5 Best Practices to Ensure Supplier Enablement Success

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It happens to even the savviest of procurement pros. You begin the process of on-boarding a supplier only to realize you’re not 100 percent sure you’re leveraging your supplier enablement process to maximize the value in your relationship.  Not to worry.

We’ve gathered five best practices that will ensure your supplier enablement is a success:

1. Focus on high transaction volume suppliers and/or key strategic suppliers

To jump start our ROI, the suppliers you enable first should be the suppliers you use the most often.  This way, you can be sure that your procurement pros are spending on contract and taking advantage of your negotiated prices, rather than ordering off contract from different suppliers with varying price points. This supplier enablement strategy will get you the biggest bang for your buck while making sure your products are available to your department level users on day one.

2. Have a contract in place

Having a set contract ensures work continues and will not stall due to price or content discussions. The goal is to keep both the supplier and client engaged from start to finish with no contract disruptions.

3. Assemble your team

Dedicated JAGGAER supplier enablement project managers do much of the heavy lifting for our clients, so they can focus on key business goals. Think about all the people you need at the table to ensure engagement between your organization and your suppliers.  Who needs to be involved to maintain lines of communication and build trust? These are the people who will participate in your initial kick-off call, testing/testing sign-off, ensuring correct pricing and visibility of products, and so on.

4. Focus on a small subset of suppliers to start

You can’t save the world all at once. Many times, your resources are often limited and spread thin. By focusing on a smaller subset of suppliers, you can make time to nurture relationships with your suppliers, which will lead to streamlined processes, open lines of communication, and a trusted partnership.

5. Make clean, consistent addresses a priority

Being clean and consistent with your delivery addresses for online orders will save time and money.  For suppliers, it improves the accuracy of shipping labels and allows order management systems to map shipping and billing addresses, reducing the risk of your package becoming undeliverable.  For you, it can streamline the order process and cut down on time spent manually checking and correcting addresses.  It also decreases the need for human intervention, reducing timeframe for order processing.

Building relationships, spending on contract, and streamlining processes are what supplier enablement is all about. When you employ these five best practices, your supplier enablement process will become more efficient and will deliver value beyond savings faster.

Looking for a solution to end your manual supplier management process?  Total Supplier Manager (TSM) automates your supplier management process from discovery and information gathering through registration, qualification and selection, to risk and performance management.  Watch this two-minute demo and learn how to effectively manage your spend and streamline your supplier enablement process – because your supplier management process should be working for you, not the other way around.

Suzanne Christopher is a supplier relationship manager at JAGGAER.

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