Boosting supply chain resilience and supplier relations

  • KJ Jita
  • Solutions
  • 2023
  • Customer Experience
March 16, 2023

Supply chain resilience: 2 workers in hard hats looking at a laptop in front of shipping containers

Supply chain business leaders around the world have been taking a close look at their resilience, agility, and supplier relationships. They’re saddled with a multitude of legacy systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain applications, and point solutions.

This combination results in a fragmented view of the supply chain and supplier relationships and ultimately leads to delays and elevated operating expenses that are passed on to customers. Smart organizations realize supply chain resilience and agility are related to how well their systems are connected and orchestrate work across the business. 

Assessing the supply chain landscape

To control costs, organizations are finding temporary solutions, such as hiring extra staff and adding manual processes to their source-to-pay cycle—spreadsheets, emails, instant messaging, paper, and phone calls. These workarounds don’t offer the robustness, consistency, and scalability needed for a smooth-running supply chain.

Despite heavy investments in ERP and related business-critical applications, companies aren’t meeting the demands of modern, omnichannel, got-to-have-it-now digital customers.

Centralizing and streamlining processes

To address that, organizations have started to modernize their procurement operations so they can onboard, manage, and collaborate with suppliers using procurement workflows and Amazon-like digital experiences.

By centralizing supply chain processes on a single platform of action and engagement that operates on top of all their business-critical systems of record, organizations can create workflows that connect various parts of the business.

This also helps orchestrate work electronically with real-time oversight across departments and systems. Organizations can repurpose teams to higher-value work by:

  • Capturing and automating repeatable, unstructured work

  • Shortening supplier onboarding and qualification cycle times with guided collaboration and configurable step-by-step playbooks

  • Improving compliance and contract utilization with centralized catalogs and end-to-end order automation

Simplifying supplier interactions

Self-service and omnichannel access through supplier-focused portals can simplify supplier interactions. Take supplier onboarding, for example. Getting suppliers through the legal, regulatory, financial, and procedural processes required to onboard them into the source-to-pay process is incredibly complex. It involves cross-functional teams in both the onboarding company and supplier companies.

Using automation, an integrated case management system and prebuilt playbooks accelerate these complex tasks, enabling teams to work together, in sequence, in an automated and flexible workflow.

The legal team can interact on the nondisclosure agreement and contractual needs. Finance can review and provide oversight. The governance, risk, and compliance team can facilitate risk and compliance reviews. Procurement can process contracts. Representatives from any other group can work together to rapidly and effectively onboard and manage suppliers.

Imagine an intuitive supplier collaboration portal that automatically walks suppliers through self-registering, logging in, and collaborating with their buyers. This means suppliers no longer must chase payments.

With processes formalized and automated, organizations can, for the first time, view the state, progression, and effectiveness of their supplier engagement process. 

Find out how ServiceNow helps organizations simplify supplier management and boost supply chain resilience.

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