Regardless of whether you are a local utility or large commercial property management firm, you need to get the most out of your prospective supplier database and one of the most effective ways is to implement public vendor registration.
Keep in mind that a public registration for prospective suppliers is not the same as on-boarding a supplier… Rather, this approach is used for capturing an initial collection of vendor information. Once a vendor is selected, then they would go through a more stringent on-boarding process prior to awarding a contract.
Based upon my experience working with all types of companies, here are the top 6 reasons to implement public vendor registration:
1. Gives the company a ready pool of potential suppliers
This one seems obvious doesn’t it? But, let’s face it, many purchases are infrequent and often start with a research project to identify possible vendors. Rather than searching through incomplete lists of past vendors, with a public vendor registration portal, you can easily create a centralized database of potential vendors for anything. This in turn helps minimize the sourcing process and decrease the time to award.
2. Consistently capture relevant information in retrievable format
With a public registration process, you can setup online forms so vendor information is consistent and complete. You can capture everything you might need, including categories, qualifications, and service areas, so you can quickly identify potential vendors based upon the parameters you define. While a web search is a good way to find potential vendors, it is a time consuming process and difficult to compare qualifications and other information. Conversely, having your own database lets you slice and dice the data in any way you want so you can simplify your research process.
3. Channels inbound sales
Many companies recognize that the most efficient way to deal with inbound sales is to simply direct them to the public registration portal, which has information about doing business with the company. This not only helps minimize inbound calls and emails, but also centralizes potential vendor information including details such as who previously dealt with the vendor, when, and for what results.
4. More up-to-date vendor information
Give your vendors the responsibility of keeping their profile accurate. Vendors are able to update their own information with a public registration process contrary to traditional tools, where a vendor database is usually outdated and information incomplete. Our clients typically send out a reminder every six months to a year asking vendors to update their profiles. Staff get notices when emails bounce and can quickly see if the information is being updated. Depending upon the vendor, the staff can disabled the abandoned accounts or reach out to the company for another contact.
5. Saves administrative time
With vendors updating their own information, staff resources devoted to maintaining the database can be refocused. Instead of individually contacting vendors and manually updating spreadsheets, they can focus on high-value activities like verifying qualifications, checking references, or doing their “real” job. Which leads to the number one reason that companies implement a public online vendor registration process: it will get done.
6. It will get done
When valuable staff time is required to collect vendor information, the information becomes outdated. When information becomes outdated, people cannot rely upon it. When people cannot rely upon it, it may as well not exist. At which point, any efforts are abandoned and the idea is simply forgotten. By implementing the online vendor self-registration, you can create a resource that delivers ongoing returns in time savings and increased supplier competition.
Looking for the right tool?
eBid eXchange has out-of-the-box features for creating custom registration forms to capture virtually any type of information, allows staff to review and approve applications, and organize vendors by category, service area, and preferred vendor programs. It integrates with the eBid eXchange Sourcing and Supplier Contract Management modules and can serve as a front-end to other third-party applications.