Skip to Main Content

EcoVadis vs. Sedex Sustainability Assessments

EcoVadis vs. Sedex

Sustainability is a key concern for businesses of all sizes, and choosing the right sustainability assessment provider is essential for effective environmental, social, and governance (ESG) management. EcoVadis and Sedex are the most widely recognized providers, but how do you know which is right for your business?

In this blog post, we will compare EcoVadis and Sedex side-by-side, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. We will also discuss pricing, plans, and how SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting compare to these industry leaders. By the end of this post, you can decide which sustainability assessment provider is best for your business.

EcoVadis vs. Sedex: which is the better choice for your business?

In today’s business landscape, sustainability is no longer an option but a necessity. With increasing pressure from consumers, investors, and regulators, companies must prioritize sustainability to remain competitive. Choosing the right sustainability assessment provider is crucial to managing ESG criteria effectively. EcoVadis and Sedex are two of the most recognized sustainability assessment providers, each with unique strengths and approaches.

When selecting between EcoVadis and Sedex, it’s essential to consider your business’s specific needs and priorities. Your industry, organization size, and sustainability goals should guide your decision. EcoVadis offers a comprehensive assessment that covers a wide range of ESG criteria, including environmental impact, labor practices, human rights, and business ethics. Sedex, on the other hand, specializes in ethical trade and responsible sourcing, focusing on supply chain transparency and social responsibility. Depending on your business’s focus and priorities, one provider may align better with your sustainability objectives.

Beyond the scope of the assessment, it’s essential to evaluate each provider’s approach. EcoVadis follows a risk-based approach, assigning higher weightings to criteria based on their potential impact on sustainability performance. Sedex, however, adopts a more balanced approach, giving equal weight to all criteria. Understanding the methodology and how it aligns with your organization’s sustainability practices and reporting requirements is crucial for selecting the most suitable provider.

EcoVadis vs. Sedex: a side-by-side comparison

EcoVadis and Sedex are prominent players in sustainability assessments, each offering unique strengths and catering to distinct business needs. While both platforms share the commendable goal of promoting responsible practices, they diverge in focus, data coverage, and reporting capabilities.

EcoVadis takes a holistic approach. They employ a wide range of ESG criteria to evaluate companies’ sustainability performance. This comprehensive assessment encompasses environmental impact, labor practices, human rights, and business ethics. By incorporating such a broad spectrum of criteria, EcoVadis empowers organizations to understand their ESG standing comprehensively.

On the other hand, Sedex specializes in ethical trade and responsible sourcing, emphasizing supply chain transparency and social responsibility. Their assessments primarily target industries like retail, food, and beverage, where these aspects hold paramount importance. By delving deep into supply chain practices, Sedex enables businesses to ensure that their operations align with ethical and sustainable principles.

Regarding data coverage, EcoVadis boasts an impressive database of over 100,000 suppliers and companies across 150 countries. This vast repository of information facilitates comprehensive assessments and allows businesses to benchmark their performance against industry peers. Sedex, while having a substantial database, focuses more narrowly on supply chains within specific sectors. This targeted approach ensures that Sedex’s assessments are tailored to each industry’s unique challenges and opportunities.

Regarding reporting, EcoVadis provides detailed and user-friendly reports that offer valuable insights into a company’s sustainability performance. These reports present an overall score and specific breakdowns for each ESG criterion. This comprehensive approach enables organizations to identify areas of strength and improvement, guiding their sustainability strategies. Sedex, on the other hand, delivers customized reports that can be tailored to address specific industry requirements. These reports highlight critical areas for improvement and provide recommendations for enhancing responsible sourcing practices, catering to the unique needs of each business.

Ultimately, the choice between EcoVadis and Sedex hinges on an organization’s specific priorities and requirements. Companies seeking a comprehensive assessment of their overall ESG performance may find EcoVadis the ideal solution. Conversely, businesses prioritizing ethical trade and responsible sourcing within specific industries may benefit from Sedex’s expertise. Both platforms offer valuable tools and insights that can drive positive change throughout an organization and its supply chains.

EcoVadis vs. Sedex: pros and cons

EcoVadis and Sedex offer distinct approaches to evaluating companies’ ESG performance. While both platforms provide valuable insights, understanding their pros and cons is crucial for organizations seeking the right fit for their sustainability journey.

EcoVadis adopts a comprehensive approach, assessing companies across various ESG criteria. This holistic evaluation provides a comprehensive snapshot of a company’s sustainability performance. With over 100,000 suppliers and companies across 150 countries in its database, EcoVadis boasts extensive coverage and credibility. However, this comprehensive approach can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, which can overwhelm organizations that lack the sustainability expertise to understand and utilize massive amounts of data.

