7 key steps for successful supplier onboarding

Jan 13, 2021 | EDI, Invoices digitalization

7 key steps for successfully onboarding suppliers :

Why should you adopt an EDI deployment strategy for suppliers ?

In order for exchanges between clients and suppliers to lead to better productivity, using an EDI or electronic channel is a catalyst for improving performance.

Annual negotiations between clients and suppliers are part of a win-win approach for both parties. The financial gain achieved with EDI exchanges helps ensure that the client does not force the supplier to bear the costs of manual processing.

Invoice-related disputes following human errors are eliminated, thus streamlining the client’s payment process to suppliers.

How to successfully onboard suppliers ?

Your company’s suppliers are heterogeneous, each with a different level of maturity regarding electronic exchanges. Knowing how to adapt to your suppliers’ different typologies will enable you to onboard them quickly and efficiently.

To do this, you must implement an onboarding strategy that takes the following points into consideration:

1) Defining your company project

You must be clear about the objectives you intend to reach, including the types of workflows to digitalize, how to handle change management, and assigning resources to a supplier onboarding project.

2) Having up-to-date reference data in your information system

It is essential for your supplier and product article databases to be up to date.

3) Deployment methodology, supplier audits

  • Define the target suppliers to onboard (volume in terms of the number of suppliers as well as according to the number of article references to deliver).
  • Evaluate suppliers’ capacity to implement EDI.
  • Subdivide suppliers based on audit results (by profile, size, product type, etc.).
  • Offer a range of technical solutions with EDI and WebEdi to unite all your suppliers.

4 – Defining a tentative roll-out schedule

5 – Creating communication kits

  • Develop communication that explains the project’s objectives and advantages, along with operating methods, schedules, and more.
  • Provide technical and functional specifications that include expected business rules.

6 – Onboarding suppliers

A dedicated and agile team must assist suppliers with production tests:

  • Distributing all materials to targets and/or organizing webinars.
  • Contacting suppliers, reminding them, convincing them, working with each one to schedule the project’s various steps and ensure effective management.
  • Running tests, controlling data quality and respect for specified rules.
  • Certifying suppliers following a series of conclusive tests (technical and business validation).
  • Using a test platform to ensure that your suppliers remain independent.

7 – Following up on deployment

  • Implement tracking KPIs with respect to the volume and number of suppliers deployed (onboarded).

For over 30 years, ICD has worked with major industry companies and distributors in a wide variety of sectors, including retail, automotive, optical, wholesale, and more.

ICD is ready to help you with all your onboarding steps.

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