Using Data for Effective Supplier Relationship Management

Your new product is  called “Swan”. When you get your supplier’s quote and specifications, they call it “Shane”.  And right from the start, your collaboration on the new product is off on the wrong foot. If your supplier gets a simple name wrong, you’ll be questioning what else they missed. They’re the main manufacturer on your new product, so ensuring the flow of correct information is critical. Excel spreadsheets fall short for data sharing as one typo causes cascading errors. Master Data Management solutions in your ERP software can help you master your data to ensure you and your supplier are on the same page.

Supplier management applications allow quick exchange of information with your supplier and automates the correction process. No flurry of emails to fix the product name, just enter a corrective action into the application. These applications bring new suppliers into your system quickly thus speeding up the collaborative process while simultaneously bringing product to market faster. A portal allows streamlined data access and exchange between your business and your supplier. One supplier portal is enough; multiple portals often confuse suppliers and risk erroneous data. Ease of use is key when it comes to maintaining a positive and accurate relationship with your supplier.

It’s a good idea to consider sharing your product information management system (PIM) with your suppliers. This allows them to automatically update your product information as changes you’ve specified become available. The supplier portal is the conduit for this information which is necessary for your customers to receive exactly what they ordered.

Your supplier management system must be interoperable with the MDM solution you use to collaborate with your suppliers.  Systems that don’t ‘speak’ will only introduce errors. You risk delaying your time to market and affecting your customer relationships, both of which are bad for business.

For more information on Supplier Relationship Management, please contact us.

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