In contrast, Sedex specializes in ethical trade and responsible sourcing, offering a more focused assessment tailored to specific industries and sectors. This targeted approach helps organizations address sustainability issues relevant to their supply chains, promoting ethical practices and responsible sourcing. However, Sedex’s narrower focus does not provide a comprehensive sustainability assessment like EcoVadis. Additionally, its reliance on self-reported data introduces potential biases or inaccuracies.

Ultimately, the choice between EcoVadis and Sedex depends on an organization’s specific needs and priorities. EcoVadis excels in providing a comprehensive ESG assessment, while Sedex specializes in ethical trade and responsible sourcing. Understanding each platform’s unique strengths and limitations is essential for selecting the most suitable partner to drive sustainable practices and enhance an organization’s sustainability performance.

EcoVadis vs. Sedex: pricing and plans

The cost of using EcoVadis and Sedex services varies based on several factors. The size of your company, the depth of the assessment or audit required, and the level of membership or services you choose all affect the total cost of the assessments.

Here’s a general overview of the cost structures for EcoVadis and Sedex. Specific prices can vary; for the most accurate and current information, you should confirm directly with each organization.

EcoVadis operates on a subscription basis. Companies pay an annual fee to access the platform, undergo assessments, and receive sustainability scorecards. The cost can vary significantly based on the company’s size (measured by annual revenue or number of employees) and the level of service chosen. Generally, the pricing can range from a few thousand dollars for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tens of thousands for large corporations requiring more extensive assessments and features.

Basic Subscription: The basic level might include a standard assessment and a single scorecard for smaller companies.

Premium Services: Larger organizations might opt for premium services, which can include more detailed assessments, benchmarking reports, action plans for improvement, and increased visibility to potential clients on the EcoVadis network.

EcoVadis also offers a Rate My Partners option for enterprises looking to engage suppliers. You must request a quote from EcoVadis to receive pricing on these options.

Sedex’s pricing model is based on membership tiers, which determine access to their platform and tools. These tiers include the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) and the ability to share and manage audit reports like the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA). The cost for a Sedex membership is typically lower than that for an EcoVadis subscription, reflecting the different services provided:

Membership Fees: Membership fees for Sedex can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars annually, depending on the tier and size of the company. This fee allows access to the Sedex platform and varies based on the company’s annual turnover and the level of access required.

Audit Costs: The cost of conducting SMETA audits, separate from the membership fee, can vary based on the audit scope, location, and selected auditing body. Depending on these factors, audits might range from a few thousand dollars to more.

Key Cost Considerations

EcoVadis provides a comprehensive sustainability assessment service, including a detailed scorecard and benchmarks. The cost reflects the depth of analysis, the global benchmarking capabilities, and the action plans provided.

Sedex focuses more on ethical trade practices and offers a platform for sharing compliance data. While membership fees are generally lower, companies must consider the additional costs of audits conducted through Sedex’s platform.

When choosing between EcoVadis and Sedex, companies should consider the following:

EcoVadis’s comprehensive assessment and benchmarking might justify the higher cost for some companies. In contrast, others may find Sedex’s focus on ethical trade and audit-sharing capabilities more aligned with their needs and a more cost-effective solution.

How SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting compare to EcoVadis and Sedex

SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting, in partnership with SupplyShift, a Sphera Company, offers a unique and advantageous approach to supply chain sustainability assessment compared to EcoVadis and Sedex. While EcoVadis and Sedex focus on assessing individual businesses’ sustainability performance, SupplierGateway’s assessments are specifically designed to evaluate the sustainability of your organization’s supply chain. This distinction provides a crucial perspective for organizations seeking to ensure responsible and sustainable practices throughout their entire network of suppliers.

SupplierGateway’s assessments stand out for their affordability, user-friendly design, and comprehensive scope. The platform offers tiered pricing plans starting at a highly competitive rate, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes. The intuitive and straightforward user interface enables efficient and hassle-free data collection and reporting. SupplierGateway’s assessments cover a wide range of sustainability criteria that help ensure a thorough evaluation of your supply chain’s sustainability performance.

Take a self-guided tour of SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting.

Compared to EcoVadis and Sedex, SupplierGateway offers a more streamlined and comprehensive supply chain sustainability assessment approach. By focusing specifically on supply chain sustainability, SupplierGateway provides organizations with the tools and insights to drive positive change throughout their entire network of suppliers. The platform’s affordability, user-friendly design, and comprehensive scope make it an ideal choice for businesses committed to responsible and sustainable supply chain management.

part of suppliergateway's sustainability assessments walkthrough

Which is best for your business, EcoVadis, Sedex, or SupplierGateway?

