Every day, marketers and producers choose digital ways to streamline processes and increase revenue. Whether you use it for communication, inventory accuracy, or anything in between, technology improves the selling experience in many ways. One way to implement technological strategies into your business plan is through supplier enablement.
With supplier enablement, you can electronically connect suppliers to your business’s back-office systems. This process allows suppliers to access important documents like purchase orders or invoices. In turn, you can increase collaboration with your providers and streamline many supply chain processes.
There are many benefits of supplier enablement. From improved data accuracy to a reduction in costs, the process can ultimately improve the efficiency of your entire business.
Supplier enablement can:
- Save you money and time
- Quicken your onboarding process
- Increase Supply Chain Visibility
- Improve Your Process Efficiency
- Advance Your Data Accuracy
- Improve Your Shopping Experience
Continue reading to learn more.
You Can Save Money and Time
Standardized communication with your providers is often long and expensive. And the more providers you have, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of all communication. With supplier enablement, you can streamline many of these communicative processes and have more time to focus on other business aspects and reduce the risk of anything falling through the cracks.
Examples of cost savings with supplier enablement:
- Reduced sending costs: Your providers can instantly view important purchasing documents and files with supplier enablement. Instead of manually sending these documents, suppliers see your updates immediately without extra shipping costs. Manual sending costs can add up quickly, especially when you have many suppliers. With supplier enablement, these costs are reduced or removed entirely.
- Lower transaction processes: Supplier enablement allows you to connect with suppliers just as they connect with you. And if you use automatic payment processes, you reduce the risk of missing payments or underpaying your providers. The swift databases often calculate costs and invoices for you, so you also remove chances of costly human error.
Examples of how suppler enablement improves time efficiency:
- Automated or quick communication: The more communication you have with your supplier, the more accurate your shipments are likely to be. Manual communication, such as mailing paper invoices, takes extra time to reach your providers. If they have any confusion about your documents, solving the issue manually requires even more time. With instant access to supplier enablement, you can immediately resolve questions about shipping or costs and cut out extraneous time.
- Accelerated shipping: As a business, your biggest goal is likely to get your product in the hands of your consumers. With the improved communication of supplier enablement, your providers can ship products much faster. And the quicker you ship items to consumers or storefronts, the more satisfied your customers will be.
You Can Quicken the Onboarding Process
Onboarding your suppliers to your business supply chain is critical for your success. As you onboard new vendors, you increase your access to products and materials. You can expand your market offerings while also improving your collaborations with vendors.
However, supplier onboarding can sometimes be a complex and time-consuming practice.
Supplier onboarding typically consists of:
- Evaluating and approving your vendor: One of the first stages of supplier onboarding is evaluating potential providers. You want a supplier with many product options that align with your business. You should assess the vendor’s approval ratings to see how they’ve worked with other businesses in the past. Once you find a supplier that complements your standards and product desires, you can move forward with the process.
- Establishing expectations: Begin the onboarding process by communicating expectations. Both you and the vendor probably have expectations for the other, such as timeline standards or other policies. It’s best to set these boundaries at the beginning and to reach a finalized agreement before starting supply interactions.
- Creating a communication system: It’s up to you and your vendor to create a system of communication for your dealings. This is where the supplier onboarding process can become tricky. Without an efficient system, you might not be able to quickly update one another about order updates or calculations. But it’s sometimes challenging to settle on a communication system that works for both of you.
Supplier enablement allows you to streamline much of the onboarding process.
Once you find and evaluate your vendor, supplier enablement technology simplifies your communication methods. These technologies create a web-based vendor portal, where suppliers can view orders, create labels and send shipment information in seconds. Your communication system is essentially made for you. In turn, you can start processing orders and shipping products to consumers at a much faster pace.
You Can Increase Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain visibility helps you see your products as they move through the shipment process. You can improve your customer service with strong supply chain visibility by informing them of the exact location of their ordered item. With the right supplier enablement practices, you can make your supply chain visibility even more effective.
Here are more ways that supply chain visibility helps your business:
- Improved customer relations: Many customers order an item online or wait for a new in-store shipment. The best way to update them on these is with order tracking. By giving them the ability to see where their package is, customers feel safer about the transaction process. In turn, they feel more positive about your brand and are more likely to order from you again.
- Increased inventory accuracy: Keeping track of your inventory increases your order efficiency and customer satisfaction. With supply chain visibility, you can update inventory records with products’ exact locations. These updates keep your inventory organized and accurate for customers and workers.
- Reduced risk of lost items: Losing a shipment is bad for you and the customer — the customer has a negative buying experience, while you might lose revenue if the item is never found. With supply chain visibility, you know your product’s location at all times, minimizing the risk of losing it. Even if the item gets routed to the wrong place, the tracking allows you to find it and send it in the correct direction.
Supply chain visibility is crucial for your business, and supplier enablement only enhances it. Supplier enablement technology allows for an even more detailed view of your items’ shipping processes.
These are some other ways supplier enablement increases supply chain visibility:
- You can make quick and informed decisions: Supplier enablement technology gives you deeper insights into your products’ shipment processes. You can view essential analyses like shipment speeds and adjust as needed. For instance, if analysis reveals one of your shipping methods adds time to your sales, you can switch to a more efficient one. With these insights, you can make more informed decisions about what’s best for your product.
