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What tools or techniques do you use to manage your suppliers?

We've initiated a supplier onboarding process that includes contract reviews and a security review. We ask them if they have SOC reports, ISO certifications, and other security-related questions. Since we use so many cloud-related services — not just the big ones like Microsoft and Box, but Zendesk for ticketing, HubSpot for CRM, etc. — you need to make sure. The onboarding process typically has a security aspect, a finance aspect and a contracting aspect. I can't say that we're doing anything unique. We use a ticketing system to manage it and track that within Zendesk but that's it. I suspect that some companies put a certain amount of emphasis on supply chain management on the front end, but it could be improved along the way by doing annual check-ins as well.

Anonymous Author
We've initiated a supplier onboarding process that includes contract reviews and a security review. We ask them if they have SOC reports, ISO certifications, and other security-related questions. Since we use so many cloud-related services — not just the big ones like Microsoft and Box, but Zendesk for ticketing, HubSpot for CRM, etc. — you need to make sure. The onboarding process typically has a security aspect, a finance aspect and a contracting aspect. I can't say that we're doing anything unique. We use a ticketing system to manage it and track that within Zendesk but that's it. I suspect that some companies put a certain amount of emphasis on supply chain management on the front end, but it could be improved along the way by doing annual check-ins as well.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We mostly depend on recommendations as well as some testing by our team members here. Even if it's a question of which ISP to go ahead with, we’ll have communication with 2 to 3 different providers. We make sure that our developers actually test a few of those services before we go ahead with one of them. 
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Try to work with suppliers and vendors that have tracking capability so you can get the data that you need. There is a focus on data overall and what that means to a company before you might have it, but it’s not used as an asset. Most suppliers are now taking a look at what data they do have. As an example, what raw material will impact my production the most if I'm short of it? And what am I going to do if that happens? Is it increased inventory? Or do I get a diverse set of suppliers? Is the answer to buy a company so that I now have the full stack of what I need to produce this product? Then look at those individual contracts to understand potential rate hikes, what can happen when, and whether there are PO changes that could make things more efficient. Another technique that I've seen a lot is using a different way of ordering that collapses skews or orders that are purchased to ensure that there’s one shipment instead of multiple variations. Companies are trying to change the way that they're interacting with suppliers. And I've seen some who even get to know the individual people at the supplying company. I know one of the big entertainment companies in the US was able to negotiate to hold off payment to Cisco because they’d built that type of relationship. The key is taking a hard look at interactions between the company, the suppliers and vendors themselves.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
For new products or services from yet undetermined vendors- the EAuction. This is a blind electronic auction to drive down prices. The key is in being extremely specific in your RFP to ensure you are comparing apples to apples… or at least close to equal substitutes We saw prices frequently drop 20% from “their super discount “
2 upvotes