Recently, when a manufacturing company was ready to upgrade their sourcing strategy, they looked at technology solutions. The management knew that by more closely monitoring their sourcing process for components, equipment, and other inputs, they could save money and help streamline the process for faster delivery. The right support helps small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) in every industry make the most of their sourcing. Save money, increase your chances of working with the best vendors, and create a rigorous process for internal reviews and vendor scoring that helps you develop a request-for-quotes process that achieves your goals. Here’s a closer look at how cloud-based sourcing solutions can help across the entire sourcing workflow.
Your company has identified a new project, program or sourcing initiative; now all that’s left to do is negotiate the terms, cost, and contract details. Supplier negotiations are a crucial part of sourcing, and if they’re well-managed to help you quickly reach an agreement or contract, they can save your company money. Yet when each negotiation starts from scratch, they can be time consuming and cumbersome.
Cloud-based sourcing solutions make it easier to improve your supplier negotiations. Leverage easy-to-access data and past sourcing events to establish guidelines for pricing and know where you may have an opportunity to achieve better terms. With templates and pre-loaded guidance, it’s easy to set up documents that comply with company policy and get them through an expedient approvals process.
When you’ve issued an RFQ, it’s important to get a range of supplier bids into consideration. Cloud-based sourcing solutions can help. Key features help you distribute the request for quotes to multiple suppliers and monitor when proposals come in. If it’s getting close to the deadline, it’s easy to see who hasn’t responded and follow up as necessary. Once you’ve received the proposals, cloud-based sourcing solutions help small-to-medium businesses evaluate the bids you receive on multiple dimensions. Who offers the best price? Which companies might be at risk of defaulting? Are there other factors to consider? Question libraries and multi-stage request for quotes processes make it easy to customize a process to your needs that’s based on best practices. With collaborative features, you can involve different stakeholders in the evaluation from across the organization and use scoring features to achieve a more objective assessment of final quality.
Vendors and suppliers are an important part of providing input to your business, completing services, and much more. Yet as compliance comes to the forefront, it’s important for growing companies to vet their prospective suppliers—and existing partners—to control for and help mitigate risk. Sourcing software helps you stay on top of the important process of supplier qualification management. Set minimum criteria for suppliers responding to bids and ask them to upload supporting documents such as certifications, budgets, insurance coverage certificates, team resumes, or past project references. During the onboarding process, gather all the details you need to thoroughly assess risk, and then rely on predictive analytics to help you identify a supplier that’s at risk of failing to deliver.
Visibility into sourcing is an area that’s critical for today’s fast-growing companies. Whether you’re monitoring where a new contract is in process, drilling down into recent sourcing activity, or working to identify ways to save money, cloud-based sourcing tools can help. Real-time analytics can help you make smart decisions during an award process or identify opportunities for savings during a negotiation. Quickly note which processes are stalled out or bottlenecked, and which ones simply need a bit more time to come to a successful conclusion. At the big-picture level, better visibility can help you find ways to improve your sourcing and to quantify how careful sourcing management benefits your fast-growing company. With the right data and insights, sourcing and procurement become dramatically more effective and efficient processes.
Sourcing is an important and often overlooked advantage that can help small-to-medium businesses gain an important competitive advantage. Save money, identify the best suppliers, mitigate risk, and create efficient internal workflows that involve the right people but don’t waste time and resources. A cloud-sourcing solution can move your procurement process forward, while laying the foundation for efficient execution, cost savings, and a host of other benefits.