Tier Mobility Gains Spend Control Using Tipalti
- A supplier onboarding process that allows financial approvers to be involved early on
- Streamlined and flexible PRs and POs that are adapted to their specific structure
- The ability to quickly customize PRs and POs according to subsidiary need
TIER mobility, the emerging leader in sustainable urban transportation, is working to reshape city landscapes around the world by offering accessible and affordable mobility solutions. A fully climate-neutral company, TIER is committed to reducing all charging, product, operational, and transportation emissions for a more sustainable environment.
Surpassing 500 employees in under three years, TIER needed a solution that could keep up with their growth and pace. Based in Berlin and quickly expanding throughout the EU, TIER’s procurement covers the areas of transportation, hardware, software, consultants, and more, from hundreds of different suppliers.
With rapidly growing procurement operations, TIER needed to introduce a proper process for purchase requests and approvals, booking goods received, and onboarding new suppliers. Initially TIER tried to build their entire P2P process on NetSuite, which quickly proved to be too technical for the many non-finance stakeholders involved. TIER had to find a better way to deploy a process that remained simple and flexible while being integrated into NetSuite ERP.
Deploying fast is important to us as a company who is growing and changing fast. We need high-quality, quick-working, and flexible tools that keep up with us as we can’t afford to be slowed down by a long deployment process.markus stellmach | senior manager of finance systmes, tier mobility
TIER’s main procurement challenges were:
1. Struggling to align a fast-growing team with multiple subsidiaries to a single process.
With over a hundred stakeholders and multiple subsidiaries, TIER’s process needed to serve requesters and approvers from multiple units such as operations, marketing, R&D, and facilities, as well as stakeholders from accounting, FP&A, information systems, legal, and security, some of which needing to oversee all purchases and suppliers. TIER also had a strict timeline for new tool implementation that was far shorter than most solutions could accommodate. Fast implementation, full user onboarding, and easy adoption throughout the organization were required in a matter of weeks.
2. Onboarded suppliers were not approved by finance before being imported to NetSuite.
Employees were requesting new suppliers, as well as deploying purchase orders against suppliers not yet in the system. If an employee could not find the supplier they were looking for, they would onboard a new one, when often the supplier they wanted in the first place was there all along. This inadvertent supplier duplication and disorganization caused a lot of friction, and could have been avoided if finance first had the opportunity to review and approve all supplier requests. Ultimately, TIER wanted more control of the data being poured into NetSuite.
3. Employee-facing procurement operations were too technical
Without an easy-to-use procurement tool, it’s hard to get all employees operating it consistently and correctly. TIER’s employees found it too difficult to create POs directly in NetSuite. There was a need to add important criteria to these POs beyond just a department, such as specific geographical locations. NetSuite’s system was not flexible enough to accommodate these requirements and caused overall slower approval flows.
4. Finance became involved with too much day-to-day maintenance.
Because the above criteria could not be added to the POs, more manual work became required. Employees would need to consult directly with finance team leaders in order to achieve the custom orders and approval flows they desired.
After researching many procurement tools, TIER found that Tipalti provided the speed, along with quality they needed to support their growing team. They integrated Procurement with NetSuite, allowing users to easily submit and approve PRs and supplier requests, as well as stay on top of all past and current procurement processes with ease. Now the finance team is free from managing daily maintenance tasks and spends their time focusing on more critical business endeavors.
We wanted to work with a young, flexible, and dynamic company. We recommend that organizations in a similar stage understand that it’s not just about finding a tool fit, it’s about a culture fit as well.markus stellmach | senior manager of finance sytems, tier mobility
TIER Tips and Recommendations:
Involve stakeholders early in the process and allow them to define requirements
TIER involved all relevant departments and stakeholders in the deployment process from the very beginning, encouraging all users to commit and participate with their own focus and responsibilities.
Appoint an internal project manager to sync between teams and gather provided feedback.
This order and structure made it easier to collaborate with Tipalti team and provide the necessary data outlining their new process; from direct reports, to specifications of departments, locations, and dependencies.
Invest in a solution with a well-structured onboarding process.
TIER’s commitment from the start, paired with the ease and comfort Tipalti onboarding team provided, eliminated the need for limited deployment and multiple iterations – ultimately expediting the process.