Gone are the days when organizations had to treat vendors or suppliers as ones who had to be squeezed for discounts or favorable deals, with both sides leaving the negotiations disappointed. Today, organizations can expend the same energy into cooperating with their vendors and working together to solve both parties’ issues and gain more from the transaction. One of the tools that help with this is online supplier relationship management software, which allows organizations to manage their relationships in a convenient and mutually rewarding manner with their suppliers. In this post, we will discuss some of the features of this software that allow for the same.
Single point of contact:
Without the software, organizations would have to use multiple tools, such as email, paper requisitions and invoices, and payment solutions, involving multiple departments. When so much is involved in the simple matter of purchasing, one can imagine how chaotic managing the entire supply chain would be. With supplier relationship management software, all of these diverse aspects could be brought into one solution and managed conveniently. Furthermore, by bringing all of these onto a single platform, organizations can also ensure transparency in the process, and all the users can be made aware of the status of all the purchasing decisions easily.
Supplier portals, profiles, and more:
Another thing that the software does for users is that it introduces newer tools that can improve the sourcing of firms. The software comes with a supplier portal, which allows the suppliers to set up their product lists and price lists, ensuring accurate, up-to-date information at all times while also ensuring that those within the firm are relieved of the cumbersome work of doing the same themselves. Also, by giving suppliers a chance to maintain their own profiles, it also allows users to get the best possible deal for a particular product or service. It also gives the suppliers their own dashboards detailing the different requirements that the firm has, which allows suppliers to post their interest in fulfilling the same.
As everything is done electronically and within the auspices of the top management of the firm, users can make their own decisions with impunity, and senior management can let their decisions be known if they have any objections to the decision. It also supports reverse auctions, which is one way to make sourcing decisions easily without any lasting deliberations or compunctions. Vendor onboarding is also automated. All of these combine to reduce the workload of the users within the firm so that they can put their time to the best use.
Similarly, what the software does for the suppliers, it also does that and more for the users. It allows users to set up their approvals according to the company policy, either serially or in parallel. It also allows for the review and approval of different requisitions in a hierarchy-based manner. It also ensures that the process does not languish by sending the different parties in the transaction automated notifications at preset time periods.
As an online tool itself, online supplier relationship management (SRM) software also works with other online solutions easily. Since the natural complements of the SRM process are accounts payable and contract management, users can integrate these solutions with the SRM software easily and allow the different solutions to work together. Furthermore, these processes can be automated, with the contract for an accepted requisition being automatically managed using the contract management software and being sent for payment to the accounts payable solution, which then handles the payments.
One could learn a lot by analyzing past sourcing decisions. For this to happen, though, one needs the data on all these past sourcing decisions. When different solutions are used to manage the process piecemeal, this sort of data collection and analysis becomes difficult, if not impossible. However, by using a single solution to manage all the aspects of the process, firms can ensure that all the data is collected in a single central repository, and this data can be analyzed to make better and more informed sourcing decisions in the future.
In the above ways, the different features of the online supplier relationship management software solution come together to help organizations simplify their sourcing decisions while also making them better.