- You can view live updates on product movement: With supplier enablement, your provider becomes able to view and update shipments in real-time. Because of this, you have access to enhanced supply chain visibility updates. You can also communicate with your vendor quickly with any questions about a product’s status.
- You can relieve stress from your workers: Item tracking might fall solely on your employees if you don’t have supplier enablement capabilities. With enablement technology, you reduce the possibility of human error and streamline the entire tracking process, making it easier for your employees.
You Can Better Your Process Efficiency
The more efficient your business is, the more revenue you can generate. Business efficiency comes down to how well your output matches your input. In other words, you want your revenue to match the amount of labor and costs needed to produce your items. Companies should try to maximize their use of resources to get the most income.
Every step of a business sale can add extra costs if your processes are inefficient. Here are a few examples of efficiencies:
- Financial efficiency: The measure of how well a business converts its operations into revenue.
- Labor efficiency: The measure of how productive your employees are during business hours.
- Process efficiency: The measure of how smoothly your internal processes run.
Luckily, supplier enablement can improve your efficiency rates. By removing vendor-specific work processes and other manual activities, you streamline your entire business process. Supplier enablement allows you to create one workflow across every supplier, removing the hassle of separate documentation and processing.
Here is how supplier enablement can improve each of the above efficiency types:
- Improved financial efficiency: Supplier enablement provides streamlined communication for all vendors. By cutting back on extra shipping costs and communication processes, you save critical money. It also makes it easier to make payments and analyze invoices, making your financial records more accurate. Because supplier enablement improves your efficiency overall, you get products to store shelves and customers more quickly. You could experience a rise in total revenue with the right enablement software.
- Better labor efficiency: As mentioned earlier, enablement software can take some of the stress off of your employees. Once you train your employees about supplier enablement technology, they’ll feel at ease with the easy-to-use software. And because enablement streamlines the entire process, your employees can process orders and shipments much faster. Instead of paying overtime, transactions and invoices are processed in no time.
- Advanced process efficiency: With the advanced insights provided by enablement technology, you can view how efficient your overall workflow is. That way, if you find problems with order accuracy or shipment times, you can plan how to address these problems with your vendors. You’ll have constant access to your internal processes and can adjust them whenever you need them.
You Can Advance Your Data Accuracy
Data validation allows you to ensure your products are accounted for throughout every supply chain step. You can improve data validity with the right labeling system and data submissions. The software typically checks for things like:
- Compliance measures.
- Inventory errors.
- Supplier performance.
Once your data is submitted, your business can analyze your workflow and optimize it. In turn, your supply chain flow increases efficiency.
Usually, data validation is performed by validation software or scripting languages. But supplier enablement solutions provide data validation capabilities and often offer even more advanced analyses.
Here are more examples of how supplier enablement improves your data validity:
- Proactively address problems: Supplier enablement technology goes further than typical data validation. You and your vendor have access to data about all steps of the shipment process, from pre-shipment to delivery. If either of you spots an issue with a shipment, you can work on it together immediately. For instance, if you notice an item was labeled with the wrong quantity number, you can update it right away.
- Complete access to data analysis: With supplier enablement software, your data analysis is more extensive than typical validation systems. Supplier enablement software can inform you about data accuracy and location, as well as give you updates on things like timeliness and quality of data entry.
- Long-term viewing capabilities: It’s in a business’s best interest to keep data records long after a shipment concludes. That way, if you find inventory errors or want to analyze the previous workflow, you can refer to the data. Most enablement solutions allow you to access your data validation records indefinitely, so you never have to worry about losing access.
You Can Improve Your Shopping Experience
Lastly, one of the best benefits of supplier enablement is the enhanced shopping experience. Whether you’re a small startup or a massive chain, keeping customers happy is critical to your business success. With all the efficiency improvements of supplier enablement, you can deliver products as swiftly as possible.
Here are a few other ways supplier enablement enhances buying experiences:
- Accurate inventory counts: With supplier enablement technology, you can view and update inventory counts at any time. You can also keep track of moving inventory as it flows through the supply chain. This allows you to keep your store or website updated with the latest inventory counts. Accurate inventory eliminates the chance of a customer ordering an item out of stock and reduces cancellation rates and other order complications that will upset your consumers.
- Quick delivery times: The more efficient your supply chain is, the quicker your customers receive your products. Speedy delivery times keep customers happy and more likely to recommend you to friends.
- Transparency: The advanced tracking capabilities of supplier enablement helps you keep customers updated. You can provide them with detailed information about shipping estimates, which builds trust. When you create strong customer connections, it’s more likely they’ll become a repeat buyer.
Overall, if you’re seeking a way to improve the shopping experience for your customers, supplier enablement might be your answer.
TrueCommerce Can Help You Save Time and Money
At TrueCommerce, we understand the importance of business efficiency. Our supply chain solutions connect businesses with suppliers during every step of the process. Since 1994, we’ve helped businesses grow to their maximum capabilities.
Supplier enablement technology could be just what you need to upgrade your business strategy. Our supplier enablement options optimize your supply chain processes, saving you essential time and money. And our dedicated implementation team will guide you through each step of the process, maximizing your benefits.
Try a free TrueCommerce demo today to get started.