How Executives Can Leverage Supplier Relationship Management Solutions

Supplier Relationship Management Solution

In order to remain competitive and cost-effective, modern organizations must ensure seamless and efficient operations from identifying potential service providers and materials, to overseeing purchasing and payment processes. Companies of all sizes and industries increasingly rely on technology-enabled supplier relationship management solutions to streamline the entire source-to-pay process and optimize performance across an organizations financial operations. The right solution can enable procurement departments to take advantage of the newest, most efficient tools on the market and help inform senior decision-makers, enabling executives of finance departments to make informed, timely decisions that get the most value from each transaction.

Introducing Supplier Relationship Management Solutions

Supplier relationship management (SRM) software is designed to help organizations of all sizes automate and optimize procurement activities. SRM solutions enable users to rapidly take action through robust suite of integrated financial tools, including:

? Purchase Order (PO) creation and management. Automated purchasing, e-invoicing, and management of PO cycles and other invoicing processes are streamlined, significantly reducing the time and effort required to initiate and manage orders.

? Vendor and supplier management. SRM solutions can offer advanced vendor and supplier management capabilities, providing detailed information on vendor pricing, performance, and financial records.

? Contract and document management. Robust contracts and other documents support the establishment and maintenance of supplier relationships, while automating approvals simplify and accelerate the time-consuming process.

? Specialized pricing and analytics. Automated pricing and analytics enable actionable insights into current and potential supplier relationships, with the ability to make pricing more effective and efficient.

? Seamless integration with existing systems. SRM solutions integrate with variety of existing platforms, making it easier to manage and track supplier information.

Evaluating Your Source-To-Pay Needs

An SRM solution enables procurement team to take control of the source-to-pay process. Before selecting solution, however, it is important for an executive in the finance department to consider their specific needs. What are the key features and functionality you are seeking? To ensure success, you should ask yourself the following questions:

? Are you looking for one-time solution or an ongoing solution?

? Does the solution integrate with existing financial and enterprise systems?

? Does your financing team need advanced analytics for pricing and performance?

? Does the solution offer comprehensive solution or are specific features or services important?

? Does the solution include detailed reporting and forecasting capabilities?

? Are customersupport and training available as part of the solution?

? Does the solution offer full integration with invoice management and e-invoicing systems?

Make sure that you thoroughly evaluate your source-to-pay (STP) needs and identify the features that would most beneficial to your specific organization.

Choosing the Right SRM Solution

Once you have identified your source-to-pay needs, you can begin the process of selecting an SRM solution. Take the time to review providers, their capabilities, and any references that they provide. You will also want to look for provider that has the following attributes:

? commitment to customerservice and satisfaction.

? Advanced technological capabilities (e.g., advanced analytics, integrated reporting, etc.).

? Easy-to-use dashboard and system configuration.

? Robust data security and data privacy protocols.

? Scalability and features that meet your future needs.

? Durable partnerships with other technology companies and vendors.

? Comprehensive training and support for users.

? Accessibility to customization and integration with existing systems.

Implementing and Maintaining Your SRM Solution

Once you have selected an SRM solution, you will need to make sure that you have the right resources in place to make sure it is running effectively and efficiently. This includes not only the technology resources to get the system up and running, but also trained personnel to maintain it. The right solution should include training and support for users, as well as technology best practices and processes to ensure optimal performance on an ongoing basis.

The right SRM solution can help your organization manage, maintain, and improve supplier relationships, while ensuring the seamless management of the source-to-pay process. By understanding your needs, selecting the right solution, and allocating the proper resources and personnel, an executive in the finance department can ensure success and create long-term value for the organization.