The Complete Guide To Supplier Onboarding

Prologue

 

Supplier onboarding is the process of collecting the information needed to approve a company as a supplier and enabling your organization to conduct business, purchase goods and services, and make payments to that company.
This is the first step toward supplier management. Without it, you won’t be able to increase your efficiency, reduce your risk and costs, and achieve a higher ROI. By creating a supplier onboarding process, you can avoid most of the pitfalls resulting from poor supplier management.
What You'll Find Out:
  • What a supplier onboarding process is and why your organization needs one.
  • How to write an effective supplier registration form 
  • Dos, don'ts, and critical best practices for rolling it out to your organization.
  • And whole lot more! 
Who This Guide Is for:
  • You’re a procurement leader overseeing supplier management in your organization.
  • You’re a procurement specialist who is always on the hook for expired or incomplete data and information about your suppliers.  (And often the same issues, over and over.)
  • You’re a project manager who wants to get better visibility and management of the suppliers you need to choose for your next project
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Table of Contents

Why do you need Supplier Onboaring

Why do you need Supplier Onboaring

Why do you need Supplier Onboaring

Why do you need Supplier Onboaring

 
Just like you’re nurturing relationships with customers, you should also nurture your relationships with your suppliers. A supplier onboarding process will not only help you strengthen business relationships, but it will also help you:
  • mitigate risks;
  • streamline processes and increase efficiency;
  • ensure compliance with regulations;
  • develop a positive reputation in the industry;
  • increase ROI;
  • reduce redundancies;
  • track data and workflows;
  • automate basic tasks;
  • reduce time to approve and activate new suppliers;
  • cut out intermediaries and reduce human error.
Do you want to learn how you can create your own supplier onboarding process?
Check out our dedicated article.
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How to create an efficient supplier registration form

 
The supplier registration form is a document used to gather information from suppliers. Traditionally, suppliers’ information was collected and stored on paper, but today, procurement software makes this process a lot easier.
For a smooth process, it’s best to keep in mind the following:
  1. Prequalify suppliers to prevent fraud — for the supplier registration form specifically, this means asking for addresses, certifications, and registration numbers so you can rest assured the company you’re doing business with is legitimate
  2. Communication is key — make sure the employees who will deal with suppliers, as well all the stakeholders in your suppliers’ companies, are aware of the timelines, goals, and benefits of the supplier onboarding process
  3. Be proactive — your suppliers might not be as enthusiastic about your processes as you are, and that’s why it’s important for your employees to be up to date with all the details so they can follow up with suppliers. Additional training can also prove useful — you should provide FAQ pages, video tutorials, and or knowledge bases
  4. Keep the supplier registration form simple — as much as the supplier onboarding process is important and you should collect all the necessary information, try to keep the form as simple as possible.
Find out more about how you can create your own supplier registration form on our blog.

The benefits of using a cloud-based supplier onboarding solution

 

1. Better visibility over suppliers’ capabilities

Most organizations today struggle with gathering and organizing supplier information because they lack a centralized procurement solution.
A cloud-based supplier onboarding platform not only helps you determine a supplier’s capability of delivering specific goods and services, but it also enables you to easily compare suppliers based on different criteria (such as price, risk of supply disruptions, regulatory requirements, etc.)

2. Streamlined collection of supplier data

Cloud-based supplier onboarding solutions enable you to create online questionnaires to gather the supplier information that’s critical to your business. These questionnaires support conditional questions and question response types such as a multiple-selection list, and you can even organize related questions into qualification areas and then assign specific outcomes to your suppliers after evaluating the information you receive. Even more, you can use these outcomes to automatically score suppliers based on the rules you create.
Since all supplier data is centralized, sourcing events become a breeze — all you need to do is select the suppliers who fit your preliminary requirements and take it from there. As suppliers submit their responses, you can either accept or return them to the supplier for clarification or correction in real-time.

3. You can scale your processes, thus growing your business

There’s only so much data procurement reps can process. But with the use of and automation, the amount of supplier information you can process grows exponentially. This means you have more opportunities to grow your business while lowering costs, improving the quality of products/services, and eliminating human errors.
Learn more about the business benefits of cloud-based supplier onboarding.