Often, organizations work with many external partners. These vendors can either be established firms or individual freelancers which help supply you with materials, services and other resources. It is important that organizations maintain a good relationship with their vendors as it means they save on costs, get quality resources and are able to establish competitive pricing for your business. When you partner with a new vendor, their experience with your organization should be enriched and fulfilling. If they have to fill a boatload of forms just to be approved by your organization, I don’t think they will appreciate doing business with you. It is important to verify credentials of yours vendors, but that does not mean keeping your vendors waiting while the paperwork is processed.

Automating this process ensures that your vendor approval process becomes an efficient and streamlined version of itself. The waiting period is shaved off by more than half without compromising on security. Below, we discuss the benefits that automation brings to this process.

1. Efficient process => happy vendors

In most companies, vendor approval is a manual process which means that the process can take several days or even weeks. This is because vendor information has to be approved by several stakeholders. When the process is paper based, it involves typing out a new contract, printing out copies that are then sent to stakeholders for approval. Also, if there are any errors, the entire process has to be repeated. Further adding background and quality checks complicates the paper / email trail. When automation is introduced in the process, users get access to a number of tools that help streamline and expedite this process. Organizations can share a simple form with vendors in which they can fill all relevant information about them. This form can then be shared with the approving authorities in parallel, who can easily review the information contained in it and take relevant actions. This reduces the approval process from days and weeks to mere minutes, or at most, a few hours.

2. Latest data available in real time

One major issue in a paper based process is that data migration and updation is dependent on manual effort. This makes data susceptible to errors. Approvals can also be delayed if they are dependent on this data as it is nearly impossible to have latest data available. When you automate the process, you can let go of all your data related worries. Data is captured from the forms and standardized automatically. Errors are removed at the point of entry using field level validations. This data can also be used to generate custom reports which makes use of real time analytics to include the latest data in reports. Real time analytics also helps in the approval stage as decision makers get access to latest data at their fingertips. For example incase you have a third party vendor with an impeccable track record with respect to the product supplying, based on the past data collected, you might approach him first which developing a new product.

3. Progress that can be easily tracked

Another shortcoming of traditional, that is to say paper based, approach to a business process is the absence of any tracking mechanism. The only method available is to manually follow-up with people involved. Needless to say that it is taxing and not very fruitful either. With no mechanism to track task progress, it is not possible to identify the cause of any delays. Automating the process gives you access to a dedicated task progress mechanism which helps you easily monitor the stage at which a task is in real time. Vendors can also be notified of task progress via SMS or email notifications.

Vendor approval is an important business process as this is the first insight a vendor gets into the inner workings of your organization. What do you want him to see- a number of employees working without coordination using outdated communication channel and immense workloads resulting in delays? Or, a workplace where efficiency is a way of life. Choice is yours. If you decide to go for the second option, contact IBISM. We will be happy to help you with any doubts you might have and also provide you a free demo.

Published on May 23, 2018