Managing vendors with manual and disparate processes such as spreadsheets, phone calls, emails, and paper-based filing systems can prove challenging.  Without a centralised electronic process, vendor management workflow bottlenecks can significantly decrease your organisation’s profitability.  Fortunately, leading-edge vendor management software can help increase your vendor profitability by leveraging cost-saving vendor management best practices.  Read on to discover three vendor management best practices you can implement immediately to help increase your organisation’s ROI.

Executive Summary

From communicating with prospective vendors to ensuring contractual compliance after awarding a vendor your business, you carry tremendous responsibility within your department and your organisation to reduce costs and increase profitability.  Without a centralised and streamlined electronic vendor management software system, you can encounter unnecessary vendor management bottlenecks that can decrease your bottom line.  Discover how leading vendor management software can enable you to:

  1. Garner Cost-Effective Vendors With Competitive Bidding Oversight
  2. Maximize Vendor Value With Trackable Contract Lifecycle Management
  3. Mitigate Vendor Risk & Anticipate Opportunities With Robust AI.

1. Garner Cost-Effective Vendors With Competitive Bidding Oversight

Finding cost-effective and competitive vendors that meet your necessary criteria can prove challenging without a centralised system in place.  Manual vendor request processes, such as emails and phone calls, can delay vendor sourcing and inadvertently exclude competitive vendors.  You can’t afford to waste time and resources with such delays, especially when gathering pertinent information to ensure vendor collaboration security and optimise your vendor’s supply chain turnaround.

Fortunately, vendor managers can leverage a user-friendly vendor registration gateway portal to streamline vendor requests and registration.  Leading vendor management software enables interaction with third-party vendors through a vendor collaboration portal that centralises RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, bid advertisements, bid awards, configurable vendor response ratings and scorecards, bid communications with the ability to attach virtually unlimited documents and more – yielding unparalleled bid oversight for optimally profitable vendor selection.  Vendor managers can award and correspond with vendors by integrated email via a low-friction MS Outlook Plugin – centralising communications.

Vendor management software can streamline your vendor registration processes by allowing you to simply share a link with your vendor so they can fill out all necessary information within their centralised vendor record – including vendor commodity codes – allowing you more time to focus on your vendor management profitability.  Should a contract need to be drafted, negotiated, signed, and tracked, this may be seamlessly integrated within a vendor record.

2. Maximise Vendor Value With Trackable Contract Lifecycle Management 

When coordinating contractual elements separately from your vendor record, such as mailing paper-based documents with wet signatures and sending scanned documents via email, you can be frustrated by stakeholder miscommunications and purchasing delays.  Relying on antiquated processes to track vendors with methods such as spreadsheets and non-trackable communications can increase the risk of human error – yielding more repair costs.  When managing various vendors with ranging contracts, COIs, DBE certifications, and other pertinent documents, you cannot afford to place your organisation at risk due to inadvertent compliance violations.

Fortunately, leading-edge vendor management software can help solve these issues by allowing contract creation directly from a vendor record, which can streamline and centralise the contract lifecycle management (CLM) process.  The entirety of contract lifecycle processes from requests to renewals can be seamlessly integrated within a vendor record – including rapid approvals and speedy eSignatures. 

With CLM integration, you can virtually ensure that vendors and assets comply with agreed-upon expectations, including budget parameters, until your vendor contract requires renewal – in which case robust vendor management software can notify necessary stakeholders.

Vendor management software allows you to track impending expirations for COIs, DBE certifications, contracts, and other documents.  To track vendors and important key dates, vendor managers can receive automated notifications to effectively communicate with stakeholders in a timely fashion.  When needing to maintain or increase supplier diversity, robust vendor management software can trigger notifications to all necessary stakeholders to ensure diversity certifications, including DBEs, are renewed prior to expiration.  Such anticipatory reminders can help maintain the remuneration your organisation incurs for continuing its relationship with certain incentive-driving organisations, including disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs).

Moreover, vendor management software can make COI tracking (Certificate of Insurance tracking) essentially effortless.  Rather than wasting time manually sifting through vendor records for Certificate of Insurance expiration dates, Contract Insight contract management software proffers COI tracking and automated alerts to all necessary stakeholders – reducing organisational risk and virtually ensuring vendor compliance accountability.

Leading vendor management software allows for data within vendor records to be reported on, displayed in executive graphical dashboards, and exported into spreadsheet formats – for increased vendor tracking and transparency.  With such low friction and seamlessly integrated functionalities, you can achieve optimal vendor oversight – empowering you with robust and visually engaging information to enhance your vendor management revenue strategy.

3. Mitigate Vendor Risk and Anticipate Opportunities with Robust AI

Pulling vendor data from various platforms, including spreadsheets and paper-based files, can significantly delay your vendor risk management processes.  Without centralising vendor information, you can increase unwarranted risk and overlook vendor compliance standards.

Luckily, a centralised vendor management dashboard can provide a holistic view of vendor data – including key dates and risk assessments concerning compliance standards. Risk and risk exposure can be comprehensively and easily managed with the help of artificial intelligence with machine learning – such as VISDOM®, Contract Insight’s industry-leading AI engine.  Additionally, when needing to renew your vendor contracts, artificial intelligence can support contract renewal improvement areas with detailed reporting for increased overall ROI.

Fortunately, vendors and prospective vendors may be assessed and updated with a risk score in real-time.  Vendor management software allows you to make more informed decisions when working with prospective vendors and holding current vendors accountable to contract compliance standards.

Leading vendor management software can also help you visualise and measure vendor contract risk variables.  With the help of a risk assessment matrix, you can use statistical data analysis to identify negative, neutral or positive facts about vendor contracts within your vendor management software to help increase cost-cutting vendor management best practices.

CobbleStone Software offers a risk assessment matrix to help mitigate and manage vendor risk.

You can also enable message alerts, as mentioned prior, to notify you if a vendor’s contract incurs a value of X% greater than the average contract within your vendor management software database.  Such robust artificial intelligence empowers you to make highly strategic decisions to help increase your organization’s overall vendor revenue.

Decrease Vendor Costs With Contract Insight – Vendor Management Software from Four

Ward off underperforming vendors and attract revenue-driving vendors by implementing vendor management best practices with the help of leading-edge vendor management software.  Streamline your vendor processes with an end-to-end vendor management software platform. 

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 Finance, Supply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.