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Although many organisations are now taking advantage of online tools to automate their supplier onboarding process, there are still a vast number using a combination of forms and excel spreadsheets to onboard their suppliers.
Any change within a business can be daunting, however the benefits of automation really do outweigh the negatives.
Here are 5 reasons to consider using an online tool:
One of the biggest benefits of onboarding online, is the auditability it affords businesses’.
Being able to show that your business follows a well-thought out process, where suppliers are sufficiently vetted, can act like an insurance policy if something goes wrong. Of course accidents happen, so in order to avoid any reputational damage or costly fines, it is essential that businesses are able to show the thought-process that has gone into approving a supplier, as well as the people who have been involved in a decision.
Using an online tool will allow you to clearly show: all supplier information, how they have been scored, who they have been approved by and when, as well as storing all communication.
Every business will have staff who are ‘uncontactable’ at some point, whether due to holiday, sickness or staff turnover. If valuable information about your supply chain is stored in their inbox (or just in their heads!) then this can cause real issues when trying to understand why certain decisions have been made. Onboarding via the right online tool means that all information is stored in one easily available location, and that access can be given to the right people when they need it. Our tool, SIM Dojo clearly shows the status of each supplier so that you can clearly identify what stage they are at in the onboarding process.
Managing communication with hundreds of suppliers can be time consuming. The right online tool will allow you to invite multiple suppliers to onboard at once, as well as sending out reminder emails to them automatically, so you don’t have to.
Not all suppliers carry the same level of risk, and therefore not all suppliers need to be onboarded in exactly the same way. Often onboarding forms can be cumbersome with questions that are not relevant to all suppliers. Many onboarding tools will give you the ability to select which questions each supplier is asked, to ensure that your process is targeted and appropriate. In SIM Dojo, hosts can choose to send each supplier as many separate questionnaires as they like. Each questionnaire may also include dynamic questions that will only show based on specific answers.
Although most businesses have some sort of onboarding process in place, without a tool it can be difficult to keep track of documents and to ensure that the data held on suppliers, stays up to date. Many businesses using traditional onboarding methods will ask suppliers to provide information once and then not ask for this to be updated for many years (if ever!). There are obvious compliance issues with this, as just because a supplier held the right certificates 10 years ago, does not mean that they still do.
An automated process to remind suppliers to update out of date documents, or to complete the whole process again after two or three years, adds in an extra layer of checks to ensure that your supply-chain is operating safely and ethically.
So those are some reasons it’s worth looking at how you conduct your onboarding! If this is something you’d like to talk to us about or you’d like to see a demo of our simple and effective onboarding tool, SIM Dojo, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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