Who owns the supplier record in your business: operational staff who interact directly with suppliers; the legal department because it is responsible for contracts; the sales team, because suppliers might contribute a vital element of a customer service or product; the accounts payable team because they pay the invoices?
The truth is that they might all have responsibility at key stages of supplier engagement (from initial registration, qualification and on-boarding; through sourcing events, periodic reviews and information updates; to daily purchase and payment activity). But do you have an overall strategy that enables you to do it well:
- Does managing supplier data, relationships and performance consume a lot of time and effort adding significant cost to your operations and potentially leaving you exposed to risk?
- Is there an absence of centralised records meaning the supplier is duplicated many times across the business, obscured by inconsistent terminology and different spellings?
- Do you have the right data to evaluate suppliers, track qualification information, identify missing information and encourage existing potential suppliers to perform to company standards?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it is likely your business is constantly reacting after the event rather than managing suppliers proactively.
Collecting and maintaining accurate and complete supplier information is critical to effective supplier risk management. When supplier information is scattered across many different departments and held in many different forms, it is virtually impossible to institute consistent information gathering or monitoring processes.
A central supplier directory with standardised information, all scored questionnaire responses, and links to all associated documents provides the fundamental visibility needed for supplier risk management, just as it does for effective sourcing.
Such a directory can provide an easily accessible source of supplier intelligence, including a record of certifications and specialities, policy and procedure documents, insurance policies and expiration dates, product or service categorisations, questionnaire and RFx response documents, previous and upcoming review dates, and any other relevant information.
Similarly, a central contract master can contain all of the information relevant to specific product or service delivery contracts with various suppliers.
A single go-to repository of supplier information and documents provides the informational foundation for all of your supplier risk management processes.
To learn more, download the PROACTIS Supplier Risk Management white paper.