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Supplier Management in 2019: Enabling a CRM-like Procurement Model

29 May, 2019
Sales organizations have been utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce to centralize their customer engagement, for a while now. Through this, sales organizations have been able to leverage this consolidated ‘corporate memory’ to drive decisioning. This has enabled a data-driven approach which has revolutionized sales operations globally. With CRM-enabled pipeline management, sales teams have been able to improve forecasting, identify which action items are stuck, improve their processes and better coach team members to achieve successful outcomes. In this digital economy, strategic partnerships are key to driving growth. Suppliers are being seen as a source of innovation leading towards new ways of collaboration and engagement. Over the years, procurement organizations have been looking to emulate this pipeline-focused approach of sales organizations and enable a CRM-like procurement model to build this competitive advantage. Managing suppliers, supplier relationships and supplier information efficiently is of growing strategic importance. And smart procurement organizations know how to leverage a CRM-like procurement model to manage supplier relationships, to build true competitive advantage and scale.

Powering Supplier Engagement with Real-Time Data

Most procurement teams engage with suppliers via communication channels like email or phone. In reality, this data is usually spread across several disparate systems that deal with supplier information, transactions, collaboration, and planning. It is often assumed that all supplier information is accessible, visible, structured, and accurate. In reality, that’s far from the truth. Consider this possible scenario. An engineer may learn about quality issues in equipment installed at a plant. Ideally, procurement should hold further orders from that supplier until those issues are resolved. However, in reality this crucial information might not be aggregated and might not be accessible in real-time. A CRM-like procurement model can help consolidate such useful information within a single repository which enables procurement teams to follow suppliers, categories, issues and projects. To foster more effective supplier relationships, the knowledge of past successes and failures is important too. Teams need this actionable supplier information in real-time to drive decisioning.

Enabling a System of Record for Procurement Organizations

Ever-evolving market conditions demand a complete revamp of traditional supplier management processes to avoid leakage of value and money. Gartner predicts that nearly 6 in 10 organizations are planning to revamp their supplier management process in the next 3 years to future-proof against upcoming industry challenges. Addressing knowledge gaps involving existing unaddressed quality issues, expiring contracts, strategic supplier’s capacity etc., is crucial. Procurement professionals who work with data spend up to 40% of their time collecting it before even starting to analyze it. Post analysis, procurement managers need to also look at negotiating cost reductions and driving supplier performance improvements based on what they learn from the data. Procurement teams may be unaware of which good supplier might be getting overloaded or underutilized. Keeping such scenarios in mind, it’s necessary to build a corporate memory, which a CRM-like supplier management framework can enable.

The Benefits of Enabling a CRM-like Procurement Model

An ideal supplier management framework handles standard procurement challenges while also catering to unique business use cases, processes, and policies. A robust vendor management system, based on a CRM functioning model, can transform supplier lifecycle management.

Benefits include

  • More transparency in the supplier- procurement engagement
  • Credibility to supplier performance metrics
  • Reduction in resolution cycle time to solve supplier-related issues
  • Elimination of unforeseen supplier risks
  • Improvement in supplier collaboration and engagement
  • Enforcement of regulatory compliance across the business units
CloudIO Supplier Connect has been built keeping these factors in mind. It consists of 3 powerful modules – a Supplier Onboarding Portal, a Buyer Onboarding Portal, and an Accounts Payable Portal – which can drastically help your procurement organization, simplify supplier management at scale. CloudIO Supplier Connect seamlessly integrates with Oracle EBS or Oracle Cloud or Salesforce, or any ERP backend. You can leverage our REST APIs for any 3rd party tool integration. Most importantly, It’s easy to use and can be deployed immediately – either ON-PREMISE or on CLOUD.

With CloudIO Supplier Connect, procurement organizations can

  • Enable suppliers with smart self-service portals
  • Improve vendor relationships with timely communication
  • Empower their procurement teams to function at maximum efficiency
Looking to build a reliable supplier network that drives sustainable growth?

Contact us to learn how you can manage suppliers at scale with CloudIO Supplier Connect.

 

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