Procurement and supply chain management is evolving, and so are the ways businesses interact with their suppliers, manage their relationships with them, and make purchasing decisions.
Procurement teams are not only tasked with ensuring that suppliers meet the standards set by their organisation and that the business is not exposed to supply chain risk. They are also responsible for building and maintaining supplier relationships and looking for ways to engage with their supplier base. On top of this, now more than ever, procurement professionals are under scrutiny to also ensure that their business and supply chain is operating sustainably; from an environmental, social, governance (ESG) and compliance perspective.
Supply chain sustainability software is the obvious way to streamline the supplier data collection, questionnaire distribution and management process. Procurement professionals are now seeking purpose-built supply chain sustainability software platforms to collect, track and analyse supplier data and GHG emissions on an ongoing basis. This blog focuses on a number of key reasons why procurement professionals are seeking supply chain sustainability software.
Reasons why procurement professionals are seeking supply chain sustainability software
- Transparency and comparability
Supply chain sustainability software enables buyers to customise questionnaires and data collection to ensure they are collecting the right data. Once collected, the software will enable them to aggregate consistent, comparable and accurate performance data from across their supplier network. It also enables users to compare, benchmark and score portfolio companies and view key information across various metrics and KPIs.
- Facilitates engagement
Supplier engagement in performance and compliance can be a challenge for organisations and sometimes there can be little to no communication lines between the two parties. There are huge benefits to communication and engagement between buyers and their suppliers, and building relationships requires engagement.
A credible software solution will enable communication between both parties and facilitate direct online conversations around very specific issues. Beyond due diligence and receiving alerts for flagged issues, a software solution enables buyers to engage with suppliers and help them to improve in areas of underperformance. This enables the building of more sustainable and collaborative relationships.
- Reduces risk
Despite growing stakeholder pressure, many companies still do not have an understanding of compliance, potential risks and impacts of their supply chain. Without a clear understanding of the status of your suppliers at any given time, the potential for risks to go undetected increases exponentially.
Greenstone’s supply chain sustainability software has a risk management tool to automatically create actions for suppliers that have triggered defined types or risks. These actions are sent to suppliers with automated notifications, deadlines, and direct messaging services streamlining the process. The key being that even a small team can manage the supplier action plans by clearly understanding what activity needs to happen in the system at any given time.
- Saves time and resources
Many companies are still using spreadsheets and emails and, as data gets more complex, these processes become cumbersome, time-consuming and prone to error. Manual processes are not only a security risk but are also prone to risk and error and are extremely heavy on time and resources.
Through the use of software, data collection, management and reporting can all be automated, on a large scale, which leaves teams more time for analysis. Using software enables organisations to move their focus away from just data collection and on to in-depth reporting, analysis and informed decision-making.
- Enables the monitoring of performance over time
Using a central software platform to collect and manage the supplier data enables procurement and sustainability teams to assess performance data on an ongoing basis, rather than in one moment in time. By sending questionnaires directly to suppliers through a software solution, deadlines, flags and notifications can be set which means that buyers can be automatically alerted when it’s time to request updated information or address an expired document. Scoring of suppliers also ensures that year on year improvements can be realised and minimum performance thresholds can be met.
- Enables the collection of scope 3 GHG emissions data
Scope 3 emissions, also known as value chain emissions, are indirect GHG emissions both upstream and downstream of an organisation’s main operations. This usually means all of the emissions a company is responsible for outside of its own operations—the majority often being from suppliers.
Utilising software for calculating and managing scope 3 emissions in the supply chain will enable reporting organisations to engage more effectively with larger numbers of suppliers and simplify the process of emissions reporting. Both buyers and suppliers are likely to be tackling this for the first time, and so will need a solution that is both scalable and that can evolve with their needs.
"Implementing SupplierPortal as part of our procurement strategy has helped us build strong relationships with our suppliers and create responsive and reliable supply chains."
Financial Controller, Quintain Estates and Development Plc
Quintain implemented SupplierPortal as a way of collecting and analysing supplier information. SupplierPortal is a flexible cloud-based solution that streamlines supplier management and due diligence processes. Learn more about the challenges and discover the results - Download the full project case study.
Greenstone’s supply chain sustainability software
Greenstone’s SupplierPortal supply chain sustainability software solution provides your business with a single point of transparency across your supplier network, ensuring that compliance, performance, and risk can be managed seamlessly.
If you’d like to discuss our supply chain sustainability software in more detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are proud to be working with several organisations to enable responsible supply chains, and partner with our clients to help them achieve their sustainable supply chain goals.