In an environment of increased regulations and demand for compliance, organizations are placing their suppliers under increasing scrutiny. Yet, managing supplier information is often near impossible given the the inability of organizations to easily tie supplier information to procure to pay.
According to recent research from PayStream Advisors, supplier relationships are often strained due to poor processes resulting from the lack of automation in managing them. In the 2016 P2P for Indirect Spend Report, more than one third of respondents noted problems arising from poor supplier data management as a major challenge to managing supplier relationships. Moreover, PayStream research goes on to show that fewer than 25% of organizations have actively integrated more than 50% of their suppliers into their procurement and AP systems.
As we’ve discussed on the Determine blog in the past, Supplier Information Management (SIM) has become a major challenge for organizations that don’t have an ability to fully comprehend the impact of their suppliers on their organization.
Whether you are onboarding a supplier to engage in a new relationship, trying to understand the nature of the relationship in terms of balance of trade, or just looking to pay a supplier invoice, a supplier relationship can have many dynamics. Here are just a few of them:
Going beyond basic supplier profiles
While creating a supplier profile might be supplier management 101, many organizations still manage information via spreadsheet or fragmented vendor/supplier master databases, and lack the ability to create supplier identifiers that go beyond an address or contact name. In the current economic landscape, the ability to easily attribute a supplier mailing address to payment terms, associate a preferred order shipping method for a particular location, or link a supplier profile to valid bank account information for preventing payment fraud is essential for a wide variety of stakeholders and situations.
Tracking of expirable documentation
Further, the ability to access and assess all the proper documentation from a supplier that relates to the relationship is critical to mitigating exposure to risk. This includes reviewing documentation related to tax information,such as a W8, that may expire or is under scrutiny by regulating bodies, ensuring that there is a valid certificate of insurance or confirming that protections like an NDA are in place prior to signing a new contract with that supplier.
Understanding the impact of spend
While the foregoing examples may be handled by a system vendor or supplier management systems, the linkage of sourcing and procurement activity (transactions) related to the supplier management processes becomes a competitive advantage when trying to understand how important a supplier relationship may be to an organization. Some of the advantages include the ability to quickly view approved suppliers in relation to suppliers representing 80% of spend, the number of POs or invoices associated with the supplier, or items purchased with that supplier in the last twelve months.
Promoting flexibility in buying
Finally, in a situation of needing to immediately onboard a supplier, maybe an emergency situation, the advantage of having clearly defined processes in which different stakeholders can be involved to initiate a process – for example, legal initiating any additional contracts needed with the supplier (NDA, SLA, etc.) while a user is creating a requisition that can immediately be “assigned” to that supplier for fulfillment the instant the onboarding process and contracting is complete — saves time, ensures compliance and reduces risk.
Join the conversation
Collecting all this supplier information and establishing flexible processes in the context of P2P is something of a hot topic for many organizations right now. If you are interested in having a deeper discussion on this subject, I recommend that you join us next week as we talk with PayStream Advisors about supplier management and P2P at our webinar, “5 Processes that Will Reinvent P2P’s View of Supplier Management”.
During this webinar we will look at some of the latest stats from PayStream, while we take you through five everyday yet core processes, and see how real-world organizations have or are transforming them with better supplier management.
With my colleague Gene Travers and our co-host, Jimmy LeFever of PayStream, you’ll learn how to:
- Identify and prioritize your most pressing supplier management goals
- Gauge the current state of your supply base and prepare for onboarding
- Reduce hidden regulatory and compliance risks
To watch go here.