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Coming Soon: New AFB Invoicing Portal

January 15, 2019

Supplier invoicing portal

A.F. Blakemore has partnered with TrueCommerce to develop and deliver a bespoke supplier invoicing portal to replace a number of the business’s old legacy systems.

A huge investment has been made in this project, both in terms of financial cost and time over the last couple of years. All suppliers will have to use the portal as legacy systems will be switched off in 2019.

A.F. Blakemore believes that this new system will provide benefits to its suppliers, and as such, a relevant charge will be made for its use. The company plans to implement the system with all suppliers quickly to realise the mutual benefits.

TrueCommerce has already supplied invoicing solutions to Appleby Westward and Henderson’s, two of A.F. Blakemore’s fellow SPAR RDCs, and also, has taken responsibility for managing the business’s EDI traffic for the last two years.

Various teams throughout AFB have been working hard on the specification requirements of the invoicing portal by reviewing the current processes and looking at changes to drive waste out of processes, and supplier processes in the future.

TrueCommerce has been working with AFB staff on finalising and testing the portal over the last few months, and the completed portal is expected to be rolled out in 2019.

The portal has been designed with the following functionality:

  • Product price checking – to ensure supplier and AFB price files are in sync during the “onboarding” process
  • New product set up – to standardise and automate the process
  • Product price changes – to standardise and automate the process
  • Invoice price checking – to ensure the invoice reflects the correct price
  • Product ordering – orders will pass through the portal
  • Invoice matching – to automate the match process and inform of anomalies more quickly
  • Supplier statement reconciliations – the portal will also highlight statement exceptions once this module has been finalised

The above list of functionality will deliver benefits to both AFB and suppliers. More specifically, supplier benefits can be summarised as:

  • Reduced paper, stationery and printing costs
  • Reduced postal costs
  • Less wasteful activities performing credit and debit note adjustments
  • Less time sending emails, querying, chasing and following up anomalies
  • Improved visibility of invoice status – e.g. is it matched, unmatched and why?
  • Less phone calls between finance teams following up on differences or chasing status etc.
  • Improved overall control with statement reconciliations
  • Potential EDI savings with TrueCommerce
  • Potentially faster payments and therefore better supplier cash flow

A.F. Blakemore expects all suppliers to support this transition. You will receive an invitation to sign up in the next few months containing all the necessary links and information to get you started.


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