For many organisations, collecting survey information from suppliers relies on a manual process. This typically means suppliers will be emailed a questionnaire form that they then fill in, sign, and then scan and send back via email.
With this manual process, buyers are spending a lot of time collecting the information, chasing out responses and trying to make sure that the questionnaire is completed. For many, it takes up so much of their time, that they can't then spend any more time focusing on the analysis side. This means there is no real understanding of what is really happening with their suppliers and limits the opportunities to identify areas of risk in the supply chain.
Some buyers will gather together key information from those questionnaires and put them into a spreadsheet. This allows them to look at some of the key metrics that they're interested in. But it’s not a manageable or scalable process because the administrative burden of completing an in-depth analysis is too high. Generally, the responses from questionnaires tend to be written, printed off and kept in a folder.
By taking this process online, it means that buyers can bring to life what normally would just be sat in a cupboard. It opens up the possibility of querying all the information that's been collected from suppliers and have a much deeper understanding on what is happening.
For example, an organisation might face specific risks around human rights. If a human rights policy isn't in place with the supplier, then that's a risk for the buyer’s business. If the buyer is collecting the information offline, using a manual process, they might have a question on having a human rights policy but it’s not easy to compare responses to those from other organisations in the supply chain.
By bringing the process online, buyers are able to query all of their suppliers and identify particular risks that might be important to them. For instance, if the supplier organisation is working in a high risk country, there could be concerns around child forced or compulsory labour. Having an online process for managing supplier questionnaire responses means that these types of risks can be more easily identified and managed by the buying organisation.
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 the benefits of an online process for collecting supplier questionnaire responses, talk to us today: