April 15, 2023

The Supplier, the forgotten one in Source to Pay Software

By Patrick Chabannes

Why is it that, while the many crises are highlighting the relationship with the Supplier, the Purchasing IS solutions, designed with and for Purchasing Departments, offer such a poor user experience to Suppliers? A major question for the Business.

Source to Pay digitizes the End to End process, digitizing processes in which the Supplier remains at the end of the chain. Purchasing and its publishers are calling on the supplier to respond, to complete the process. He must respond, complete his profile, mobilize resources for the sole purpose of winning markets.

Collaboration, the only way to address CSR and decarbonization challenges

How can we imagine solving the questions posed by the normative inflation of decarbonization and CSR issues, by the price dynamics caused by tariff increases and inflation with applications built without considering the Supplier Company as an entity also facing the same challenges? 

Let’s stop saying Supplier, let’s talk about the Supplier Enterprise. 

And if you think that the ultimate value of the digitalization of the Purchasing Function, the unavoidable External Resources Department, can only be understood by including the Internal Businesses and the Supplier Company in the End to End chain, then let’s change our posture; let’s look at the Supplier as an Enterprise with its salespeople, its buyers, its supply chain, its finance and accounting department. Beyond the renewal of the relationship with the Supplier Company, what values does the Purchasing IS bring them? 

“You tell me that you have sent us 63 calls for tender. This does not correspond to my information.
This quote from a Sales Director to a Purchasing Director of my clients’ construction company, valid for eSourcing, should open our eyes. Why shouldn’t the creation of a call for tender open up a commercial opportunity in the CRM with, at the very least, a native SalesForce connector?

What does the carefully selected Purchasing IS bring in terms of productivity or information in Source to Contract or Procure to Pay? What UX, user experience, for this occasional user, what ready-to-use connector, what information sharing… 

Have you defined Use Cases? Think about the Supplier Use Cases too

The Supplier user experience cannot be a reflection of an Enterprise user and must bring value to the Supplier on the module(s) in play: RFP, Contract, SRM, Catalogs, Ordering, eInvoicing. 

Challenge your current and upcoming vendors on their vision and offering to your partner, the Supplier Enterprise:

  • Study the Supplier experience,
  • Invite your vendors to take a look,
  • Evaluate the business gesture on a Use Case,
  • Ask some of your Suppliers to test,
  • Ask the question of order processing in their system.

In addition to our User Stories, let’s look at our Purchasing IS with the eye of the Supplier Company

Lectori salutem, Patrick