On the dawn of a new year, there are a number of trends expected to influence the way procurement teams kick off relationships with suppliers. Working with these teams day in and day out, we understand your needs in the modern age. With technology making an impact and nearly every solution turning to digital, the methods for supplier qualification are changing… Fast!

In this post, we’ve compiled a collection of some of the bigger movements regarding supplier qualification, which are expected to make an impact in 2018. For procurement leaders working in rails, utilities, and venues, these strategies can contribute to reduced risk, more reliable service level agreements (SLAs), and higher quality relationships that begin on day one.

Leverage Various Digital Reviews to See Behind the Curtain

Many consumers today don’t buy a product on Amazon without reading the reviews. User-generated feedback is a trusted mechanism for making purchasing decisions and can also be a method used to verify the quality of a supplier or vendor. Online reviews do represent the truth and are increasingly impacting the B2B space.

In fact, a Corporate Executive Board survey found B2B buyers complete 60% of the purchase process before they ever directly engage with a vendor. Some of that “pre-purchase research” will be reading online reviews, on sites like Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List.

Also, each negative review costs the average business about 30 clients. These reviews matter to suppliers and are taken seriously. Before you engage with a supplier, you can look at how they handle their online reviews. Are they responding to negative feedback and offering a solution, or just ignoring the comments?

Another great place to find insight about your prospective supplier is by checking Glassdoor for employee feedback. This direct insight into the supplier’s culture and way of operating can help your team determine if the supplier is legitimate and treats their team members with respect. Online reviews from those on the inside and outside increase transparency and can reduce issues on your end if you catch red flags before starting a relationship.

If those two are not enough for you, here are 12 other sites to check business reviews.

Consider the Future of Procurement Technology for Supplier Qualification

In a world where digitization is king, integration of data is key. Advances in technology are allowing businesses to predict and respond more effectively to incidents and inquiries. Also, with the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), digital technologies are opening the door to new, more efficient and intelligent ways of operating, which have a direct impact on procurement.

These digital platforms use data integrations to empower procurement leaders to make smarter, faster decisions across all levels of the supply chain by increasing the efficiency of the processes leading to better spend visibility, reduced risk, and improved relationships with suppliers.

Procurement teams are already starting to fully embrace these technologies. In a study conducted by Digitalist Magazine and the University of Applied Science Würzburg/Schweinfurt, the top priorities for 2018 are embracing Big Data and predictive analytics (72%) followed by AI (including machine learning) and cognitive computing (22%).

Check out our top five trends for increasing efficiency with subcontractors through improved tracking systems.

Integrate with your Operations Team Members

New technologies and digital platforms are impacting all levels of the organization, including operations teams. When you integrate with various levels and connect digital platforms to share data inputs and outputs, you can improve rating systems for speed and quality of delivery.

For example, mobile app-driven identification for worksites will allow for real-time access-control with a centralized manager dashboard. This will help improve supplier qualification for procurement teams by monitoring all contractors with up-to-the-minute data. For instance, if a contractor has not completed training, they will no longer have access to the worksite, which can lead to reduced risk.

In turn, by implementing technologies and these supplier qualifications strategies, you can help mitigate risk and increase the quality of SLAs. Better relationships can lead to less waste, reduced costs, and eventually, bigger bonuses for you and your team.

To learn more about tracking subcontractors for rails, utilities, and venues, get in touch with us today.



**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.