In a business organization, there are multiple departments where errors are not affordable. One of them is the billing department. Once the business formalities are processed, organizations today expect quick, error-free invoicing compliance from their clients. In such a scenario, the smallest error or delay can cause major inconvenience, making other parties question your organization’s business efficiency.
As it is commonly known, the billing process is a long and tedious task. It requires professionals to manually enter data multiple times. It is one of the most common reasons for errors in billing, invoicing, or other commercial procedures. Businesses of today are working hand in hand with transaction partner companies to automate the billing process.
In pursuit of minimizing billing errors and delays, Tungsten Network is a valuable partner for businesses worldwide.
This multinational corporation is an ideal solution for clients from various territories to digitize their complex transaction and billing processes. With its assistance, buyers can centralize their invoicing, allowing suppliers to speedily generate and distribute invoices to buyers.
In the following conversation with Insights Success, Marisa Teh, Chief Product and Business Development Officer of Tungsten Network, shares the efficiency of the automation solution provided by her company.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Please brief our audience about your company, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading provider of billing and invoicing solutions.
Tungsten Corporation (AIM: TUNG) is the world’s largest, compliant business transaction network. Tungsten is a leading global electronic invoicing and purchase order transaction network. Its mission is centered on enabling a touchless invoice process, allowing businesses around the globe to gain maximum value from their invoice process.
Tungsten processes invoices for 60% of the FTSE 100 and 68% of the Fortune 500. It enables suppliers to submit tax-compliant e-invoices in 54 countries and last year processed transactions worth over £220 billion for organizations such as Caesars Entertainment, Computacenter, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft Foods, Mohawk Industries, Mondelēz International, Procter & Gamble, Shaw Industries, Unilever and the US Federal Government.
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in London, Tungsten also has offices in the US, Bulgaria, and Malaysia, employing over 227 people.
Tell us more about the products and services through which you have ascertained your stronghold within the billing and invoicing space.
Total AP helps companies realize 100% invoice digitization from day one, accommodating all their suppliers regardless of size, location, or maturity.
Total AR gives companies visibility of billings and allows them to submit one file, in any channel and format, to support the delivery of 100% of their invoices to 100% of their customers.
Workflow is a solution that powers AP towards world-class oversight and process management. Customers who combine the Tungsten Network workflow offering with e-invoicing have typically reduced accounts payable costs by 60% or more.
Supply Chain Finance: Working with our partner, Orbian, we are providing flexible access to capital, with varied options to support all types of suppliers—supply chain finance that genuinely improves the way you do business.
Tell us more about the products and services through which you have ascertained your stronghold within your industry?
Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable automation are areas in which we excel. We are uniquely differentiated in it. We cover a broad geographic area for both AR and AP compliance. With more than 20 years of experience helping buyers centralize their invoicing and helping suppliers generate and distribute invoices to buyers, we have a deep understanding of the needs of both buyers and suppliers.
We have the strong backing of our clients from the Enterprise segment – clients with complicated requirements such as those derived from Mergers and Acquisitions (bringing a number of disparate systems together) or geographical splits. That’s where we offer the ideal solution. Most AP and AR offerings on the market are off the shelf – and not customizable. As we offer white gloves and customized service, we work to understand clients’ needs and deliver a solution that best suits their needs, much like a tailored suit.
Equally important, we take the holistic view and do not just solve buyers’ pain points to pass them to the AR department later down the line. As we have both sides of AP and AR, we consider the implications from both sides. As a result, we provide a win-win situation for the buyer, the supplier, and Tungsten. That is why Tungsten has excelled in this industry for over 20 years – we take a partnership approach and a 360-degree view.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on why the adoption of technologies such as AI and machine learning is necessary for the billing and invoicing solutions niche and how you have leveraged these technologies to deliver your products and services?
Machine learning and AI are key to speeding up manual tasks and reducing manual effort, which could incur mistakes. We are deploying machine learning to speed up and deliver customized data capture (Robb Claxton is best placed to cite stats for this). One client recently told us they are now achieving 98% accuracy on the 25,000 invoices they receive every week on the Tungsten Network.
In addition, Tungsten gives suppliers email as a supplementary option to submit invoices faster. This is to cater to suppliers with more than 50 invoices a year who will find it cumbersome to manually key in many invoices, yet not enough to justify investing in integration. These suppliers can simply email the invoice pdf for machine-reading and automated extraction to our systems.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2022?
In 2022, we will continue to focus on rolling out more self-serve features in our solutions to help give our customers more control. These are designed to unlock and open our network faster and more seamlessly.
We want to make it even easier for members of our network to find, connect, and partner with others effortlessly and promptly. In doing so, we will also reduce service tickets, improve customer satisfaction, and deliver more value to our whole network.
With our stated vision of being the most trusted business transaction network, our mantra is continuous improvement. That might be finding, connecting, and partnering with each other faster in our ecosystem, providing exceptional customer service, or offering advice and practical leadership on compliance and country mandates.
Also, Tungsten aims to be a one-stop-shop from invoicing to paying and convenience. Our compliance and rules engine, USP, gives customers confidence in prepayment, so we are building on this to expand into the payments space.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the billing and invoicing solutions niche?
I would say knowing the industry is key. And above all, knowing your customers’ industry too. How they operate, and how they measure success. Where are AP and AR on their critical success factor scale? The needs of customers at different levels of digital transformation maturity will differ quite broadly, and so will the pain points/benefits they want to derive.
The Expert Leader
Marisa The is the Chief Product and Business Development Officer. She joined Tungsten in 2020.
Marisa is an accomplished international business leader. She has a proven track record of identifying white spaces across different industry sectors and driving sustainable business growth.
Her entrepreneurial background stems from developing next-gen multi-million-dollar ventures for Texas Instruments and Philips in the internet infrastructure, health, and consumer lifestyle spaces. Maris’s experience gives her a deep understanding of technology products along with their power to transform and reinvent user experiences to challenge the status quo. It also developed her passion for innovation with massive social impact and sustainability.
Leaping to FMCG, Marisa joined the PepsiCo-Unilever joint venture and subsequently Diageo to set up a European center of excellence in developing multi-year revenue growth strategies and instilling a pay-for-performance culture that delivers a triple-win agenda for the customer, consumer, and company.
In addition, she has co-founded and mentored a number of start-ups.
Awards and Recognitions
Winner of first annual Perceptions Analytics Award in two categories:
- Most Effective at Reducing DSO
- Highest Overall Value-Invoice Submission.