Why Collect Supplier Information?

Beyond core P2P enablement and related areas, companies focus on supplier enablement for a range of reasons. For one, such programs are increasingly driven by regulatory compliance or related sets of laws or industry constructs and expectations. On an overall basis, the majority of supplier enablement programs center on the sourcing and management of supplier information due to:

  • Finance/legal needs (e.g., TIN, OFAC, denied parties list, FCPA, etc.)
  • Risk (supplier financial risk data)
  • Supplier diversity (MBWE, veteran-owned, indigenous employees, etc.)
  • Environmental health safety (EHS or HSE)
  • Corporate social responsibility (labor, conflict minerals, etc.)
  • Product-level insights (based on bill of material (BOM), design drawing and related information)

Within this list the types of details organizations can collect can be staggering. Spend Matters maintains a large list of the most common data collection fields and templates – and far more that fall into what we would term esoteric categories. How many fields and templates are there?

The honest answer? You don’t want to know. The diversity of what companies have to collect as well as what they want to collect can be staggering. Many come up short on collection needs in practice. 
In addition, these fields are primarily for procurement initiatives. Similar shortcomings in supplier enablement programs for e-invoicing also can yield disastrously low results and essentially result in a partially digitized process after an invoice is scanned days or weeks after it is mailed – an all too common scenario. Fortunately, A/P-centric fields tend to be more contained than what procurement cares about (often in addition to) and comprise a sub-set of the above.

This post was based in part on content in the Spend Matters Perspective, Supplier Enablement for Invoice Discounting and Supply Chain Finance: Background, Tips, and Secrets for Success. In this research brief, Jason Busch and David Gustin explore the history and future of supplier enablement, centering not only on P2P processes, but also onboarding for trade financing (e.g., supply chain finance, invoice discounting, etc.) initiatives.

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First Voice

  1. Aloke Bhandia:

    A/P-centric fields might be more more contained but critically important to prevent payment fraud and to enforce compliance.

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