Procurement. Finance. Vendors. Keys to an effective vendor management program.
An important part of smooth operating supply chains is onboarding and managing the vendors and suppliers that are key to your organizations success. Once onboarded it is critical that all the key stakeholders from procurement (purchasing), finance (accounts payable) and the vendor (supplier) communicate and collaborate effectively to insure frictionless transactions flow through the supply chain. Let’s address the three elements referenced above:
While “communication” may seem like an absurdly obvious concept, in practice it is often one of the most inefficient pieces of the process. Open lines of communication between all the stakeholders involved can alleviate, or at least mitigate, issues that result in delayed orders and shipments, late payments, incorrect payments and inaccurate vendor score-carding. Technologies and solutions exist that allow for real-time communications amongst all internal and external stakeholders without going through “middle-men” such as vendor service centers or help desks and others who are not directly involved and who often can only pass along information, not solve problems. Integrating real-time messaging capabilities into your vendor portal (supplier portal) applications such as vendor onboarding, invoice submit, payment inquiry, payment dispute, etc. allows you to communicate instantly and effectively to address issues an opportunities as they arise.
A critical piece of smooth running supply chains and successful vendor management programs is collaboration both internally (AP, procurement, legal, supply chain operations, etc.) and with your vendors. Unilateral decisions and actions by why one side of the equation (buyer/seller) without the collaboration of others on the other side (seller/buyer) can often result in delays, disagreements, and poor relationships with vendors who are key to keeping your supply chains operating smoothly. Using the communication tools available as discussed above, collaboration with all the parties involved is easy and an effective strategy to insuring healthy vendors, smooth running supply chain operations, and a value-added vendor management program.
Now comes the most important component in the process – transactions between the buying and selling organization. Through diligent onboarding of key vendors to communicating and collaborating with your suppliers and vendors, the transaction part should now be frictionless and mostly without delay. Any issues that may arise in the transaction processes can be quickly dealt with and resolved by all parties. Implementing additional cloud hosted technologies can also help to make the transaction processing activities far more automated. Complimentary solutions such as AP automation, workflow management and data capture & document assembly can be very useful tools in reducing costs and speeding up the back-office supply chain processes. These back-office solutions can all be implemented in an on-premise, remote, or hybrid workforce configuration.