Direct materials procurement teams must be on the same page as their suppliers. For many, that means managing relationships with dozens of companies—each of which has its own methods of communicating and processing orders. Buyers must manage direct materials purchase orders (POs) from beginning to end while navigating many disparate systems.
This makes it incredibly difficult for buyers and suppliers to work closely and strategically. Communication is spotty at best as teams look for missed or delayed emails. And information has to constantly be transferred between documents or systems. All this manual work eats up time and leaves no room for strategic conversations about performance and profitability.
The world of direct materials supply chain is faster-paced than ever, and customer demand has never been greater. Leaders and buyers must be able to work quickly and accurately alongside suppliers, no matter how those suppliers choose to work. This is true supply chain collaboration, and it’s the SourceDay Specialty.
The Benefits of Supply Chain Collaboration
A truly collaborative environment produces myriad benefits. Let’s take a look at some.
Efficient Communication: Collaborative relationships facilitate efficient communication and information sharing. Clear communication channels enable faster responses to changes in demand, order adjustments, or production schedules. This agility ensures that the supply chain can adapt quickly to market fluctuations, reducing lead times and enhancing overall responsiveness.
Risk Mitigation: Collaborating with suppliers allows direct materials buyers to gain insights into their suppliers’ operations, vulnerabilities, and potential risks. This enables proactive risk mitigation strategies to be developed and executed, ensuring a more stable supply of critical materials. By understanding the challenges faced by suppliers, buyers can collectively work to create contingency plans that minimize disruptions caused by unforeseen events such as natural disasters, geopolitical issues, or supply chain disruptions.
Cost Reduction: True supply chain collaboration makes it possible to identify opportunities to reduce costs across the supply chain. By sharing insights on cost drivers, production processes, and efficiency improvements, buyers and suppliers can jointly identify areas where costs can be trimmed without compromising quality. This may involve streamlining processes, optimizing transportation, or finding alternative materials that offer cost savings.
Supplier Development: Collaborative relationships provide a platform for supplier development. Buyers can work closely with suppliers to help them improve their capabilities, quality standards, and operational efficiency. This can result in long-term benefits for both parties as suppliers become more reliable and competitive, contributing to the success of the buyer’s business.
Okay, so what does true supply chain collaboration look like?
We’re so glad you asked. At SourceDay, we know a thing or two about buyers and suppliers. Here’s one thing we know for sure: buyers must meet suppliers where they are and work closely together on orders as well as strategic initiatives that boost performance and profitability.
Most suppliers rely primarily on email for their workflows. Some might use an EDI solution, and others may work in a supplier portal. With SourceDay, buyers use the solution to manage every order, while suppliers can work in any way they choose. Here’s a look at what we mean:
For suppliers who choose to stick with email, the process is super simple. First, setup requires a single click and about three minutes. This eliminates one of the key hurdles for supply chain collaboration: convincing a supplier to implement and adopt a new solution.
Once the quick setup is complete, then the real fun begins. When a buyer creates a PO in the ERP, SourceDay automatically delivers it via email. From that email, the supplier clicks through to the PO, which opens in the cloud. From that browser window, the supplier can send acknowledgments and manage changes throughout the lifecycle of the PO. And each time a new update is made, the supplier receives an email notification with the option to click through and work on the order. Suppliers also receive due date and other important reminders right to their inbox.
BUT! By far the most effective way to develop strong supply chain collaboration between buyers and suppliers is for everyone involved to adopt the SourceDay solution. It starts with world-class customer onboarding, training, and support from the SourceDay Customer Success team via live support and on-demand training videos. Buyers and suppliers have real-time access to performance metrics and insights, fostering strategic conversations that boost performance and strengthen business relationships.
Real-time visibility makes it possible to identify unconfirmed POs, late items, or unexpected changes to pricing or due dates. POs are managed by exception, with notifications delivered for each message or order update. Vouchering is automatic, eliminating steps that often result in payment delays.
The One-Two Combo For Supply Chain Collaboration
- With SourceDay, buyers get a consolidated workflow that puts every order, update, and message in one place. SourceDay automates the entire PO process, ensuring information stays up-to-date, the ERP is always accurate, and every stakeholder can see the status of every order at any time.
- Suppliers get the flexibility to work in any way that makes sense for them. If they prefer an email approach, SourceDay lets them keep their workflow. If they prefer EDI or to adopt the SourceDay solution, those are available, too.
Only SourceDay brings buyers and suppliers together, regardless of how disparate their workflows might be. When we say supply chain collaboration, we mean everyone works smoothly together without the needless hassles, everyone has access to the same accurate information, and teams can communicate about strategic initiatives that will reduce costs while boosting on-time delivery and customer satisfaction. Welcome to the new world. Welcome to SourceDay.
Ready to learn more about what SourceDay can do for your buyer-supplier partnerships? Drop us a line here and we’ll get you going.