While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:
Supplier management and evaluation
The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.
Risk management and continuous improvement
To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management system should be capable of:
- Tracking supplier non-conformances and all details associated with those non-conformances.
- Specifying target investigation dates or target response dates and manage all investigation related data.
- Implementing corrective actions and measure their effectives over time.
- Reporting on and analyzing root causes.
To take the time and energy out of micromanaging data and issuing notifications, the system should be capable of streamlining supplier management workflow by tracking all supplier and vendor data in a central portal that’s accessible across the organization. A proactive system should also be capable of sending automated email notifications on pending and overdue supplier tasks to employees and their supervisors.
Real-time visibility and reporting
An ideal system should be capable of monitoring, reporting on and storing data on each stage of the process, including initial vendor registration and setup, ongoing supplier performance assessments, the implementation of corrective and preventive actions and evaluations on the success of those actions. Employees with access to the system should be able to instantly update information and generate ad hoc, boardroom quality supplier management reports on root causes, correction actions, and authorize claim amounts based on real-time data.
Some key requirements
A web-based supplier management system should be:
- Accessible from multiple locations around the world under stringent security protocols.
- User-friendly and intuitive, thereby increasing user adoption and reducing training and support costs.
- Easily configurable to address company-specific requirements and metrics (initial and ongoing).
- Scalable, allowing an organization to roll out the system to key suppliers.
Learn more about supplier management optimization strategies and tactics by checking out Intelex’s Optimizing Supplier Performance white paper, or by giving us a call to discuss our supplier management solutions.