29 May 14

Gathering and managing your suppliers’ compliance data - the questions to ask

It’s no secret that there is more data in the world than ever before. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years [Source: Science Daily]. 

But more data isn’t necessarily better, especially if there isn’t a system or process to manage it fully. Whether you want to monitor supplier’s information identify potential areas of risk or manage your suppliers more efficiently, having the right data will make this easier for you.

To help you gather the relevant non-financial data from your suppliers, and make the best use of it, here are some of the questions to ask.

What compliance data do you need to collect from your suppliers?

It doesn’t matter if you are starting to collect information about your suppliers or refining an existing process, it is important to establish the data you need to collect. With so much information available, you’ll need to decide which topics, questions and documentation are most valuable to you and your organisation.

The specific information can vary, depending on your industry, relevant legislative requirements and your organisation’s sustainability strategy. But, by understanding the data you need, you can tailor your supplier questionnaires to get the right information.

How are you going to manage your suppliers’ responses?

After you have decided what data you need to collect from your suppliers, it’s time to decide how to manage it.

The volume of data you have from your suppliers can quickly become unmanageable, without the right system in place. For example, if you are relying on spreadsheets, you can find yourself with thousands of responses, across multiple spreadsheets, and in incomparable formats

An additional problem that organisations can face, is having different questionnaire responses held by different parts of the business. This can result in a poor understanding of overall supplier compliance, therefore increasing the risk to the business

Having a tool to manage your supplier data will help you overcome these challenges; and ensure that you’re getting answers from your data. 

How are you going to engage with your suppliers?

Suppliers are being asked for similar information, in different formats, from numerous customers. This burden that is being placed on suppliers can jeopardise the response rate to your requests for information and dramatically increase the time spent chasing suppliers.

The more you can do to standardise the information gathered across your sector, the easier it will be to engage your suppliers. Secondly, by moving to an online solution you will simplify the process for suppliers and, with right tool, make it more efficient and empower each supplier to proactively use their data.

By making the process as simple as possible for your suppliers, you also make it more straightforward for you.

Do you want to find out more about how to manage your supplier data? Talk to us today.

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