Gaining Greater Spend Control with Electronic Pricebook Collaboration

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Spend management is more important than ever, especially in an industry that involves complex services, a multitude of back office systems, and decentralized operations. As a result, oil and gas companies are automating more of their procure-to-pay workflows to increase cost control and spend visibility.

Electronic invoicing may improve staff productivity, but this doesn’t mean that the bottleneck hasn’t just moved to a different area of the workflow. Manual pricebook maintenance, for instance, can bottleneck what is otherwise a smooth, automated invoice-to-payment process.

Manual pricebook maintenance, compliance checking, and lack of visibility into supplier performance can be especially labor-intensive and challenging for companies with complex price models. Suppliers must find time to maintain their pricebooks and communicating price changes in a timely fashion. In turn, buyers require adequate time to review price changes, negotiate costs, and invoice based on the most up-to-date agreed-upon prices.

By creating electronic pricebooks and maintaining them in a centralized solution with real-time visibility, buyers and suppliers are able to better manage spend and increase cost control.

Comparing Suppliers–Apples to Apples

Visibility into supplier relationships can identify missed discount opportunities and non-compliance to purchase order and contract terms. This information also helps determine whether consolidation of services can be used to negotiate better agreement terms.

With a digital pricebook solution, such as Oildex® PriceBook, companies upload contract price agreements, catalogs, and rate sheets to validate inbound electronic invoices and field tickets. Coupled with the robust reporting capabilities in OpenInvoice® and OpenTicketTM, buyers and operations leaders can track pricing and spend, analyze how payments match services rendered, and understand how well suppliers are honoring their agreements. The system can distinguish differences between suppliers, identify matching failures, and flag potential issues before they become problems. And with over 74,000 suppliers on the Oildex Network, buyers are better able to compare price lists in a standardized pricebook format and negotiate fairer costs.

Collaborating Directly in Your Payables Workflow

Implementing a pricebook solution allows suppliers and buyers to standardize the process for creating, reviewing, negotiating, using, and maintaining pricebooks. To communicate price changes and approvals, email and telephone can be efficient, but electronic messaging in the purchasing system is even better. This way, any communication relating to transactions can be tracked, associated to other activities, and/or easily found by staff on either the buyer or supplier side.

PriceBook allows suppliers to create the electronic pricebook and update pricing changes directly in the solution, but the buyer must review, import, and activate it before use. Buyers and suppliers can also send messages to one another and receive alerts immediately in OpenInvoice. With a shorter turnaround time on price changes and approvals, this direct electronic collaboration ensures both parties are using the latest agreed-upon pricing, avoiding needless interactions on pricing questions.

Doing Business with Real-Time Prices & Automated Compliance

With price lists uploaded, used, and maintained in an electronic workflow, buyers can take advantage of automated compliance checking to streamline the invoice review and payment process. OpenInvoice takes the grunt work out of manual compliance checking by reconciling field tickets, invoices, and agreed-upon pricing automatically to ensure buyers are paying for services provided. With this automated process, buyers enter the terms and exceptions for every contract and transaction. Staff can then focus on higher value activities such as delivering strategies to enforce compliance, renegotiate pricing, optimize discounts, and continue to increase spend control.

To help maximize cost savings and prevent overspending, spend management is a shared responsibility between procurement, field operations, and accounts payable. Electronic pricebooks and digital collaboration will help ensure your workflow automation runs smoothly for maximum operational efficiency and increased spend control.

Learn More About PriceBooks

Read more about PriceBook’s new collaboration features here.

Watch this video to learn how OpenInvoice and OpenTicket automate field and financial processes.