When considering EcoVadis vs. Sedex, you may find that other options like SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting may fit your business needs better. This section will discuss the factors you should consider when choosing a sustainability assessment platform for your business. These factors include:

The first step in choosing a sustainability assessment platform is to assess your business needs and priorities. Consider the size of your business, industry, and sustainability goals. For example, if you are a small business in the food and beverage industry, you may want to focus on assessments that address food safety and ethical sourcing. If you are a large multinational corporation, you may need a more comprehensive assessment that covers a wide range of ESG criteria.

Once you understand your needs well, you can compare the different sustainability assessment platforms. Consider the cost of each platform, the resources required to implement and maintain it, and the level of support and guidance you will receive from the provider.

If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest way to collect sustainability and ESG data from your suppliers, SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting. With a specialization in collecting and assessing supplier ESG data with the help of SupplyShift, SupplierGateway’s assessments provide both at-a-glance supply chain sustainability information as well as in-depth reporting on individual suppliers.

Want to learn more about the platform? Take a quick self-guided walkthrough or book a call with one of our sales experts.

Sustainability Assessments for US Hospitals and Healthcare Systems

sustainability assessments for hospitals and healthcare systems

Sustainability has become critical for hospitals and healthcare systems in today’s healthcare landscape. It’s a multi-faceted concept encompassing environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability. By embracing sustainability, healthcare organizations can enhance their reputation and attract and keep top talent. Embracing sustainability also helps create a healthier environment for patients, staff, and the communities your organization serves. This blog post will explore the significance of sustainability for hospitals and healthcare systems and explain how to get started with sustainability assessments. We’ll also highlight how SupplierGateway’s platform can support your organization’s sustainability journey.

Why Hospitals and Healthcare Systems Should Care About Sustainability

Sustainability is no longer a “nice-to-have” for hospitals and healthcare systems — it’s a necessity. Here are five key reasons:

1. Sustainability is increasingly important to patients, employees, and investors. Many patients, employees, and investors demand that healthcare organizations reduce their environmental impact and improve their social responsibility. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 65% of Americans believe that businesses have a responsibility to address environmental issues.

2. Sustainability helps hospitals and healthcare systems reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. By implementing sustainable practices, healthcare organizations can reduce energy consumption, water usage, and waste production. This can lead to significant cost savings and improved operational efficiency. For example, one hospital in California saved over $1 million per year by installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances.

3. Sustainability can help hospitals and healthcare systems attract and retain top talent. Top talent increasingly seeks employers committed to sustainability. A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley found that 75% of millennials are more likely to apply for a job at a company committed to social responsibility.

4. Sustainability can help hospitals and healthcare systems improve their public image and reputation. Healthcare organizations can improve their public image and reputation by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. This can lead to increased patient loyalty, increased donations, and improved relationships with government agencies and regulators.

5. Sustainability initiatives help hospitals and healthcare systems comply with increasingly stringent environmental regulations. With increasing regulatory pressure on healthcare organizations to reduce their environmental impact, hospitals and healthcare systems must have a plan to address sustainability. By implementing sustainable practices, healthcare organizations can ensure they meet regulatory requirements and avoid potential fines or penalties.

sustainability assessments for hospitals and healthcare systems

How to get started with sustainability assessments

Getting started with sustainability assessments can seem daunting, but by following a few key steps, hospitals and healthcare systems can make the process easier and more manageable.

1. Set up a cross-functional team. The first step is assembling a cross-functional team of individuals from various hospital or healthcare system departments. This team should include representatives from clinical operations, finance, facilities management, supply chain, and environmental services. The team should be responsible for developing and implementing the sustainability assessment plan.

2. Determine the scope of the assessment. The next step is to determine the scope of the sustainability assessment. This includes identifying the areas of the hospital or healthcare system that will be assessed, such as energy use, water use, waste management, and supply chain practices. The team should also define the boundaries of the assessment, such as whether it will include only the main hospital campus or satellite clinics and facilities or which suppliers will be assessed.

3. Select the relevant metrics and indicators. Once the scope of the assessment has been determined, the team should select the relevant metrics and indicators that will be used to measure sustainability performance. These metrics and indicators should align with your sustainability goals and objectives. 

4. Conduct a baseline assessment. The next step is to conduct a baseline assessment of your organization’s sustainability performance. This involves collecting data on the selected metrics and indicators over a specific period. The baseline assessment will provide a benchmark against which future progress can be measured.

5. Set goals and targets for improving sustainability performance. Once the baseline assessment has been completed, the team should set goals and targets for improving sustainability performance. These goals and targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) and aligned with your system’s sustainability strategy.

