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Supplier Onboarding: Reduced Costs, Stronger Supply Chains

Getting it right from the start will pay big dividends with a healthy supplier community!

The function of on-boarding suppliers is as diversified in the process and execution as any business process you will find.  Every organization takes a somewhat different approach to supplier onboarding (vendor onboarding) of new suppliers as well as building a database of qualified, potential vendors for future use or in emergency situations.  Some of the differences in approach are driven by industry factors such as regulatory and licensing requirements while other processes differ mainly due to “cultural” considerations or governmental compliance demands.

What is standard across companies and industries however, is the importance of getting it right the first time.  Getting it right means making sure than you have all the information to not only setup a supplier to do business with your company, but insuring the information you receive is accurate and compliant. This will facilitate doing business with that supplier throughout the procure-to-pay process without downstream consequences that might result from expired licenses, lapsed insurance, missing permits, fraudulent activity or other non-compliant activity or documentation.

To insure a high level of compliance in your supplier population means that many different constituents may have to be involved in a collaborative process with your suppliers and internal stakeholders during the onboarding process.  Procurement, Accounts Payable, Risk Management, Legal, Diversity, Logistics/Supply Chain, Operations, IT, Security and others may need to be “in the loop”, particularly where onboarding strategic suppliers who are crucial to your supply chains, or potentially high risk suppliers who could pose financial and operational liabilities. ICG’s Supplier Portal comes with a set of approval workflows so supplier profiles are routed to the appropriate parties for review and approval prior to the supplier being setup to do business. Of course not all suppliers will need a high level of scrutiny, but having processes in place to insure compliance is high and risk is low will help insure your suppler community is solid from the start.

The challenge is performing all these tasks: collecting all the information (documents & data); reviewing the information; obtaining approvals; and doing the actual leg work to insure you can do business with and pay your new supplier in a timely fashion.  ICG’s cloud-hosted vendor onboarding & vendor maintenance portal provides your organization with the platform and tools to streamline the onboarding process in a secure, vendor self-service model. And this same vendor portal (supplier portal) based solution will allow you to monitor ongoing compliance of your suppliers by utilizing ICG’s automated tracking of expirations of insurance, licenses and permits, diversity certifications, and any other area of compliance where you need to stay on top of expirations.

Perhaps most important of all, your supplier onboarding portal must be intuitive and easy to use both for your internal users as well as the suppliers you invite to onboard. The onboarding application must also be highly configurable so the user interface is easily adaptable to your specific process and adaptable to any changes in your organizations requirements for new or strategic suppliers and vendors.

Getting the onboarding process right upfront helps to insure you supplier community is made up of financially and operationally healthy companies who are in compliance with government, industry, and corporate regulations.  Contact ICG today for more information about our dynamic Vendor Onboarding solution or request a demo today for you and your team! Communicate. Collaborate, Transact.