NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions | August 10, 2022

How to Get Management Buy-in For Your SAP Supplier Portal Project

sap supplier portal

In today’s fast-paced, customer-oriented business environment, superior supply chain performance is a prerequisite to getting and staying competitive.

Geopolitical events have caused many companies to experience significant disruptions in their supply chains. This has led to many accelerating their plans to modernise procurement technology and processes in order to mitigate the disruptions of 2022 and beyond.

If you run SAP, and have identified that a supplier portal is your next step to make your supplier management more efficient, then it’s time to think about how to get management buy-in for your new supplier portal.

Much of your product costs may be tied up with the supply chain, so in seeking to win support for a supplier portal, focusing on the cost savings will help you to make a strong case.

These fall into several key areas:

Supplier Price and Cost Analysis

Suppliers who can perform in the following areas will add the most value to your business:

  • Delivery: can they support just-in-time inventory and deliver in the way you need them to? Too much inventory can tie up capital.
  • Flexibility: can they react to last-minute changes?
  • Quality and reliability: can they consistently meet your requirements, every delivery, with no delays caused by substandard materials?
  • Pricing: do they work to the principle of fair price, providing you with cost reductions while maintaining a fair profit for themselves?

When you get it right, this symbiotic relationship, should deliver cost savings – but it can’t work to an optimal level without structured supplier evaluation as well as qualitative feedback. A SAP supplier portal will allow you to expose KPIs to suppliers and measure performance quickly and easily.

Better Inventory Management

Nobody wants to hear that you have either supply bottlenecks and/or inventory shortages. That means you have to be able to achieve excellent forecast accuracy. Reliance on SAP to extract the right information involves navigating complex formats that require a certain level of competence in using SAP systems.

A SAP supplier portal (eg: direct spend), which is uniquely delivered in SAP, takes the mystery out of demand forecasting, requires no special training and allows forecasts to be shared with suppliers in real time. In fact, all users can see the information that’s pertinent to them, any time they need to. The accessibility of ‘one single version of the truth’ via the portal removes the chance of crossed wires, as well as keeping all the relevant communications in the same place.

Reduced Human Resource

An spend portal is intuitive to use for both suppliers and internal teams – there’s no need for expensive training, and you can be up and running as soon as the portal’s live. With responsibility for supplier data entry passed to the suppliers themselves, you instantly remove time-consuming tasks and reduce the chance of inputting errors. This frees your team up for more complex tasks requiring critical thinking, as well as improving the accuracy of your master data.

Reduced Corporate Risk

Any damage to your company’s reputation can have a direct impact on your bottom line. While you rightly expect your suppliers to comply with legislation relating to ethical trading, how confident can you be that all of your suppliers are fully compliant with both legal regulations and your own CSR policies? Could you demonstrate their compliance if required?

A SAP supplier portal can act as a repository for all the necessary certification and policy documentation you might need from your suppliers to demonstrate due diligence. The responsibility is with the supplier to upload the relevant documentation, removing the risk of accidental omission by your company, and the portal will flag any expiry dates to encourage timely renewal.

It’s worth mentioning that using a supplier portal to replace multiple systems and spreadsheets will also make it easier to show compliance with GDPR requirements for the safe storage of data.

If you would like to find out how our SAP certified supplier portal can help your business transform its supply chain, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Author: Jon Brooks, Business Development – CX Director, NTT DATA Business Solutions UK.

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