Data Foundation

Top 5 Ways to Get and Keep Good, Clean Supplier Information

By Matt Stewart

Due to Covid, an increasing number of companies are investing in cloud-based digital technologies to drive greater efficiencies for a remote work force, mitigate newly found supply risks, while identifying and realizing cost savings.   

Choosing the right cloud-based spend management solution for your organization can be challenging.  Implementation is a complex process in itself, with many important steps to take before the new system is in place. Supplier enablement is critical to successfully implementing a new cloud system, making the supplier onboarding process – and supplier data management – especially important.  

From contact information to pricing to contracts, clean data is crucial to keeping procurement and sourcing processes running smoothly. But just because data is available doesn’t mean it’s always useful. 

To make sure that your next spend management system’s implementation is not delayed and/or goes over budget, follow this five-step game plan during supplier onboarding of your next cloud spend management solution. 

1. Choose Your Players

First, you’ll need to choose which suppliers you’d like to bring to your new spend management system. To do so, you will need to develop criteria for how you will decide. Once you know which rules need to be applied to begin building your list, you can begin the supplier selection process. 

To avoid complications, you will want to know the full list of suppliers before beginning the implementation. Get senior management buy-in and stakeholder support. Make the business case, and get the time, money, and resources you need. 

2. Organize the List

Once you have the list of suppliers that you’d like to bring to the spend management system, you’ll need to ensure that all of your supplier contact information is up-to-date.  This is a time-consuming yet crucial process to ensure that you begin with an updated supplier database.   

Based on our experience, organizations that delay this effort and think that the data will just magically be cleansed during a S2P implementation tend to get frustrated as their implementation tends to take much longer than expected and struggle to enable the amount of suppliers they expected.   

You should also strategically segment suppliers based on things like volume and spend. For example, a high volume segment would use large catalogs, EDI, cXML, and other complex integrations. A low volume segment would use supplier portals and emails.  

3. Craft Your Pre-Game Speech

The success of your implementation relies on how well you communicate the changes to your suppliers. Create a detailed communication plan that includes messaging before, during, and after the implementation of your new cloud system. Your messages should build a sense of urgency and excitement about the implementation, as you’ll want suppliers to get on board with the change as quickly as possible.  

To incentivize suppliers to adopt the new system, your messaging should clearly state how it’s beneficial to them. Will it mean faster payment? Will it save them time? Sharing the value proposition will help encourage suppliers to actively participate in the onboarding process. Your messaging should also be targeted and uniquely tailored to each supplier segment, as this will also help encourage adoption.  

4. Create Your Playbook and Define Responsibilities

Once you have a communication plan in place, it’s necessary that you determine who is responsible for what during the implementation stage. How will the tasks be divided between you, your implementation partner, suppliers, and the software provider? What are the project deadlines? Because supplier onboarding is such a vital part of implementation, it’s important that you clearly outline each stage of the process. This will hold all parties accountable, including your suppliers, and avoid unwelcome surprises or project launch delays.  

Make sure that you’re working with the most accurate and complete data, and your next project will be much, much easier and deliver far better results. Data that isn’t clean, isn’t updated, or comes from different sources can result in missed procurement opportunities and high administration costs. 

5. Do This Step First, It Will Make the Previous Steps Much Easier

Were you getting discouraged due to all the work in front of you?  What if you could plug into a platform with all your vendors data already cleansed?  Let’s be honest: Keeping supplier data up-to-date can be a bit like herding cats.  For those vendors that comply, few keep it updated as there are too many systems and clients that require it. If only there was one system that you could plug into good, clean supplier data to fuel your S2P platform that maintained all of your supplier data and did all the work for you and your suppliers.   

Enter TealBook. TealBook Supplier Intelligence Platform is a technology-agnostic data foundation that provides clean supplier data and up-to-date information to power e-procurement transformation. TealBook updates your data for you, ensuring that it is validated and verified by the supplier, ensuring that not only do you the customer have access to pristine data for that supplier, but for all suppliers.  

In RiseNow’s partnership with TealBook, our clients get the clean supplier data they crave with the ability to find new suppliers to increase competition, reduce costs, and mitigate risk. With effectively addressing this major pain point for most organizations, we can then help you determine what is the best Procure to Pay or Source to Pay platform to feed this pristine data into. Depending on your industry, use cases, organizational uniqueness, and definition of success, the right answer may surprise you.   

About the Author

Matt is a senior executive with a proven track record of success in starting, growing, and leading consulting firms over his 20-year career. Matt’s unique ability to see what others do not yet see; predict trends before they become trends; identify, recruit, and retain the best consultants and team members; and build a culture in which top performers desire to stay long-term makes RiseNow stand out as a premier supply chain consulting firm. Under Matt’s leadership, RiseNow has experienced an average of more than 58 percent growth per year over the past seven years. He attributes this to an unwavering faith and pursuit to be transparent, honest, and accountable with clients, partners, employees, and vendors. Some of Matt’s clients include PPG, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Trinity Health, and McDonald’s to name a few.

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