Common Challenges with Sustainability Assessments

While sustainability assessments are critical for healthcare systems looking to stay compliant and improve their environmental performance, organizations face many challenges when conducting them.

One of the most significant challenges is data collection. Sustainability assessments require a wide range of data, including information on energy use, water consumption, waste generation, and supply chain practices. Collecting this data can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially for large organizations with multiple facilities.

Another challenge is stakeholder buy-in. Sustainability assessments can impact various stakeholders, including employees, patients, and community members. Getting buy-in from all stakeholders is essential to the success of a sustainability assessment. However, getting everyone on board can be difficult, especially if conflicting interests or priorities exist.

The lack of standardized reporting frameworks also makes conducting assessments more challenging. Many different sustainability reporting frameworks are available, each with its own unique set of metrics and indicators. This can make it difficult for organizations to compare their sustainability performance to others in their industry.

Finally, sustainability assessments can be costly. The cost of conducting a sustainability assessment can vary depending on the size and scope of the assessment. However, even a small assessment can require significant time and resources.

Despite these challenges, sustainability assessments are essential for hospitals and healthcare systems that want to improve their environmental performance and reputation. By addressing these challenges head-on, organizations can overcome these obstacles and realize the benefits of sustainability assessments.

sustainability assessments for hospitals and healthcare systems

How SupplierGateway ‘s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting Help

SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and Reporting platform can help healthcare organizations achieve sustainability goals. The platform provides a centralized location for organizations to collect, manage, and analyze sustainability data across their supply chain. This data can then be used to generate reports that track progress toward supply chain sustainability goals and identify areas for improvement.

SupplierGateway’s platform helps healthcare systems identify sustainability and ESG risks within their supply chain. The platform can assess suppliers based on various criteria, including environmental performance, social responsibility, and governance practices. This information can then be used to decide which suppliers to do business with.

In addition, SupplierGateway can help healthcare organizations comply with regulatory requirements. The platform can track suppliers’ compliance with sustainability standards and regulations and generate reports demonstrating an organization’s commitment to sustainability.

With SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Assessments and rReporting platform, healthcare organizations can take control of their supply chain sustainability initiatives and achieve their sustainability goals.

Want to see the platform for yourself? Take a self-guided tour.

Make Sustainability Part of Your Organization’s Culture

Prioritizing sustainability within your organization requires a commitment from leadership and a willingness to change. It is not enough to simply create a sustainability policy and hope that employees will follow it. Instead, organizations need to make sustainability a part of their culture so that it becomes second nature for employees to think about and act sustainably.

There are a number of things that organizations can do to make sustainability a part of their culture, including:

Creating a sustainability committee: This committee should be comprised of employees from all levels of the organization and should be responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s sustainability policy.

Developing and implementing a sustainability policy: This policy should outline the organization’s commitment to sustainability and set goals for reducing its environmental impact.

Providing training and education on sustainability for all employees: All employees should be trained on the organization’s sustainability policy and goals and given the resources they need to make sustainable choices in their work.

Rewarding and recognizing employees who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability: Employees who go above and beyond to reduce the organization’s environmental impact should be rewarded and recognized for their efforts.

Integrating sustainability into your organization’s strategic planning process: Sustainability should be a part of your organization’s strategic planning process so that it is considered when making decisions about the organization’s future.

Making sustainability part of your organization’s culture takes time and effort, but it is worth it. By creating a culture of sustainability, organizations can reduce their environmental impact, save money, and attract and retain top talent.

The Future of Sustainability in Healthcare is Bright

As investors, regulators, and consumers increasingly focus on ESG and sustainability, hospitals and healthcare systems must reduce their environmental impact and improve their social responsibility. Additionally, sustainability can be a source of innovation and competitive advantage. The good news is that a growing number of tools and resources are available to help hospitals and healthcare systems assess and improve their sustainability.

By collaborating with suppliers and other stakeholders, hospitals and healthcare systems can achieve sustainability goals and create a healthier future for everyone.

Find Out More

Take a self-guided tour and see how Sustainability Assessments and Reporting can help your organization create more supply chain transparency.

Queen City Women in Business & SupplierG Partner & Accelerate Success for Women-Business-Enterprises During Women’s History Month!

Queen City Women in Business™ (QCWIB) Forges Strategic Partnership with SupplierGATEWAY for Enhanced Supplier Diversity Initiatives!

Queen City Women in Business™ (QCWIB), a leading platform for diverse Women-Owned Businesses, proudly announces a transformative partnership with SupplierGateway, a supplier information management and B2B procurement platform trusted by some of the world’s most recognized brands.

