Managing your relationships with suppliers via supplier relationship management (SRM) is one of the most effective ways of ensuring your organization can run at an optimal level. By enabling closer, more collaborative and efficient relationships with your main suppliers you can maximize the value for all parties involved. This can lead to the discovery of innovative future value as well as minimizing the risk of failure for your business.
Fast invoice payments, smooth procurement processes and transparent legal conditions mean your suppliers will want to work with you, save you any embarrassment due to delayed payments, and build their confidence in the relationship. And a positive, valuable relationship with suppliers leads to a more valuable service for your customers.
Here are three key ways to ensure that your relationships with suppliers are better than ever.
1. Become Partners
Any good relationship is based on trust and effective communication. It’s the same with your suppliers. To make sure you are both ‘on the same page’, you need to be honest with your expectations and how you communicate those expectations to your suppliers. By involving them in your processes they can better understand what they need to do to make the relationship more valuable and vice versa.
This ability to align with your suppliers, involving them in your procurement process makes it easier for both of you to be successful. Each party understands what they need to do to satisfy the other’s needs. Better collaboration makes it easier to spot potential barriers in advance, thus reducing risk. It can also lead to innovations in how you work together, making the process more efficient and effective in the future.
Just like in all good relationships, their success is your success.
2. Be Proactive With Your Processes
Reviewing your current process with suppliers is essential to finding ways to improve. Predictions and possibilities across the enterprise are changing and these changes affect your relationship with suppliers, too. To make sure your organization can identify procurement risk, see opportunity and improve approaches to the supply chain, you need to understand how your suppliers operate, along with the trends in your market.
This involves taking a proactive approach by analyzing available data, understanding market expectations for your business and how that will affect how you manage your relationships with suppliers.
Finding ways to improve the efficiency of your procurement processes—for instance, reducing and automating the steps involved—will allow you to be much more flexible when it comes to adjusting for changing circumstances.
3. Technology is the Key
Simplifying the procurement process with automated workflow solutions improves the efficiency of the supply chain and leads to more effective outcomes for your organization. The experience your organization and suppliers have with one another can be significantly improved with the introduction of sophisticated technology that speeds up your exchanges.
By using automated workflow technology to make these exchanges more streamlined and efficient, your organization can access what it needs faster, and suppliers understand exactly what they need to do and can plan better. Specifically, employees involved in the process can use the automated workflows to avoid repetitive tasks, reduce the potential for mistakes and turn their attention to tasks of much higher value.
Nintex Enhances Relationships With Suppliers
Let’s look at how Nintex can help your business take advantage of an automated supply process:
It’s important that your employees can carry out tasks quickly and proactively. For example, imagine one of your procurement team got held up in another appointment or area of the business and they needed to make an order with a supplier quickly before the end of the day.
The Old Days:
In the old days, they might already be sunk because of the protracted nature of an order process that involved printing off documents, filling in forms, and sending the paper documents around for review to wait for sign-off. They could kiss that deadline goodbye.
Today, with Nintex:
With the right automated workflow solution, they could open their digital order form template from their document management platform and complete it then and there.
In just one click it could be emailed to the right people for review, who themselves could make edits and adjustments, or click to approve, automatically sending the form to the next person in the workflow. At each point in this process, notifications are sent reminding the specific person that the form is waiting to be approved—this could be done directly from a link in their inbox and, once approved, is with the supplier in seconds. On top of that, if the supplier needed to add or approve the form, a DocuSign eSignature could be added to make the transaction official.
And the procurement team member’s blushes are spared!
By bringing together your internal processes and the processes with your suppliers, you can achieve even greater value for your customers. Integrating Nintex into your supplier relationship management can make sure your relationships with your suppliers are always the best they can be.
To learn more about how workflow automation can help your organization improve its relationships with suppliers, contact us today for a free trial.