the correct supplier is listed, the correct amount, the type of invoice, relevant tax, etc. If the system identifies a problem, it creates an alert and explains to the supplier what needs to be done in order to correct the error. It then walks the supplier through the process, replacing procurement staff, until it is completely resolved with the aim of releasing the invoice only after it is entirely correct."
"The financial world" says Ben-Moshe, " is undergoing a significant forward leap. Enterprises, which for years followed a traditional path concerning financial matters, realized that they too have to change and modernize. Executives discovered that they no longer have to employ dozens of people to handle supplier relations because more effective tools exist to address this need without compromising its important elements. In fact, Nipendo's technology automates over 97% of order fulfilment and invoices, making them completely touchless and errorless."
Industry acceptance of such solutions can be understood by looking at Nipendo's growing list of customers, which includes some of Israel and the world's leading organizations - Keter Plastic, Bazan, ICL, Intel, Clalit Healthcare, Bank of Israel, Sar-el, and more.
"Enterprises are continuously looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, particularly during these challenging times, "concludes Ben-Moshe. "Procurement and invoice handling processes are weak spots that require significant investment, and which are characterized by high error rates. Optimizing these processes through intelligent automation releases employees to handle exceptions and produces significant direct and indirect savings as well as an increase in supplier loyalty."
Functional Area: Hyperautomation of procure-to-pay and associated financial processes.
Founders: Eyal Rosenberg, Alon Rosenberg
CEO: Eyal Rosenberg
Year Established: 2010
Number of Employees: 70
Offices: Boston, MA and Netanya, Israel