According to Spend Matters, a recent survey found that 60% of supplier respondents had to log on to 10 or more supplier portals every month; 10% log on to more than 50. And, 40% said that portals had increased (rather than reduced) their department’s workload.
The supplier portal landscape is crowded. There are so many portals available that suppliers are suffering from supplier portal fatigue! Companies are desperate to find a software solution that creates transparency between buyers and suppliers in every stage of an order’s lifecycle. But, with the plethora of portals available, why are suppliers and buyers still struggling to manage orders?
We’ve uncovered the top 3 reasons supplier portals fail.
1. Supplier Drop-Off
When customers adopt a new supplier portal, suppliers have to learn how to use the new system. On paper, this sounds great. The portal syncs with your ERP, there’s increased data transparency and its free for the supplier!
In reality, some suppliers and buyers spend a significant amount of time learning new portals only to see minimal changes in their daily workload. Because most supplier portals are complicated to use, users often resort back to their old manual processes for their work. Even after adopting a portal, tasks such as invoice matching and invoice processing are still completed manually through email and paper checks.
Learning a new portal is a big change and its not always worthwhile for suppliers! Suppliers are asked to work with so many ERP specific portals that it’s difficult to keep track of logins and passwords. Learning an entirely new system for one customer, who may order once or twice a year, is not a worthy investment.
2. Supplier Onboarding & Maintenance
The design, logic, and upkeep of a supplier portal is ultimately tasked to the buyer’s IT department. Without customer service teams available, IT departments become the primary source of training and help for suppliers using a new portal. It’s not uncommon for buyers to work with thousands of suppliers. With supplier turnover, IT departments don’t have the time to work year-round onboarding new users and answering a never-ending stream of support questions. Needless to say, adding a new supplier portal is an IT nightmare.
3. Management Fatigue
Integrating a supplier portal can take months. The portal needs to sync with the ERP, staff needs to be trained, and both the buyer and supplier need to be on the same page. Without the right technology partner, this involved process can mean a slow time to value. Some portals require significant training because they’re hard to use. If staff is unable to easily use the portal and get their workflow running smoothly, there’s no value in spending the money. So management is often skeptical about supplier portal projects unless there is a clear and defensible ROI.
Unlike legacy supplier portals, SourceDay is ERP agnostic. Our software can connect with any ERP system through one unified platform. In other words, you can throw out your sticky note full of supplier portal passwords. With SourceDay, you can manage all of your suppliers or buyers in one platform with real-time, easy to read data and PO status updates in the form of push notifications.
SourceDay automates routine tasks such as invoice matching or PO collaboration and frees users to focus on bigger issues and higher-level strategy. With access to support staff and an easy cloud-integration process, SourceDay provides a clear ROI quickly. Our training and support services make SourceDay adoption a simple process for all users; suppliers have a resource to go to for all questions and buyer-side IT departments are free to focus on their own internal needs. We recently spoke with an Account Representative from Global Manufacturer SMC to hear about his experience adopting SourceDay and learning the platform in only an hour.
Trying to dig deeper? The SourceDay sales team joined the conversation and weighed in on what causes supplier portals to fail. Learn more on the topic in the full webinar.