Is there a cost-effective way to effectively manage a supplier database?

Procurement teams are always on the hunt for resources that allow them to streamline the vendor management process.

That’s why in the world of e-Procurement, one tool that is exceedingly appreciated is the supplier portal. 

This extremely useful system simplifies supplier management allowing for vendor/procurement team interaction on a safe and secure online platform.

But just what is a supplier portal, what exactly does it do, and what are some of its advantages?

Let’s investigate. 

Supplier Portal Defined

What is a supplier portal?

A supplier portal (synonymous with vendor portal) refers to an online e-Procurement platform that enables enterprises to interact with vendors, qualify them, and do business with them.

You cannot talk about supplier portals without mentioning how integral they are in the entire vendor management process.

Vendor portals are typically presented as software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS). This makes them incredibly appealing to procurement teams as there is no additional hardware investment.

More often than not, they are also cloud-hosted meaning procurement teams don’t have the extra hassles of having to download software onto their machines.

Characteristics that make supplier portals popular include their safe and secure nature as well as their intuitive interfaces which make them easy to use. 

What a Supplier Portal Does

Now that we know what is a supplier portal, let’s turn to what it does.

1. Automates the Sourcing Process

Finding suppliers and vetting them can be a laborious, time-consuming endeavor with a lot of manual back and forth between procurement teams and vendors.

A supplier portal system steps in to automate this entire process by eliminating the disparate communication channels and syncing information and communication onto a centralized platform.

2. Creates Visibility of Data

Without a vendor portal, there is reduced data visibility and higher odds of inaccurate and erroneous information being passed back and forth.

Information might not always appear congruent meaning each side is looking at a different set of data.

With a vendor portal, however, this is eliminated as both parties are looking at the very same data and any changes made are immediately seen by the other side. 

3. Facilitates Safe and Secure Communication

According to Accenture, security breaches have gone up by 11% since 2018 with the average cost of a breach being $3.86 million in 2020.

There has never been a greater need than now for safe and secure communication mediums for businesses.

Thankfully, vendor portals provide suppliers and sourcing teams with just the right solution.

Finally, let’s consider how enterprises stand to benefit from integrating supplier portals into their ERP systems.

The Benefits of a Supplier Portal

Here are three benefits procurement teams can look forward to when they integrate a vendor portal.

1. Vendor Account Management

Handling of a purchase requisition and purchase order need not frustrate you any longer thanks to supplier portals.

Vendors will be able to verify information – invoices, POs, quotations, and various other financial metrics without the need to call or email the buyer.

2. Automated Reminders

Gone are the days when procurement teams would have to keep track of each and every single contract in order to issue reminders to vendors.

Owing to the automated nature of supplier portals, notifications and reminders are sent on a predetermined date without any input from the sourcing team.

3. Traceable Activity Log

Part of good vendor management best practice is taking time to evaluate the supplier to see whether they are fulfilling their promises and delivering according to the contracted schedule.

Having a platform where one can quickly log in and track the series of events including POs, goods delivery, and invoice issuance definitely makes light work for all involved.

Conclusion

A supplier portal integrated into your ERP will facilitate communication between procurement teams and suppliers in a safe and secure manner. Not to mention automating the supplier management process as well.

When sourcing in supply chain, procurement teams stand to benefit immensely when they use tools such as vendor portals to streamline operations.

If you’re looking for leading procurement software solutions look no further than ProcurePort. Trusted by enterprises and organizations such as UNOPS, HUD.GOV, and conEdison, our solutions are robust and intuitive.

To discuss procurement software with a consultant or to schedule a demo of our solutions, contact us today.

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