Advanced Supplier Management: The Open Vendor Registration and Portal Funnel

This post is based on material contained in the following Spend Matters Compass Series brief: Beyond One-Off Initiatives and a Virtual Vendor Master – Advanced Use Cases for Supplier Management. Organizations starting on the supplier information management (SIM) basics still have much to gain from understanding how more advanced use cases can deliver a level of value that builds incrementally on more foundational deployment approaches and models.

We can best describe the vendor registration funnel as characterized by constructive chaos, where supplier records reside in various degrees of completion. Typical features include:

  1. Staging by degree of completion: suppliers are automatically moved along standard ?workflow where the stages trigger additional activities (document requests, more data ?points, signatures, more sensitive data)
  2. Automated scrubs: the SIM capability is the equivalent of an automated airline registration ?system that upgrades premium passengers a set number of days/hours before travel if capacity is available. Yet in this context it is the opposite; partially registered suppliers are only stored for a set period before they are deleted, typically after several automated reminders. This approach helps reduce clutter while keeping an open door to prospects (accessibility is critical to many other corporate initiatives such as SMWBE and this procurement supports those activities without creating new workloads)
  3. Selective visibility: The ability to provide select visibility and views into information for vendors and internal users tied to the stages mentioned above. This addresses the core problem of asking for too much information from prospective suppliers as well as letting internal users engage with unapproved or insufficiently vetted suppliers.
  4. Linking and de-duping upfront: Linking and de-duping initiatives support the linkage between spend analysis and master data management (MDM) programs with supplier management. The goal, of course, is a common view into supplier information, starting at the vendor level and cascading to the item level, across systems.
  5. Validation: Automated approaches have replaced manual look-up and remediation efforts for validation as part of the on-boarding (and continual) supplier management processes. Validation could be for company name, TIN numbers, diversity status, etc.

After reviewing the fundamental concepts, you can begin to transition to "advanced supplier management." As companies move past the closed registration threshold to open registrations and self-management with workflow and broad integration with other software investments to reuse and enable MDM throughout the enterprise, what should they expect to achieve, and what should they require from solution vendors?

Stay tuned as we investigate advanced open registration approaches as this series continues. Or download the full paper today: b>Beyond One-Off Initiatives and a Virtual Vendor Master – Advanced Use Cases for Supplier Management.

- Jason Busch

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