Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Tungsten Network?
Tungsten Network is a global electronic invoicing network. Tungsten Network’s e-Invoicing platform enables suppliers to send invoice data directly from their accounting systems in any format to customers who are enrolled on the Tungsten Network.
How does it work?
Tungsten Network’s 'any-to-any' solution handles all the data mapping requirements and ensures that all supplier invoices are delivered in the format that a customer's accounts payable system requires.
Is invoicing via Tungsten Network a requirement for doing business with Unilever?
Unilever is actively phasing out the processing of paper invoices to take advantage of the benefits that electronic invoicing provides to our business and our suppliers. Eventually this will be the only way that you will be able to submit invoices and receive payment.
What are the benefits of using Tungsten Network?
- Secure and guaranteed invoice delivery - no more lost invoices
- You can check the status of your invoice online - from delivery through to payment
- Reduced processing times - we receive your invoices faster which means you are able to pay you on time
- Instant invoice validation - Fewer delays due to missing information
- Any-to-any data formatting technology - no additional software or hardware
- Higher processing transparency and better cash flow management due to 24/7 access and reporting
- VAT compliant - regardless of where invoices are sent from or received
- Easy and cost efficient - send invoices at any time
What additional benefits will I experience using Tungsten Network and e-Invoicing?
Suppliers using the Web Form to submit invoices can convert a PO into an invoice to ensure invoice and PO information is synchronised.
Do I need to install additional hardware or software?
Tungsten Network is web-based, therefore all you require to access the e-Invoicing platform is a bser and internet access.
Why should I use Tungsten Network to send my invoices?
For existing contracts, Unilever will prioritise payment of electronic invoices over paper invoices. In the near future submitting invoices via Tungsten Network will be the only way that Unilever will accept delivery of invoices from suppliers.
Will electronic invoicing be a requirement for new tenders and new suppliers?
Unilever will include terms and conditions in contracts that will require suppliers to use Tungsten Network to send invoices.
Will I need to use this service if my account is currently paid on time?
Your use of Tungsten Network will ensure that we continue to pay you on time. In addition, you will receive notification when your invoice has been received by us along with the status of your invoice.
What happens if I continue to send paper invoices?
Invoices submitted via Tungsten Network are received within hours by our accounts department and will be prioritised over paper invoices. During your transition from paper to electronic invoicing we will to continue to receive your paper invoices but we will prioritise the processing of electronic invoices over paper; therefore we strongly advise that you enrol with Tungsten Network to ensure that your invoices are processed without delay.
Once you start sending invoices through Tungsten Network you will need to discontinue sending paper copies.
What costs are associated with enrolling on Tungsten Network?
Tungsten Network offers two types of invoice delivery; an integrated solution and a web form solution.
The Integrated Solution enables suppliers to send their invoice data in any format directly to our accounting system. This integrates your current billing system into Tungsten’s e-Invoicing network so that data is transferred without manual intervention; this solution has an annual membership fee plus a transaction fee if you exceed the number of free invoices which this solution offers.
The Web Form solution allows you to manually enter data into Tungsten Network’s secure online form. If you choose to use the web form solution you are not required to pay a set-up or joining fee to start using this service. You will receive a number of free transactions; if your invoicing requirement exceeds the free transactions, you will be able to purchase more. Please see Tungsten Network Options document for current fees.
What does the membership fee for the Integrated Solution cover?
The membership fee covers the cost to Tungsten Network for setting you up on their network and the general costs of maintaining the network. The membership fee is an annual cost regardless of the number of customers that you invoice via the network.
Why doesn’t Unilever pay the fees?
Unilever and suppliers pay a fee to use Tungsten Network as we will both benefit from the service. Moving to electronic invoicing will create savings for suppliers by streamlining your processes and significantly reducing the time we pay your invoices.
We believe that these fees equate closely to the cost of mailing and can be further absorbed by reducing your effort in chasing for invoice payment or resolving difficulties with invoices.
Will Unilever make payments using Tungsten Network?
Tungsten Network is not a payment platform. Unilever will continue to pay suppliers using the current payment method.
Do I need to sign an agreement with Tungsten Network?
If you select the Integrated Solution you will sign a supplier specific agreement with Tungsten Network. If you choose the Web Form solution you will be required to accept Tungsten Network’s standard terms and conditions.
Does this electronic invoicing requirement apply across all of Unilever?
Electronic invoicing applies to all countries where Tungsten Network are tax compliant.
Who can I contact within Unilever?
The implementation of e-Invoicing will be managed on behalf of Unilever by Tungsten Network. In the first instance you should contact Tungsten Network to discuss your queries for the Integrated Solution; if Tungsten Network are unable to solve your queries you will be directly referred to us.
What if I don’t have a system capable of creating electronic invoices?
If you print invoices generated by any invoicing system, you can send invoice data files to Tungsten Network using the Integrated Solution. If you raise invoices manually (Word, Excel etc.) you can access Tungsten’s e-Invoicing platform via the secure web site and create invoices online using the Web Form. No software installation is required; all you need is an internet connection and standard bser.
How is the switch from paper to e-Invoicing managed?
Once you are set-up and ready to transact via the network, Tungsten Network will send you an alert to notify you that you are ready to submit invoices to our accounts department.
Can I send electronic invoices using Tungsten Network to all of my customers?
Tungsten Network allows you to send electronic invoices to any other customers that are using the network once you have enrolled.
Can I send transactions for more than one customer in one file?
For the Integrated Solution, Tungsten Network can accept data files in any format covering as many customers as you require. Tungsten Network will agree with you how each customer is identified in your data file and will then deliver each transaction to the correct customer.
My organisation is planning to change its invoicing software soon, should I wait before subscribing?
Tungsten Network accepts any incoming data format therefore you should join the network as soon as possible and send your invoices now to ensure your payments are not interrupted. You can simply advise Tungsten of the changes when you are ready to use your new software. They will make the necessary changes without interruption of invoice delivery.
Join Unilever on Tungsten Network
Tungsten Network is Unilever’s preferred method to receive e-Invoices.
If you have already been in talks with the Tungsten Network enrolment team, please direct any questions to them and they will register you for the service that suits your company's needs.