Advanced Supplier Management: Vendor Registration Beyond the Basics

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. The primary challenge with open registration lies in defining registration stages. For example: what is mandatory to provide in each stage, who is allowed to approve data changes, how to handle exceptions, which other internal and external data sources to incorporate, and so on.

The following are additional elements for consideration for companies moving to embrace advanced supplier management in the area of open registration:

  • Categorizing and classifying capabilities, including dynamic RFI enablement, are central?to advanced supplier management tools. A good SIM solution should take over most RFI features and capture all the various vendor-specific issues that are typically addressed in RFI activities.
  • Enabling vendors to showcase what sets them apart. Allowing self-management and self-expression is central to advanced supplier management. Apply Mike Vance's (and Walt Disney's) thinking to venture outside of whatever silo you live in. After all, vendors know their business better than you do, and good vendors should be anxious to express their value-add potential. Good SIM solutions let them do so, for example, by permitting vendors to go beyond the top level header check box, and detail their capabilities. Solutions can even tag the expanded data points to better support filters, searches and even guide alerts around vendors to the correct internal users – in other words, not just sprinkling "other" fields with uncategorized free-form text throughout.
  • Dynamically matching prospects with existing registrations to prevent duplicate entries is an important enabler of advanced supplier management. It is important to note that this is both a function of the SIM solution's built-in heuristics as well as how associated ERP solutions and their A/P records are used in a SIM deployment.
  • If there is one single litmus test for advanced supplier management tools, it is definitely the ability to enable document gathering with expiration, workflow around changes, rollback, audit history, and approvals. This is not dissimilar from contract lifecycle management solution capabilities. Prospective customers of advanced supplier management tools should realize that only a handful of solutions are able to manage data and document changes over time. As a general rule, they only contain the most recent revision and don't enable rollback in case of inadvertent or unacceptable changes.
  • Data purges – Advanced supplier management tools should enable flexibility in the number of data points captured up-front and how this information is maintained (and purged) over time, including when to initiate SIM registry cleanses of abandoned/incomplete registrations.

Stay tuned as we investigate advanced closed registration topics including systems and data integration, sourcing and P2P supplier management intersections. Or download the full paper today in the Spend Matters PRO Research Library: Beyond One-Off Initiatives and a Virtual Vendor Master – Advanced Use Cases for Supplier Management.

- Jason Busch

First Voice

  1. Navdeep Sidhu:

    "Allowing self-management and self-expression is central to advanced supplier management."

    A little freedom can go a long way. Your vendors are your partners and they might be able to bring something to the table you never thought of if only you’d let them.

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