While many organisations currently collect data from their suppliers, the processes that they have in place are not always robust. Many rely on offline, manual approaches, which are time-consuming and inefficient.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By adopting an online system, with a more structured process, it is straightforward for buyers to collect the information they need. In fact, there are real benefits for buyers that implement a more structured process for collecting and managing supplier data.
#1 Engagement makes data collection easier and more manageable
Gathering the data you need to make informed decisions can be a challenge, even when it's just within your own company. Expanding this out to your suppliers can make it even harder to get the data you need.
Your suppliers may well be apprehensive about sharing their data with you. But having a clear and properly structured plan for engaging with your suppliers means that you can mitigate their worries, while also highlighting the benefits. Look for opportunities where you can use your data collection process to help your suppliers, as it will mean they are more likely to share their data with you.
#2 It’s an opportunity for you to complete a detailed analysis of your suppliers
Thinking of collecting data from your suppliers as just a tick box exercise means you are missing opportunities to complete in-depth analysis and gain a deeper understanding of what is going on with your suppliers.
While a large part of engaging with your suppliers will involve collecting data, going beyond this means that you can monitor for compliance and understand any potential risks. This will make it easier for you to identify any potential problems with your suppliers and react to them before they become business-critical.
#3 It can help make life easier for your suppliers
Imagine this situation, you’re a supplier and every single one of your customers requires its own set of data. Suddenly you have to respond to potentially hundreds of data requests. This means duplication of effort and a time-consuming, repetitive process.
Instead, if they were using a central online repository of all information that buyers want, it would mean that suppliers can reduce the manual input needed to recreate this information. They can use this system to share information with multiple buyers.
Beginning this process and switching to a more active engagement with your suppliers might mean you have to change the tools and/or processes that you have in place. But the benefits of adopting this approach means you will have more detailed data on your suppliers, enabling deeper analysis and a better understanding of the risks and potential that your suppliers provide.
Greenstone enables you to engage your suppliers through its award-winning supply chain sustainability software and support services. SupplierPortal is a supply chain management software solution providing your business with transparency and compliance across your entire supplier network.
To find out more about how you can introduce a structured process for collecting supplier data, talk to us today
[image credit: Frédéric BISSON]