This collaboration is set to revolutionize supplier diversity efforts by accelerating buyer connections, simplifying certification processes, and fostering equitable opportunities for
Women-Small-Business-Enterprises Nationwide.

Key highlights of the partnership include:

Enhanced Connection Opportunities: QCWIB, renowned for its community-based approach, is set to amplify its impact by collaborating with SupplierGATEWAY to accelerate and increase connection opportunities between Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE), diverse suppliers, and corporate buyers.

Streamlined Certification Process: SupplierGateway will provide a NEW seamless Electronic Digital Certification (EDC) process, ensuring QCWIB’s WBE members can obtain certifications in minutes rather than months. This easily accessible certification will be universally accepted by all corporate procurement buyers within SupplierGateway’s network.

Equitable Contracting Opportunities: The partnership aims to create more equitable opportunities for women-owned businesses in corporate contracting. This aligns with QCWIB’s mission to connect women-owned small businesses to major organizations faster by accelerating supplier readiness resources, access to key relationships, and 24-7 representation across all industries and trades!

Dawn Nicole Mcilwain, the founder of QCWIB, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, stating:
“This collaboration is a significant step towards fulfilling our mission of faster connecting diverse women-owned small businesses to major organizations. SupplierGateway’s expertise aligns seamlessly with our community-based approach, enabling us to create a more inclusive and efficient supplier eco-system.”

Established in 2023, QCWIB has rapidly grown into a membership-based supplier sourcing and
development platform, boasting a public directory with hundreds of women-owned businesses spanning over 50+ trades. The platform aims to become the “Angie’s List” of Women in Business, fostering collaborative success among women-owned companies, resources, and corporate partners.

The QCWIB-SupplierGateway partnership exemplifies a commitment to advancing supplier diversity, streamlining processes, and fostering meaningful connections within the business community.


To learn more about Queen City Women in Business™, go to https://qcwib.com.
For more information about SupplierGateway, visit https://www.suppliergateway.com/enhanced-digital-certification.

For media inquiries for QCWIB, please contact:
Melissa Medina
Queen City Women in Business Inc.
Info@QCwomeninbusiness.com
704-620-0951

For media inquiries for SupplierGateweay, please contact:
Leanne Strickler
SupplierGateway
info@suppliergateway.com

Supplier Feature: Perspectivity International

Enhanced Digital Certification is not only a fast, easy certification attesting to your diverse status as a business owner; EDC is a powerful tool in your business toolkit that shows your potential customers that your business could be an ideal supplier.

How does Enhanced Digital Certification do that? By connecting potential buyers with the suppliers they’re looking for.

Take Perspectivity International, for instance. Perspectivity is a leadership development firm that helps Fortune 500 companies equip their leaders in four key areas—presentation and communication skills, sales presentation skills, emotional intelligence, and change readiness. Their most recent Fortune 500 client found them because of their EDC certification and SupplierGateway’s supplier database.

Brian Williams, co-founder of Perspectivity, told us, “I didn’t understand what benefits being diversity-certified brought to the business itself. I know I’m Black. Before George Floyd and 2020, companies didn’t care that I was Black—they cared that Perspectivity could get the job done and done well. My old certification had so much paperwork and took so much time to renew that I let it expire. Now, so many companies have diversity initiatives, and that’s why our most recent Fortune 500 client contacted us.”

Perspectivity’s success didn’t happen overnight, though. Like many entrepreneurs, Brian encountered and overcame struggles to get to where he is today.

“I know I’m going to get flack for this, but when I was a kid, I was placed in what the school system called classes for ‘the mentally retarded’ because I didn’t talk— like, at all. Eventually, I skipped ahead several grades. While I still didn’t talk much, I excelled academically. I graduated with a degree in Computer Science, and I realized that successful people were great communicators.”

Brian ended up in Silicon Valley, where he quickly identified that leadership training was unengaging, boring, and often not even implemented.

“I wanted to be a great communicator, so I began studying presentation skills and qualified for Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking!”

With his unique passion for public speaking, presentation skills, and technical know-how, Brian knew there was a better way to train leaders. He left his job and started Perspectivity with his wife, Tasha.

Brian and Tasha had only been part of the SupplierGateway database briefly when a major client contacted them through the SupplierGateway portal.

“I honestly forgot I’d even registered in this business portal until I got a phone call out of the blue. They were looking for diverse companies for a specific project. We are EDC certified, so they could see our diversity status immediately, so we were invited to do an RFP.”

Of course, Perspectivity won their RFP. Now, they consult regularly with this particular Fortune 500 company for ongoing leadership training.

