Onboarding – It’s all about the Front, Middle and Back office Part III


Last week we spoke about front office supplier onboarding activities. What the heck is a Middle office as it relates to onboarding?

A middle office performs many of the risk management and analysis functions to set up and evaluate programs to ensure things are being done properly. Employees performing this function manage risk, calculate profits and losses, conduct segmentations and utilization analysis and (generally) are in charge of the information technology. The middle office draws on the resources of both the front and the back offices.

For onboarding programs, Middle Office duties can include

  • Segmentation Analysis & Risk management
  • Product management
  • Supplier Platform Training
  • Pricing
  • Utilization & Retention Analysis
  • Contract Management
  • Risk Distribution

For example, the middle office might do a pre Onboarding Segmentation Analysis and work with a potential corporate client (Anchor) as a neutral third party to develop segmentation to serve as a blueprint to understand how to approach vendors.  The segmentation could be based on a number of variables beyond total spend – such as geographies, goods, supplier credit rating, and supplier scorecards.

Understanding utilization and program retention is another critical function performed. This ultimately is the measurement of a program’s success. Utilization analysis produces statistics on supplier’s enrolled, supplier use, one year retention, and can even do surveys to determine a Net Promoter score. A net promoter score is used to evaluate how the program is doing on a number of features, such as

  • Overall Improvement areas
  • Communication with Suppliers/Customers
  • Process updates like online portals/tools/support etc.
  • Rates/Fee associated with the program

Typically the middle office must interface and liaise with the Buying Organization (cross functional teams may be involved), Sales (in the bank’s case, relationship managers), back office, and other internal areas like Legal and IT.

So you see, there is a big investment in the middle office support.

In addition to Spend Matters PRO research, David can provide onboarding benchmarking and diagnostic work to help organizations understand the resource requirements to onboard and to improve their onboarding infrastructure to make it more effective and more efficient. The focus is on overcoming Supplier Barriers to Adoption. Contact him directly to learn more: dgustin (at) tradefinancingmatters (dot) com

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