In real estate and property, vendor networks are strategically important. But for most real estate businesses today, these networks are holding both accounts payable teams and the entire business back.
Far too many payment steps and inherently risky paper processes compromise security, kill efficiency and make it harder to grow.
But thousands of real estate and property businesses have discovered that there’s an alternative way. They’re using payment automation to unlock efficiency, unleash growth and usher in greater security and fraud protection, all without compromising their vendor networks.
Every real estate business that moved to payment automation started with an understandable fear that their vendors wouldn’t be ready to change. Then they all discovered the opposite: that vendors have a lot to gain when you move to automated payments, and that there’s a lot of help available to make the transition fast and painless.
So let’s see why it’s not only important to cut ties with paper, but why your vendors will thank you for it, because the road to payment automation is paved with very real vendor victories. Then we’ll show how vendors are supported every step of the way, creating a win-win situation for everyone.
"50% lower AP processing cost by 6 out of 10 Paymode-X customers."Paymode-X/TechValidate
Making the first move
As a CFO or accounts payable leader, you don’t want to strong-arm your vendors into adopting something new if there’s a risk of damaging the trusted relationship you’ve built. After all, vendors are comfortable with paper checks. Despite their many inefficiencies, checks and paper processes have always just been the way things are done, and change can seem expensive and tricky.
But slow and manual vendor processes are contagious. They make your accounts payable team less agile, more inefficient, more error-prone, and less secure too. Inundated by vast volumes of transactions, it’s hard to focus on the things that can add real value to the business.
Here’s the thing: your vendors are experiencing exactly the same pains in reverse. They just don’t know how to change, but you can help by taking the lead.
It’s hard to make the first move when it means asking your vendor network to change. Change is strange. It can feel unnerving and awkward, but all the major advances in our lives and in business felt that way at first. In reality, change has generally made our lives better and easier.
There is a way to help your vendors modernize their own processes quickly and painlessly. Payment automation platforms like Paymode-X do it all the time, making life easier for hundreds of thousands of vendors. Today, the vendor onboarding process is routine and stress-free, with benefits your vendors will be happy to realize.
Payment automation: the vendor victories
There are so many of these vendor victories in payment automation that it’s hard to know where to start. In fact, there are really no downsides to tackling your check addiction head-on. Your AP team can offer faster payment terms without actually hurting your cash flow, as your efficiency gains give your business flexibility and the added transparency gives you more control.
When vendors see that they’re getting paid more quickly and with less hassle than before, they don’t need much more incentive. But a lot of real estate companies sweeten the move to vendor automation with better terms. After all, better cashflow for everyone awaits.
“Paymode-X has vastly improved the way we get paid,” says one happy vendor, “Our team loves the new functionality, especially the Request Payment Status feature. We have an entire team dedicated to tracking down unpaid invoices. This will be a great timesaver and the reporting capabilities give us real-time visibility into the overall process – absolutely essential when dealing with a large volume of invoices.”
Moving beyond speed and efficiency, there’s the major issue of security. Paying vendors is full of heavy risk and liability, as there are just too many ways to tamper with check payments. Not only that, communicating often sensitive information with vendors is inherently risky because emails, calls and texts are open opportunities for fraudsters. Back to the win-win again: payment automation not only gives accounts payable teams peace of mind, it also gives vendors heightened security and protection.
Supporting vendors in moving to automated payments
While working with hundreds of thousands of vendors, we’ve learned a trick or two. One of the best practices we have deployed is that our customers get their very own vendor advocate team to recruit, onboard and support every vendor. We start by enrolling the highest-spending vendors, conscious of protecting your long-term relationships. Then we move down the list till we’ve covered all your vendors—moving them to whatever payment method works best for your relationship.
"92% of customers rated Paymode-X’s ability to quickly onboard vendors as better than other AP automation solutions."Paymode-X/TechValidate
The key is that you don’t have to worry about any of that: we do it for you. And we report back on our progress regularly so you can see the wins rolling in.
One AP Director in a real estate firm summed it up nicely, “All kinds of payment vendors knock on my door to show me their products. It’s easy to not entertain them because Bottomline’s solutions and support have exceeded me and my senior management’s expectations.”
Remember, better isn’t really better if it isn’t also more secure. All vendor bank account information is securely stored, so there’s no worry of it being compromised. For AP teams, our multi-layered, highly sophisticated and nuanced authentication means we know if a bad actor is trying to get in and we can stop them in their tracks. When we look at someone who wants to become a vendor on our network, we see much more than their name and address. We also see potential proxies, potential blacklisted IPs – and potential fraud.
For more on the issue of fraud in commercial real estate payments, read the next article in this series: Your best weapon against real estate payments fraud? Automation.
And we’ll tell you about the revenue potential of payment automation in the third article of this series, AP Automation fuels ROI in commercial real estate.
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