As a sourcing professional, attracting diverse suppliers who meet your necessary RFx requirements can be challenging when leveraging primarily manual processes such as organising paper-based RFPs, tracking disparate emails, filing scattered documents and individually reviewing bids for diversity qualifications.  While you might find a suitably diverse supplier base, they may lack in other crucial requirements.  Without a suitable eSourcing software solution, sourcing a product or service that meets your diversity and functionality requirements can prove difficult.  Leading-edge eSourcing tools can help you optimise supplier diversity.

Executive summary

Sourcing professionals can find it difficult to acquire and maintain supplier diversity without the proper digital processes in place.  Fortunately, leading eSourcing software can help you maintain a supplier base that meets your diversity and functionality requirements by:

  • assessing prospective suppliers with preconfigured rules and diversity evaluations
  • tracking awarded suppliers’ diversity certifications in the post-award contract management stage
  • centralising suppliers’ information in custom vendor records
  • allowing for correspondence with vendors via a centralised and secure collaboration portal
  • enabling sourcing professionals to report on supplier diversity with real-time data.

Supplier diversity and post-award contract tracking

When advertising an RFP for a product or service, gathering prospective quality bids can prove challenging – especially with the added element of supplier diversity.  Moreover, tracking the contract expiry dates of a range of diverse suppliers can prove challenging – especially when individually configuring calendar notifications in a decentralised workflow system.

Thankfully, leading eSourcing software users can preconfigure evaluation factors for prospective vendors.  This scoring can automatically populate your most suitable supplier candidates to the top of your list of prospective vendors.

Centralised vendor collaboration

Organising bids from prospective vendors, tracking current vendors and communicating with suppliers across media and storage locations can make it difficult to keep control of your supplier management processes.  When you need to ensure a vendor’s diversity certification status or other crucial information, relying on disparate files in shared drives, email correspondence, phone calls and paper-based RFPs can make finding pertinent information under time constraints quite difficult.

Fortunately, leading-edge e-sourcing software can centralise vendor communications with the ability to track vendors from the initial registration through post-award contract details.  With the help of a highly secure vendor collaboration portal, you can interact with prospective vendors in a safe and centralised location where you can answer questions, review prospective vendors, rate vendors based on pre-established scoring details, set deadlines for final question submissions, award vendors directly, notify awarded vendors via email through an integrated MS Outlook plugin and seamlessly begin a new contract workflow within a centralised vendor record.

Supplier diversity reporting

In addition to the wholesome motive of advancing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion – you may also need to meet specific supplier diversity goals to receive grants, attract budget increases, maximise tax incentives and receive additional funding.  When stakeholders require specific supplier diversity data – including the percentage of your current diverse suppliers and their different types of supplier diversity certifications – disparate data locations can slow response times and, unfortunately, lead to missed opportunities.

Luckily, sourcing professionals can leverage an eSourcing software solution to create reports on virtually any field within a vendor record.  Supplier diversity data can be displayed in a visually engaging executive graphical dashboard that can showcase supplier diversity data in real-time – leaving you fully equipped to present data effectively to stakeholders at the drop of a hat.  Should an unexpected opportunity arise, you can leverage readily available data that can be shared with stakeholders virtually within seconds – especially with the ability to speedily export data into easily accessible spreadsheets. 

Diversify your supplier portfolio with Contract Insight®

Contract Insight – the award-winning, trusted, fully integrated eSourcing software solution from Four – streamlines sourcing and solicitation processes with reduced friction, optimal governance and heightened transparency from sourcing to post-award contract management. 

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document managementprocurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.