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4 Things About Supplier Enablement You Need To Know

by | June 27, 2018

After a successful implementation there are a few enhancement services which are intended to maximise the benefits gained from using a P2P solution:

  • Release Management: Removing the risk of adverse impacts to your Production environment, as a result of new system upgrades, is a priority for effective release management. Release Management services deliver this by managing the activity spikes when upgrades are applied and provides recommendations of new functionality that improve the use of the system.
  • Spend Analytics: Visibility of data is key to understanding your spend. Spend analytics services ensure your data is accurate, complete and timely, and that it is presented and analysed in a way that allows you to make best use of it.
  • Supplier Enablement: Procurement systems are most effective when the majority of spend and suppliers are flowing through it. In turn, this helps improve the user experience, increase compliance and savings and reduce costs. Supplier enablement services can dramatically increase the number of suppliers enabled onto your systems in turn increasing the benefits you can achieve.
  • Training: Tailored training sessions with best practice materials specifically designed for your business can make a significant impact in getting the most from your P2P investment – whether this is new technology or a developing team of sourcing professionals. Training services can be delivered to end-users in multiple languages, or more focused train-the-trainer and administrator sessions.

From these enhancement services we will today focus on supplier enablement. Continue reading below to learn more about best practice within a successful supplier enablement program:

How do you make your supplier enablement process easier?

That is a very frequently asked question. First, let’s start at the beginning. What is supplier enablement? To some it is supplier networks, to others it is catalogue management and / or ((c)XML-based) punchouts or it could be seen as a type of e-document management or supplier portal that enables e-procurement and / or e-sourcing. What definitions have in common, however, is the utilisation of technology solutions to streamline procurement and / or sourcing processes by connecting the buyer to its suppliers through a common application.

Supplier Enablement is a critical success factor for returning solid value on a Procure-to-Pay (P2P) investment. Supplier Enablement is a key strategic ‘make or break’ activity by bringing most – if not all – spend under visibility as well as automating workflow and capturing savings. Suppliers are willing to collaborate because the buying organisations’ users are directed through the P2P tool to buy from enabled suppliers.

Supplier Enablement is key as it can significantly increase performance metrics. Businesses that leverage supplier enablement solutions enable their suppliers faster, better, and more efficiently than those that do not.

By creating a supplier enablement strategy on a long term plan your business can reduce administrative errors, maximize value and improves compliance, eliminate parallel processes and can create long lasting profitable partnerships. It also drives financial growth, both through new revenue streams from innovative products and services and from close collaboration with suppliers improving cost optimisation across the supply chain.

As mentioned previously, procurement systems are most effective when the majority of spend and suppliers are flowing through it. In turn, this helps improve the user experience, increase compliance and savings, and reduce costs.

Supplier enablement best practice steps

  1. Focus on a small percentage of suppliers to start – you can’t have all your suppliers enabled at once, it’s best to focus on a small number and try to keep the communication as focused as you can
  2. Provide an online documentation portal for your suppliers to store all the information. We know from experience that suppliers appreciate the convenience of having an in-house document repository, ready and easy to use whenever.
  3. Encourage suppliers to provide rich content catalogues – the better content the supplier provides, the better the user experience will be.
  4. Simplify the process – try and make is as easy as possible for the suppliers to upload catalogues online, for example you could use a simple CSV catalog template.

Building relationships, spending on contract and streamlining processes are what supplier enablement is all about!

Interested in finding out more about how Xoomworks Procurement can help? Let’s have a chat!

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