Maintaining a strong procurement strategy is imperative to make informed buying decisions. This is especially true after the pandemic, as supply chain managers worldwide still feel the shocks of the 2021 supply chain crisis, and crave systems that do not fall prey to similar events in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic shined light on many weak links within the global supply chain, but the ugly truth of current procurement strategies remains clear: reliance on manual processes and existing relationships is not enough to stay competitive and nimble in the current supply chain environment.
Most B2B companies still rely on antiquated methods when purchasing goods and services. While many employ the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, the reality is that these methods create bottlenecks in the organization and elongate the procurement process.
In this fast-paced world, B2B companies must take advantage of modern technology to manage vendors and mitigate risks. It will not only expedite the procurement of goods and services, but provide clarity into its relationships with vendors. What is holding supply chain managers back?
Procurement professionals in B2B companies need to follow the strategies of Amazon and Netflix, two B2C software giants. They need to use vendor management tools to make the procurement process hassle-free and boost productivity.
To engage with vendors in real-time and build a strong relationship, procurement professionals can follow the same mantra as B2C software companies. Here are the five strategies B2B companies can emulate:
1. Form Relationships with Several Suppliers / Vendors:
Think about the current landscape. A non-business consumer has a relationship with multiple suppliers–cable providers, phone providers, newspaper providers, etc. A decade ago, consumers had no other option but to stick with local or previously used vendors or suppliers. However, with the advent of digital marketplaces, consumers can now have a relationship with suppliers and vendors from all around the world.
They use B2C software to manage the relationship with several suppliers around the world. Similarly, B2B businesses can learn from them and use digital platforms or technology to communicate and maintain a relationship with several suppliers and vendors all around the world. It will not only help them to get the best goods and services but also effectively manage all the different vendors at once.
2. B2C E-Marketplaces Centralize E-Procurement:
Today's e-procurement experience resembles that of a consumer shopping on a B2C website. Buying clothes, price comparisons, and spend tracking doesn't require the buyer to browse through dozens of websites. Consumers can use review platforms like Honey, Wirecutter and auto-billing software like Truebill to facilitate the buying process and manage their personal vendors.
The same idea can be translated to B2B businesses. E-marketplaces allow for easy comparison of vendor performance and other KPI’s, and offer a central place for buyers and sellers to conduct business. Cutting back on broken email chains, phone conversations, and aimless searching grants more time for valuable activities and ultimately cuts costs in the organization. Whether you are a large, mid-size, or small business, eMarketplaces offer valuable productivity improvements and are a sure fire way to streamline the purchasing process.
These marketplaces help B2B companies centralize their e-procurement, eliminating manual and time-consuming processes. In the long run, you will benefit by eliminating the need to spend time on manual research and development.
3. Use of B2C Software Technology for Vendor Relationships
B2B is getting more competitive, and it has become very difficult to maintain strong vendor relationships. As everything has become digital, B2B companies need to follow the same approach as B2C companies in order to maintain relationships with vendors–utilizing technology to cultivate strong vendor management practices.
This will encourage vendors to be satisfied with the services they provide and be more likely to partner with them for a long time. Instead of relying on leads and filling up forms to contact the vendors, B2B companies can use vendor review software to compare the services of the vendor and get in touch with them. It will help them to easily get in touch with the vendors in a single click and place an order, as well as check their credibility.
4. Account Payable Software for Managing Payments
Managing payments is another important responsibility of procurement professionals. They need to make payments as well as manage credit when procuring goods and services. This process can be quite taxing as they have to make payments manually. To make this process easier, professionals can use account payable software.
Using Account Payable software such as bill.com for B2B vendor relationships can improve your efficiency and reduce costs. You can schedule automated payments and receive notifications when the time comes. Even better, you can have the system set up to automatically pay your vendors.
The benefits are numerous, and they will make your business and your vendors happier. First, you can reduce the number of errors you make by incorporating automation into your accounting process. Using this type of software will help you keep track of every transaction, including the time it takes to reconcile a bill.
5. Vendor Relationship Management Tools and Software
Vendor relationship management tools can help you manage the contract and review process more efficiently. If you want your relationships with vendors to be as positive as possible, you should work with companies that have relevant expertise in the industry, meet your standards, and align with your goals and values.
After all, mistakes made by vendors can damage your reputation, so you should maintain quality and standards as well as clear roles and responsibilities. Ideally, you should implement a vendor relationship management tool. It can help you track, manage, and report on your vendor relationships.
In a world where the competition is cut-throat, procurement professionals in B2B companies need to step up their game and learn from B2C companies, or else they will fall behind.
A vendor relationship management tool, like Parq, can streamline the process and help you keep track of your relationships with vendors. It can also simplify the procurement process for large-scale projects. To learn more, reach out.