Managing a supplier database can be a never-ending routine of mind-numbing data entry, verification follow-ups, and frustrating inaccuracies that can lead to unnecessary risks and oversights. Or it can be a painless, streamlined, automated process that provides up-to-date, accurate information at your fingertips and that strengthens your supply chain. What's the difference between these experiences? A customized supplier portal.
1. Consolidate and standardize supplier information
Imagine having pristine, standardized supplier data to work with when preparing bidding opportunities or identifying potential suppliers. A supplier portal provides a single access point for current vendors to update their information, as well as a means for new suppliers to register to participate in your program.
A customized form gives you control over what information is entered and how it is entered, populating a database you can then search by commodity category, geographic location, size, and many other parameters.
2. Prequalify candidates
Instead of spending your time combing through possibly outdated databases for the information needed to vet potential clients, automate the process through a supplier portal. When registering with your company, potential suppliers complete a customized RFI-styled questionnaire within the registration tool that serves as a prequalification sourcing survey. These surveys are scored and then routed to the appropriate buyer within your organization, saving everyone time and reducing workload.
A supplier portal allows you to track suppliers by commodity category and diversity category, providing a clear picture of your company's progress toward various internal goals. Customized reports based on the data available through your supplier portal keep you on track to meet spend targets and help identify potential risks such as overreliance on a single supplier.
4. Reduce administrative workload
As mentioned throughout this article, a supplier portal lets you automate many aspects of supplier management, drastically reducing your administrative workload. In addition to automating the supplier signup process and prequalifying potential suppliers, through a supplier portal, you can automatically receive & send notifications such as certification expirations, certificates of insurance, and code-of-conduct and small-business affidavit collections. Imagine having those types of alerts generate as if by magic, rather than through hours of manually checking and double-checking data, and then manually sending notifications.
A robust supplier portal with make communicating with suppliers a treat rather than a chore. Notifying suppliers about upcoming opportunities, reminders to submit spend reports, and other notices is easily undertaken through the portal dashboard. You can even specify criteria for each type of notification, customizing the experience for your suppliers and reducing inquiries resulting from poorly targeted communications.
A supplier portal is a vital tool for running an efficient, productive supply chain. Use it to automate the mundane, to alert you to the unexpected, to identify the potential in your supply chain, and to meet your goals.