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Supplier Management

The Importance of Strategic Supplier Onboarding

A lot of our suppliers tell us, when we reach out to them to ask how it’s going, that no one’s ever asked them that before.

-Christine McAvoy, Director of Customer Success at SourceDay

For any company, the ROI associated with technology ultimately comes down to adoption. It doesn’t matter if the users are internal or external; the value of the platform is tied to their use. Of course, that starts with getting users into the system—and when those users are suppliers, the onboarding process determines whether you achieve process transformation or see continued operational challenges.

In a recent webinar, three members of the SourceDay team, Tom Kieley, Clint McRee, and Christine McAvoy, came together to discuss the advantages of supplier portals for information and performance management. The benefits to the business and their suppliers are clear, but suppliers have to be willing and able to use the system.

SourceDay’s supplier onboarding process has always been one of the keys to our customers’ success, and it was a focus from the beginning. As Clint McRee, our COO, explained in the webinar, “When we started SourceDay, we knew we had to surround the software with a managed services division for user adoption, and most of that work is focused on supplier adoption.”

How Does SourceDay Ensure That All Suppliers are Successfully Onboarded?

By Automating What We Can

Each new customer has their own list of suppliers. Through a combination of people and automation, we reach out to those suppliers to start the process of onboarding. Automation and platform workflows handle the majority of the onboarding effort, and then the customer success team handles the ‘last mile’ to ensure success and adoption. The process works on the same principle that SourceDay does—most of the transactions, or in this case, suppliers, are handled through automation. This leaves far more time for the team to handle ‘exceptions,’ the suppliers that require a bit more support or who have questions about the process.

Providing White Glove Treatment

In most cases, suppliers that are hesitant or have concerns just want to do a good job. They don’t want to fall behind, and they certainly want to make sure they meet their customer’s expectations. Sometimes the suppliers that have the most questions are also the fastest adopters—they spread the word, help their team, and play an important role in the relationship going forward. Every supplier situation is unique. The key is onboarding suppliers quickly and then making sure they are as independent as they want to be.

And, Sometimes, by Not ‘Onboarding’ Suppliers at All

For most new customers, 50% to 75% of their suppliers are already using SourceDay. Not only does that mean they don’t need training or assistance, it means they can manage that company’s transactions using their current login. The more of a supplier’s customers that manage their POs through SourceDay, the easier it is for that supplier to keep order and company information up to date. 

Supplier Portals for Better Supplier Collaboration and Adoption

In this on-demand webinar, a panel of our experts explore why traditional supplier portals fail, and how SourceDay provides a unique, two-way communication portal for better collaboration.

Your Suppliers are Stakeholders, Too

It is critical for procurement to understand the importance of the supplier experience, starting with onboarding. Instead of looking at a supplier as someone that just sends parts or provides services, procurement should see them as stakeholders. CEO Tom Kieley spoke to this point directly during the webinar, “[Suppliers’] success equates to our customer’s success, which is why we exist. Without suppliers, who would have a successful business?” 

There are over 10,000 suppliers leveraging SourceDay today. Each of them was successfully onboarded and is now able to manage their customers’ needs efficiently and transparently. 

Business is constantly changing, and suppliers change with it. Onboarding is not a one-time event, but an ongoing practice that has to be managed well for the sake of buy-side companies and their suppliers.

Watch the full webinar, ‘Supplier Portals for Better Supplier Collaboration and Adoption,’ on demand to learn more about how SourceDay provides a unique, two-way communication portal for better collaboration. Ready to improve your supplier collaboration? Request a demo with our team today to get started. 

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