Brian said, “We would have never connected with this particular Fortune 500 company if it hadn’t been for the SupplierGateway platform and our Enhanced Digital Certification.”

It only took fifteen minutes for Perspectivity to start its journey to become an Enhanced Digital Certification success story. Take that same fifteen minutes and see what happens when EDC becomes part of your story.

Product Updates for 11/30/2023

Release Notes For November 30, 2023

You have asked for release notes, and we are taking steps to improve them. We would love to hear from you if you have any feedback on how we can make release notes better.

Please send feedback and suggestions to gail@suppliergateway.com.

These enhancements will be deployed overnight and available beginning Friday, December 1, 2023.

How Can You Learn More?
We have included screenshots to help you identify the changes. We will have a webinar in December to cover these features and provide opportunities for questions. Be on the lookout for upcoming dates! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please check with your CSM.

Announcing Onboarding Updates

Because Onboarding Suppliers is one of the most important features in SupplierGATEWAY, we’re excited to improve your experience with the following Onboarding enhancements.

Implemented a multi-check mechanism for duplicate invitation and/or supplier during the invitation initiation and supplier registration process. This will prevent the creation of duplicate supplier records and streamline registration.
Related features: Invitation, Registration

W-9 Enhancements to sync legal business name and DBA to the main supplier profile, and enforce TaxID validation.
Related features: W9 Registration Segment, W9 Supplier Profile Update

Enablement of unique/special zip codes for registration ease. This addresses the registrations where specific buildings may have a unique zip code. Suppliers will no longer get stuck during registration.
Related features: Registration, Addresses

Registration Monitoring Progress: For accurate tracking of supplier registration progress at a glance.
Related features: Invitation Console, Search, Workflow Inbox, Supplier Status

Tax ID Validation Indicator Bug Fix: Corrects situations causing the TaxID validation icon to disappear from the Workflow Inbox.
Related feature: Workflow Inbox

Pre-Qualification Success: What Suppliers Need to Know

Are you a business owner or supplier looking to work with big companies? Have you gone through the supplier pre-qualification process yet? If not, get ready. Pre-qualifying as a supplier is tough but absolutely critical to landing new clients and scaling your business. The good news is with some preparation and insider knowledge, you’ve got this.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to pre-qualify like a pro. We’ll cover what pre-qualification really means, what companies are looking for, how to assemble the right documentation, and ways to stand out from the crowd. By the end, you’ll be able to confidently navigate pre-qualification with any customer and set yourself up for success. The path to partnering with major brands starts here. Let’s get going!

 

supplier pre-qualification

Landing the deal means getting through pre-qualification.

The Importance of Supplier Pre-Qualification

As a supplier, pre-qualification is one of the most important steps to securing new business. It allows buyers to evaluate your company and ensure you meet their standards before inviting you to bid on contracts. Going through pre-qualification, while time-consuming, is worthwhile because it:

To maximize your chances of pre-qualifying, focus on clearly articulating your experience, qualifications, and competitive advantages. Be prepared to provide details on your company’s capabilities, resources, and past performance. Highlight relevant projects and client references that demonstrate your ability to handle the scope of work.

Transparency is also key. Provide honest and accurate information about your company’s structure, finances, certifications, safety records, etc. Buyers will likely conduct background checks, so avoid misrepresenting details that could damage your credibility.

While pre-qualification requires an investment of time and effort, the rewards of expanded opportunities and long-term client relationships make it worthwhile. See it as a chance to articulate your value and build trust, and you’ll be on the path to becoming a sought-after partner. With the right preparation and mindset, pre-qualification can open doors to new and mutually beneficial business engagements.

How Suppliers Get Selected for Pre-Qualification

To get on a buyer’s pre-qualification list, you need to show them you have what it takes. As a supplier, the pre-qualification process allows you to position your company as a viable candidate for future opportunities.

First, meet the basic requirements. This typically means a certain number of years in business, proper business licenses or certifications, insurance coverage, and financial stability. If you don’t meet the minimums, you won’t make it past the initial screening.

Next, highlight your experience and expertise. Buyers want suppliers with a proven track record of success on similar projects or providing comparable goods and services. Be prepared to provide client references and examples of relevant work.

You’ll also need to demonstrate your capabilities and capacity. Can you meet the volume or timeline demands? Do you have the resources, technology, and processes in place to deliver as expected? An established quality management system shows you’re committed to consistency and continuous improvement.

Finally, focus on value-adds. What makes you stand out? Innovative solutions or approaches? Sustainability initiatives? Donated services or products? Specialized skills and knowledge? Look for ways to strengthen your proposal.

