Data Foundation

Do You Have the Supplier Data Needed to Make Good Decisions?

By TealBook

You make dozens of decisions every day based on data. You try new restaurants because you can easily find information and read reviews about them. You buy a car for your family because you can quickly access performance metrics and compare them to other options. You choose a babysitter because they are CPR-certified, and you want to ensure your children are safe in their care.

Now imagine if you made all those decisions based on poor intel or no intel at all? Unfortunately, that is a common challenge faced by many procurement and sourcing professionals. Too often, our industry is left making decisions based on insufficient supplier data that leaves them unable to be strategic when disruptions strike.

The worst part is that these teams may not even realize they are working with poor data. 

In order to combat the “bad data problem”, you need to be honest with yourself about the current state of your procurement processes, examine the data you’re currently working with, and then make changes where necessary. Luckily, we’re here to help. 

In this blog, we’ll:

  • See where your peers feel they stand within their data landscape
  • Determine if you’re falling victim to bad supplier data
  • Discover how you can combat bad data and improve your procurement function

Procurement is struggling with bad data

It’s no secret that the procurement industry as a whole has a data problem. Too many teams are working with stale data feeds and lack the necessary insights into that data to make strategic decisions and achieve organizational goals.

In a survey of 200 procurement and sourcing executives at companies with $200 million or more in annual revenue, it was shocking—but not entirely surprising—to see just how few had confidence in their current supplier data.

Numbers don’t lie

When asked, 64% of procurement and sourcing professionals recognize that accurate and up-to-date supplier data allows them to quickly source materials during a crisis. You’d think that this would mean they are making significant investments to improve their access to stronger, more accurate data. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. 
Only 18% felt certain that they are receiving up-to-date supplier information, leaving 82% less than completely confident that their supplier data is accurate. This has led many teams to experience the costly consequences of sourcing with bad data.

Here’s the thing: many industry professionals don’t realize they are working with poor supplier data until it’s too late.

The signs of bad supplier data

In order to work toward accessing better, more dynamic supplier data, you have to be aware of the fact that you’re working with bad data in the first place. Below are just a few of the common signs that your procurement team is in need of a data overhaul.

Look at that list and be honest with yourself: how many of those items apply to your current processes? Whether it’s just a few or the entire list, you’re not alone. A shocking 77% of sourcing and procurement leaders are very or extremely concerned their company’s supplier intelligence hasn’t improved since the start of COVID-19. 

In fact, many procurement professionals have admitted they lack the strong supplier intelligence needed to quickly source suppliers and have suffered a number of consequences including:

  • Delays in project timelines (56%)
  • Exceeding project budgets (50%)
  • Failing to meet demand (43%)

How do I get better supplier data?

With the current challenges procurement faces in meeting demands and remaining agile in the face of disruption, all signs point to the need for better supplier data and a strong data foundation—but how is the industry supposed to achieve that? You essentially have two options for cleaning up your supplier data.

Manual methods that take time

In the current methodology of data gathering and management, you can follow a rigorous manual process to ensure your supplier data stays up-to-date and accurate.  

Begin by performing a health check of your data and use analytics tools to get a good idea of the scope of this undertaking. From there, you’ll need to integrate tools and solutions that enable more efficient processes around tracking users, suppliers, diversity spend, invoices, and more. 

Next, take time to clean up and fill in inaccurate or missing fields within supplier records. Plan to spend a lot of employee hours doing this or shell out upwards of several hundreds of thousands of dollars to have this done by a third party. After this is complete, determine a process for how your team—or another third-party vendor—is going to continuously find, add, and update external data. 

Lastly, pour yourself another large cup of coffee because you’re about to start this process all over again tomorrow because someone manually entered new information somewhere else in the system. Try not to scream out of frustration that all your effort was in vain.

You can frustrate yourself and your team using the above tactic…or you can let a supplier data platform do the work for you.

A better way through machine learning & AI

As a solution to the supplier data problem, TealBook is the leading supplier data platform that optimizes your existing procurement technologies, workflows and processes, enabling you to maximize the investments you’ve made in your suppliers, people, and Source-to-Settle and ERP tools. 

Uniquely using machine learning and AI, our supplier data platform enables an organization to evolve their supplier data and advance procurement ahead of today’s fast-paced, highly-volatile business environment.

We harvest, validate, enrich, analyze, and review data from over 500 million data sources. From there, we use our technology to integrate this data into any third party or embedded application you choose (think: Source-to-settle solutions, SRM platforms, and ERPs). Users can search and filter by offering, NAICS code, vendor ratings, or a custom category, refine search results on a granular level, and shortlist suppliers that meet criteria to enable supply-side innovation. Additionally, any process and technology that relies on up-to-date supplier data will become inherently more efficient and effective. You would now have a single source of truth for supplier data for all relevant systems to pull from.

With TealBook, gone are the days of spending countless hours sifting through stale data that needs consistent, manual updates. We help our customers save time and money by unlocking their full supplier base.

Contact our team to learn how you can access more dynamic, up-to-date supplier data today.

Unleash procurement possibilities.

Whether you’re looking to maximize diversity spend, optimize supplier diversification, or identify emergency sourcing options, the best available supplier data makes all the difference.

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