Obtaining and sharing critical supplier information between different functional areas in an organization can be a very frustrating task, particularly between the procurement and finance operations. Siloed organizational structures, disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other, corporate culture, and differing business objectives are factors that contribute to this situation. These differences impact not only the relationship between procurement and finance but also other key internal areas that have a stake in supplier relations such as supply chain, IT, legal, risk management, security and operations to name a few. And of course the most consequential impact can be on your companies relationship with the suppliers who can also be affected by an unstructured approach to supplier management as well. However, in many companies, the most glaring example of where this lack of cross department collaboration exists is with procurement and finance. While these two areas have different missions and goals, they also have a need for much of the same vendor information to accomplish their missions, and both benefit from healthy, sustainable vendors and suppliers. There is no longer any reason for this disparity with some of the technology available today to help procurement and finance collaborate and share critical vendor information.
The use of vendor portals, or supplier portals, that are accessible both externally to the vendors and internally to ALL affected stakeholders allows organizations to collect, disseminate, update, and most importantly, collaborate with shared supplier data in real time! The procurement team can utilize portal based vendor onboarding (supplier onboarding), PO dispatch & update, and vendor information management systems to achieve their goals. Finance can leverage the vendor portal as well as workflow and AP automation systems to gain transparency into vendor activity for forecasting, accruals and reporting requirements. The Accounts Payable department can use information obtained in the vendor onboarding process in their AP automation systems and vendor setup activities. Legal, risk management, supply chain and field operations can be alerted through notifications or workflows when new suppliers are being onboarded or to significant changes or activities that may occur affecting existing suppliers. Similarly, the accounts payable department will need data obtained in the on-boarding process to be able to setup suppliers for payments, remittance, and ACH activities. The finance and treasury people will want to be kept up to date on vendor contracts and payment terms and may even wish to act proactively by setting up dynamic discounting or supplier finance programs.
ICG’s vendor management tools can help both procurement and finance to track compliance, notify vendors and buyers of upcoming expirations, and collaborate to update contracts, diversity status, remittance, COI’s, NDA’s, and other critical areas of compliance. In fact, through the use of cloud-hosted portals, ICG Consulting has solutions that facilitate frictionless collaboration between procurement, finance and suppliers to help insure a smoother supply chain and a healthier vendor base. From the onboarding of new vendors, procuring products and services and facilitating payments and disputes, ICG’s comprehensive suite of portal based vendor and information management tools brings together all the internal and external stakeholders using portals to collect, update, share, and store data across functional areas in a secure environment. You can truly communicate, collaborate and transact with visibility of ALL internal and external stakeholders!
For over 30 years ICG has been providing solutions that address the needs of companies with our configurable procure-to-pay solutions that deliver value and savings to companies in many different industries. Contact ICG Consulting today for more information or request a demo for your team and see how procurement and finance can lead the way in collaboration in your company.