When selected for pre-qualification, stay engaged with the buyer. Periodically update your information, seek feedback on your performance, and look for openings to build the relationship. Strong supplier partnerships can lead to more long-term contracts and expanded opportunities down the road. With the right preparation and follow-through, pre-qualification success can be within your reach.

 

supplier pre-qualification

Highlight your business in the best way possible to get onto a buyer’s pre-qualified list.

Tips for Positioning Your Company to Get Noticed

To position your company for success in the pre-qualification process, keep these tips in mind:

Highlight your unique value proposition.

What makes your company stand out? Do you have proprietary technology, specialized expertise, or a unique approach? Communicate how you provide exceptional value to customers in a way competitors don’t. For example, you may have an innovative product, customized services, or an exceptional customer experience. Focus on what differentiates you.

Establish credibility and trustworthiness.

Back up your claims with facts and statistics. For instance, you may say you have a “proven track record of success” — give concrete examples. Discuss industry awards or accolades you’ve won. Mention long-term clients or key partnerships. Be transparent and avoid exaggerating. Credibility is key to building trust. Third-party certifications also show potential buyers that you’re serious about your business. Whether your business has sustainability certifications, diversity certifications, or other industry-specific certifications, these will help you stand out from your competitors. 

Craft a clear company message.

Your messaging should leave no doubt about what your company offers. Use simple yet compelling language to describe your products, services, mission, and values. Explain how you solve important problems for customers. This clear, concise message needs to come through in all your marketing and sales materials to create a consistent brand experience.

Share relevant case studies and client stories.

Discuss successful client engagements to demonstrate your abilities. But get permission first and avoid sharing anything confidential. Explain the challenges, your solutions, and the outcomes. Case studies and stories are powerful ways to showcase what you can achieve for new clients.

Following these tips will help you make a strong first impression and position your company as a preferred choice for new business. Focus on standing out for the right reasons, build credibility through transparency, spread a clear message about your purpose, and share your success stories. By highlighting your strengths and value, you’ll get noticed for pre-qualification and open the door to new opportunities.

 

supplier pre-qualification

You’ll be asked to provide a lot of information about yourself, your business, and your products during the pre-qualification process.

What Information You’ll Need to Provide During Onboarding

To become a pre-qualified supplier, you’ll go through an initial onboarding process. This will involve providing certain details about your company and key personnel. Be prepared to supply the following information:

Personal Information

For key contacts at your company, you’ll need to provide full names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Background and identity checks may also require documentation like government-issued IDs, passports, or proof of home address.

Business Information

You’ll need to provide details on your business structure (corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.), company history, mission and vision statements, financials, and insurance policies. Include your company’s legal name, tax ID number, address, and website URL. Provide an overview of your company’s experience, expertise, capabilities, and competitive advantages.

Compliance Documentation

To verify you meet all regulatory and legal requirements, provide items like business licenses, certifications, permits, and professional accreditations. For example, if you deal with hazardous materials, share your permits for transporting and handling them. If you employ professionals requiring certification or licensure like engineers or accountants, provide documentation showing active and valid credentials.

Product/Service Details

Provide specifics on your products and services, including technical specifications, images, performance data, and client testimonials or case studies. Explain how your offerings can meet the needs of the buying organization and provide value. List the geographic areas you serve.

Going through a pre-qualification process requires time and effort, but by having this key information ready, you’ll streamline the experience and increase your chances of success. The benefits of becoming a trusted, pre-qualified supplier make the investment worthwhile. With the right preparation, you’ll position yourself as a valuable potential partner.

Mistakes to Avoid During the Supplier Registration Process

As a supplier going through the pre-qualification process, overconfidence and neglecting key details can seriously hurt your chances. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Not providing complete information

In your enthusiasm to win the business, don’t leave out important details in your proposal or registration materials. Provide comprehensive yet concise information on your company background, capabilities, experience, credentials, and client references. Buyers want to see the full picture to properly evaluate you.

Requesting an incomplete RFQ

Before providing a quote, make sure you have all the necessary details about the products or services being requested. Ask clarifying questions to determine exact specifications, quantities, delivery requirements, and any special terms. Submitting a quote when you lack key information often leads to budget and schedule overruns, damaging your relationship with the new client.

Focusing only on the purchase price

Don’t assume the buyer will choose the lowest bid. Many companies evaluate suppliers based on total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes other factors like quality, durability, maintenance, and disposal costs. Provide details on how your solution may lower TCO through energy efficiency, low maintenance needs, or recyclability. Focus on value, not just price.

Not following instructions carefully

Closely review all instructions, forms, and procedures required for pre-qualification. Make sure you provide all requested documentation, properly completed. Double-check that you meet all mandatory criteria. Failure to follow directions, missing application deadlines or not satisfying mandatory requirements are easy ways to get eliminated from consideration.

