Struggling to get your supplier data under control?

  • 15 Dec 2015
  • Supplier Management
Struggling to get your supplier data under control? Image

Business bottom lines, and reputations, rely on a huge variety of suppliers daily, so it’s vital that information held about them is up-to-date and compliant. We all know how leading businesses have made the headlines because of knowledge gaps about suppliers down their supply chain, with suppliers not operating as expected. Think Samsung, think the supermarket eggs scare.

Procurement teams face a daily challenge of trying to keep their supplier data in shape, and their sourcing processes as compliant as possible. Not only is the essential trading and financial information needed, often there’s a range of documentary evidence to be collected – certifications, evidence of compliance with regulations and standards and so on. However, without the right tools and controls, incomplete or inaccurate information – and the associated risks – can very quickly become an issue.

In fact, our recent research of over 250 procurement managers found:

  • 45% of businesses feel hiring, managing and onboarding suppliers can all be labor-intensive, and this could be avoided if the correct tools were in place
  • 44% of businesses would like to manage their suppliers more effectively and that a lack of procurement processes impacts business growth

With supplier onboarding being highlighted as labor-intensive, it brings into focus the issue of accuracy of the supplier’s data that’s being collected. After all, manual processes usually do foster a better likelihood of information error or incompletion, and a lack of transparency that gaps exist.

So, if you’re onboarding your suppliers manually with no formal process, chances are you could have hundreds of supplier records that have decayed and are out of data.

What can you do to speed up your onboarding process and get your supplier data under control?

1. Switch to electronic supplier onboarding

With electronic onboarding tools, such Medius Supplier Management (SM) you can empower your suppliers to self-serve by providing their financial data, documents and accreditations themselves, directly through a Supplier Portal. As a pre-requisite to trading the onus is on suppliers to provide all their information, but with stages of approval to give you full visibility of what has been provided.

2. Supersize your supplier data

Supplier data usually is made up a number of required components. From core financial details to be used by your finance team, to legal information that procurement may require to create and manage contracts, and evidence you need to compile to meet your corporate, ethical, and health and safety governance standards.

Using Supplier Registration Forms (SRF), you can endlessly configure easy-to-use forms, based on what you need to collect and the relevance to your supplier. In our own available Medius Supplier Management software, users can build these forms in multiple languages, with the ability to build forms from the simple to the complex, which will go beyond basic address details and contact information and into the collection of all the documentation you need. All of course with the onus for the suppliers to supply!

3. Automate supplier compliance

Getting your suppliers to onboard electronically is only half the battle, next comes ensuring that everything you hold about your suppliers is consistently kept updated.

By using an online tool such as Medius SM, you can automate the maintenance of your supplier data, with electronic alerts and reminders, configured by you, that are triggered when key data and information items expire, so your suppliers are prompted to provide the latest information, ensuring they never miss a deadline.

And to prevent potential fraud risks, alerts can also be triggered to internal stakeholders when specified information is missing or has been changed. If required, any due payments can be put on hold until information is supplied, or changes to the information are accepted (for example if bank details are changed).

With supplier information tools like Medius SM, procurement can create rich, accurate supplier master data. If you want to get your supplier data under control and become smarter at supplier onboarding, try downloading our Medius Supplier Information Guide. Or you can email or call us on +44 (0)333 323 4937, and we would be happy to speak to you.

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