When choosing a phone subscription, it is normal to select a carrier. However, in our world at TIE Kinetix, we are sometimes approached by companies or institutions who wonder if they can do it themselves. This is simply because they have no idea what the requirements and guidelines.

Connecting to the Platform Is No Small Task 

With the new legislation due to come into force between 2024 and 2028, it is vital for companies and institutions to promptly streamline all digital invoicing processes as soon as possible. This means digitalizing these processes according to specific standards and guidelines.

For example, tax authorities have requirements for the format and content of an invoice. In addition, customers may have specific requirements that need to be met. As a business owner, you also have the freedom to set requirements for your suppliers. Furthermore, when engaging in international trade requires the exchange of digital documents via the Peppol network.

Connecting to the Peppol network is no small undertaking. It requires a comprehensive set of ISO certifications and a number of other requirements to gain access. Therefore, choosing a certified provider, commonly referred to as a Certified Access Point, is a far more prudent choice for such requirements.

Currently, there are several hundred such providers worldwide, and the updated list can be found on the Open Peppol website. These specialized companies are entirely dedicated to providing this particular service, making them the primary filter when it comes to selecting the appropriate provider.

It All Starts in the Chain

It is important that the vendor is able to provide these services for both inbound and outbound invoices. It is also important that the provider is able to exchange documents with various other customer SaaS platforms, such as Ariba (part of SAP), Tungsten or Coupa, to connect suppliers. A provider must be able to provide connections for those using this type of closed network. After all, it all starts with the chain you are in.

In addition, for some companies, it is critical that support services communicate in their native language is of utmost importance. While there may be numerous overseas vendors capable of providing these services, being limited to English-only communication can be a significant barrier.

It is also advisable to consider issues such as business continuity and business security. These factors are often mandated by government agencies, which may require ISO certification as proof of compliance. In the financial sector in particular, SOC certifications are often required. As sustainability and ESG Goals gain prominence, government agencies and larger corporations are increasingly seeking suppliers with active sustainability policies in place.

Seizing Opportunities for Optimal Digitalization 

Sustainability is also a critical factor in selecting a trusted service provider. Increasingly, we are seeing that governments and larger corporations engage suppliers that actively implement and demonstrate a sustainability policy in line with ESG objectives.

Publicly traded companies are also expected to report. This includes not only the ecological footprint within their own organization, but also that of stakeholders in the supply chain, such as suppliers. We see this as an increasingly important focus.

At TIE Kinetix, we also recommend using the supply chain approach as a selection criterion when looking for the right service provider. After all, it is important to realize that the invoice or purchase order is only one step in the business process with the customer or supplier.

There are many more steps to digitalize, as there are more than a thousand document types in total. Therefore, to achieve efficient digitalization, it is advisable to approach the process holistically, considering the entire chain and focusing on all relevant documents that need to be exchanged. By taking this approach, the full potential of optimal supply chain digitalization can be realized!