As most procurement teams know, businesses have evolved from focusing on purchasing alone, to a more vendor-relationship focused approach. It’s been over 25 years since organizations first shifted focus onto business relationships with vendors.
The challenge in today’s option-heavy and marketing-saturated business world is picking the right approach to vendor management. There is no dearth of vendor management solutions out there today, and you can pick from a range of comprehensive procurement solutions too.
Before we get into a comprehensive solution vs. dedicated tool discussion, let’s start with a quick recap at the basics of Vendor Management Systems.
VMS systems are software suites that help businesses take care of processes involved in the end-to-end vendor management process, from initial contact to final closure of a deal or establishing a business relationship. Taking a modular approach, they usually have specific modules or apps that take care of processes like vendor onboarding or vendor payments.
Vendor management is key to the success of any procurement team, and using VMS systems does offer some benefits in this context. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
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Before picking a vendor management system, make sure the answer to each question given below, is a ‘yes’.
The system must make it possible for you to register vendors quickly and easily, use multilingual catalogs, and access vendor information instantly.
The ability to rate vendors using key performance metrics like policy compliance, delivery quality, timeliness, and more.
Giving vendors the ability to easily update their information, and get alerts on order and payment details.
Retrieve and verify supplier data like business reports, financial and credit risk data.
With sub-par supplier performance, initiate corrective action plans (SCAR) or offboard them
Let’s get this out of the way first: most procurement solutions don’t offer a scintillating set of features to set them apart from VMS, at least within the context of vendor management.
“So why even have this discussion, then?”
That’s because of disparate procurement apps and software, while effective at single tasks like (say) vendor onboarding, have a problem with unconnected data silos. For instance, an approved purchase request has to then be sent to the purchase order app, while a connected system like Kissflow Procurement Cloud can help approved PRs auto-trigger POs.
Managing vendors and their information in email or sheets make the vendor management process messy and inefficient. Some benefits of using a procurement solution to manage vendors as opposed to using emails or sheets, include:
An automated vendor management solution brings the best of cutting-edge procurement technology into the process. Procurement tools like Kissflow take things up a notch, threading the gaps between various procurement function-related data, and streamlining purchasing as a whole.
To settle any doubts you may still have, check out the free demo of Kissflow Procurement
Cloud and see how well it can suit your procurement team’s vendor management needs, and then some!
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