How Does a Supplier Portal Help Manufacturers Improve Their Procurement Process?

How Does a Supplier Portal Help Manufacturers Improve Their Procurement Process?

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Juggling purchase orders, managing quotations, chasing down invoices – these are just a few challenges your procurement team faces every day. Imagine the intensity of these procurement challenges with the traditional paper-based process. Things become chaotic and complicated not just for your procurement team but for the suppliers as well, giving enough room for errors and delays.

A supplier portal can streamline your procurement process while improving supplier management.

Understanding the Basics of a Supplier Portal

Also known as a vendor portal, it serves as a single point of contact for suppliers to connect and engage with you for the procurement process. They can easily make bids and proposals, share relevant documents, view purchase orders, submit quotes, and send invoices electronically.

You, on the other hand, can easily send out purchase orders, manage approvals, and access real-time reports on your spending. In simple words, a supplier portal is a great asset with features and functionalities that simplify the various aspects of procurement and manage business-supplier relationships.

5 Ways a Supplier Portal Streamlines Procurement Process

How Does a Supplier Portal Help Manufacturers

1. Automate Repetitive Tasks

The procurement process includes a lot of tasks from onboarding a vendor or supplier, managing quotes, creating contracts, tracking ongoing orders, and generating invoices to approving the payment. Each one is crucial and requires careful attention. One mistake and the entire procurement will bring a significant loss to you and the supplier. 

A supplier portal eliminates these time-consuming tasks by automating them. Once you create a purchase order in the portal, it’s automatically sent to the supplier electronically. They can then review it, accept it, and send you back an electronic confirmation, all within the portal. This not only saves you hours of manual work but also eliminates the risk of errors caused by manual data entry.

2. Enhanced Buyer-Supplier Communication

Your suppliers and vendors would have endless queries on their purchase orders, invoices, and other activities related to procurement. Managing multiple vendors and solving these issues over phone calls or emails is no less than a headache for your accounts payable team. Moreover, traditional communication channels don’t have any means to track this communication, leading to misunderstandings or disputes in the future. 

Supplier portals ensure that you and your suppliers are always on the same page. It breaks down these barriers by facilitating real-time communication between you and your suppliers. Both parties can access the same platform to view purchase orders, track order status updates, and exchange messages. This adds transparency and visibility to the entire process. 

Also Read: 5 Tips to help overcome Procurement Challenges in 2024

3. Fast Invoice and Payment Processing

Incorrect invoices and delays in payment processing have significant and far-reaching impacts on both you and the supplier. It strains the relationship, making it challenging for suppliers to work with you in the future. The impact is much greater! Non-compliance with tax regulations, order delays, and disputes. 

A supplier portal centralizes the entire process and streamlines the communication between the finance and procurement departments for quick verification and approval. On the other hand, suppliers get the ease to submit invoices directly from the portal and check everything happening on the invoices and payments. It means there’s less room for delays and disputes whereas suppliers get quick confirmation.

4. Efficient Delivery Schedules Management

Imagine your order getting delayed, what amount of impact would it have on your business? Production would halt down, inventory shortage, revenue loss, and delayed delivery to the customers. There’s a ripple effect of this one incident, making delivery schedule management a key step in the procurement process. 

A supplier portal solves this challenge too by giving centralized access to delivery schedules to both suppliers and you. Suppliers can virtually confirm the delivery deadlines and quantities from the portal itself. If anything is causing a delay in delivery or there is a change in order requirements or deadlines, everything can be quickly notified from the portal.

5. Supplier Management

One of the crucial steps in procurement is collecting suppliers’ information. From contact details, certifications, product catalogs, and financial and risk profiles, to compliance documentation, there’s a lot to collect and evaluate. Instead of maintaining the supplier’s information in various Excel sheets and systems, use a supplier portal.  

It offers self-service capabilities to vendors allowing them to upload their information and documents directly through the portal. It can even automatically validate and standardize their information against predefined criteria, saving you time on evaluation.

Conclusion

Your business works with hundreds or even thousands of suppliers every year for various procurement needs. Not adopting the technology will keep you buried in the manual challenges of the process, impacting your bottom line and profitability.

On the other hand, investing in the best supplier portal for procurement in the manufacturing industry saves you from operational as well as cost reduction challenges.

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