When it comes to B2B payments, retailers and their suppliers and distributors have significant opportunities to improve the invoicing and payment processes that are occurring at store level. By taking advantage of new technology, and removing some of the archaic practices that burden the supply chain, these trading partners can streamline their B2B payments and invoice reconciliation while improving cash flow.
If you are a retailer, supplier or distributor processing invoices at store level, here's 4 signs you're ready to remove in-store B2B payments and how you can switch to a fast and electronic system.
1. Handling Incorrect Invoices
Many delivery invoices contain errors for a variety of reasons. Incorrect counts, product cost, or even damaged product that must be deducted from the final invoice amount to be paid.
With payments for alcohol deliveries, many state regulations require that the full invoice amount be paid within 24 hours - regardless of the accuracy of that invoice. This requires retailers to issue credit requests, and alcohol distributors to process those requests.
This is an inefficient process that can be improved with a shift to electronic payments and iControl's patent-pending Next-Generation Reconciliation™. These tools allow retailers to electronically reconcile alcohol deliveries against receiving records to the item level per delivery.
2. Problems With Cash Payments
To start with, using an in-store process means you need to make sure you have the correct amount of cash, accurate checks, or have a money order readily available as your distributors deliver products to your store.
While they may be common practice, these methods of payment carry risk of theft or collusion, and are much more difficult to reconcile such payments with the actual invoices being paid.
Moving to electronic payments eliminates the need for cash, check and money orders entirely. In addition, industry-leading alcohol payment solutions offer online, electronic invoices within a single, collaborative portal that simplifies the research and reconciliation process for both trading partners.
3. Addressing Credit Terms
While many states require Cash-on-Delivery (COD), there are some states that allow for credit terms between retailers and alcohol distributors. Those retailers process payments of alcohol delivery invoices using a preferred credit payment method, but these payments must still be reconciled.
In fact, choosing an alcohol payments solution that can process these payments electronically can ensure compliance with state regulations, while streamlining the payment process even in states where credit terms are available.
Even small or independent retailers can realize the benefits of electronic alcohol payments. EFTDirect™ by iControl allows retailers to pay for their alcohol deliveries electronically, and can get started much sooner by completing a simple enrollment form.
SEE ALSO: 4 Things Every Alcohol Distributor Needs
4. Manual Payment Entry
Another issue with in-store payments with your distributor is having to enter this information manually. A cash payment requires someone to note it on paper or in a database. For checks, it becomes even more complicated.
Using a paper-based system only compounds the challenges, including for your accounting department. Manual entry usually means a strong chance of errors and discrepancies.
An automated payment system will eliminate all of these issues and more. You can even do this through mobile payments, which gives you mobile payment approvals to show proof a bill was actually paid.
iControl has electronic alcohol payments solutions for retailers and distributors that are convenient, compliant, and most importantly - secure. To find out how much you could be saving with our Alcohol Payments Savings, click below to calculate now.