5 ways to improve your vendor onboarding process
Connecting your business to another is rarely a simple process and requires plenty of rigorous checks as well as an enduring commitment from each side of this partnership. This is a crucial stage in any business relationship, determining your ability to stock products and the overall quality of these wares. During onboarding, suppliers and retailers discuss their expectations of each other while providing relevant documentation to prove they can reliably conduct business with minimal risk. In this article, we look at five ways your company can improve the vendor onboarding process to build stronger partnerships and receive better deals in the process.
1. Figure out your exact requirements
It’s too common for companies to enter into a partnership without taking the time to fully figure out their own requirements – or those of their new business partner. This wastes time and money, especially if you’ll need to seek out another new vendor. You need to create a robust evaluation and approval strategy that your business can easily stick to when onboarding new partners. If any issues emerge during this process, make sure that you work to address them quickly, as they could easily affect the strength of your partnership or even the quality of your supplies.
2. Thoroughly compare the available vendors
The vendor onboarding process is often quite lengthy, and for good reason; comparing every vendor is the only way to make an informed decision. This goes beyond simply checking for the cheapest prices, you also need to examine each deal that’s available. You might also have to pay for quality to some degree, making it untenable to rely on the least expensive options. Don’t be afraid to take your time as this lets you compare these vendors much more thoroughly – and this could be the only way to make sure you get a good vendor.
3. Send approved vendors a welcome letter
A good way to finalise the onboarding process is to send them a summary which explains the key points of this partnership and how to send invoices and conduct business using accounts payable. This could also set out the dates your vendor can expect payment for their services. While this is information you likely already discussed during the actual onboarding, a welcome letter serves as a good written summary free of jargon. A letter could also show your commitment to the partnership and help to improve the rapport you build even further.
4. Offer online support to your vendors
Your vendor might have questions about your partnership at any stage; making it easy for them to get in touch helps to improve the partnership’s strength whilst letting each side address problems quickly. Developing clear channels for communication also lets you easily alert vendors to any order changes you have to make. A strong rapport allows you to benefit from better deals and high-quality supplies – something as simple as making sure your vendors can stay in touch might be very helpful. By staying connected, both sides could flourish and make the most of their partnership.
5. Use vendor onboarding software
Vendor onboarding software such as SAP’s enterprise resource planning solution could significantly streamline your collaborations with suppliers. This comprehensive management system has bespoke functionality, letting you design custom onboarding processes which better suit your business while also accommodating customer service. These applications also provide you with analytics to manage your partnership once the onboarding is complete, helping you stay one step ahead of your organisation’s future needs even if they change. By making the overall onboarding process simpler for everyone, both sides can hit the ground running and begin to assist one another much sooner.
A particularly useful software package compatible with SAP applications is Business Partner Experience or BPX, created by Bluestonex to simplify and enhance vendor onboarding for companies of all sizes. This helps you to build more efficient processes while developing your relationships with suppliers – BPX manages its data more effectively and can even extract the important details from any document. With a range of useful features and a user-friendly interface, it’s possible to onboard and authenticate vendors in just 15 minutes. To learn more about Business Partner Experience and how it could help you, contact Bluestonex today.