Avoiding these common mistakes and having a thorough, value-focused application will position you well for success in the pre-qualification process. Do your homework, follow the rules, and highlight why you’re the best choice – you’ll be on the road to new client partnerships in no time!

 

supplier pre-qualification

Getting through pre-qualification is a milestone for your future partnership.

Conclusion

Pre-qualification is the key to unlocking new opportunities and long-term success with major customers. By focusing on transparency, compliance, and capability, you’ll position yourself as a trusted and strategic partner. Don’t get overwhelmed by the paperwork and requirements. Take it step by step and lean on others who have been through the process before. With the right preparation and mindset, pre-qualification can be a rewarding journey that leads to new growth and profits for your business. You’ve got this! Now get out there, tell your story, and show them what you’re made of. The contracts and partnerships of your dreams are waiting on the other side.

Data Enrichment: Fueling Growth for Small and Local Businesses

Ever feel like your small business is struggling to gain traction because you can’t find new customers or the right partnerships? The problem may lie in your supplier and customer data. Incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated information about your customers and suppliers is simply bad for your business and can hinder potential growth.

When your data is robust, optimized, and synchronized, you gain visibility that generates new leads, wins new customers, and forges valuable alliances. Ensuring your customer and supplier data accuracy is a simple but powerful way for small and local businesses to accelerate growth in a competitive market. Are you ready to unlock the potential of your customer and supplier data with data enrichment? Success awaits.

data enrichment

Understanding your supplier and customer data can help fuel business growth.

Customer Data Management: The Key to Fueling Growth for Small and Local Businesses

Data enrichment is key to fueling growth for small and local businesses. By improving the accuracy of your customer and supplier data, you open doors to new opportunities.

Enriching Data on Potential and Current Customers

Most businesses utilize several tools to manage their client relationships. Tools like Hubspot, SalesForce, Pipedrive, and Monday help organize and enrich customer data, engagement, and more. Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, Brevo, Omnisend, and others help you communicate with your potential customers in engaging and relevant ways.

When you utilize tools like these to manage your potential customer databases, you can:

-Build targeted email lists to promote new products or services. Send messages only to businesses likely to be interested based on their business type or location.

-Expand social media advertising to new areas. Use enriched location data to reach companies in specific regions. Create ads tailored to their local communities.

-Improve direct mail campaign success. Mailers with personally relevant offers have a higher response rate. Enriched data provides the details to customize mailers for each recipient.

-Generate more qualified sales leads. Accurate data helps get your products and services in front of those businesses looking for them. When you have accurate data on potential clients, you can better spend your marketing dollars reaching them.

-Offer better customer service by keeping track of your client’s specific needs, preferences, and purchase history. Provide personalized support and recommendations to keep them coming back.

Leveraging enriched supplier and customer data is how to fuel sustainable success. What are you waiting for? Start enriching your data today!

data enrichment

Data quality issues are commonplace for most businesses regardless of size.

Common Data Quality Issues Facing Small and Local Businesses

As a small business owner, you live and die by the quality of your data. Unfortunately, nearly 8 in 10 businesses struggle with data quality issues that slow growth and impact the bottom line. Let’s look at some of the most common data quality problems facing small companies and how to overcome them.

For a more complete look at what characterizes good supplier data, take a look at this article.

Incomplete data

Missing or incomplete information about customers, vendors, or operations can hamper your ability to gain insights and make good business decisions. Do regular audits of critical datasets to look for empty fields, incomplete records, or missing information. Make a plan to fill the gaps through research, customer outreach, or process improvements.

Inaccurate data

Bad data is worse than no data at all. Incorrect info leads to poor analytics, flawed business intelligence, and unsatisfied customers. Put quality checks in place to verify data entry, conduct spot checks on records, and train employees on data standards. Consider using data validation tools that can check for inaccurate or out-of-range entries.

Irrelevant data

Collecting more data isn’t always better if you’re gathering data that doesn’t matter. Take time to evaluate which metrics and attributes are most meaningful to track for your business goals. Archive or delete unuseful data to avoid “data bloat” that makes important information harder to find.

Inconsistent data

Conflicting data across systems and departments can paint an incorrect business picture. Work to establish consistent data standards, formats, and definitions. Provide cross-training for teams that handle data entry or analysis. Integrate related data sources into a single system when possible to ensure the info stays in sync.

Identifying and addressing common data quality issues can transform small business data into a strategic asset. Clean, accurate, relevant data fuels growth, analytics, and intelligent decision-making. Make data quality a priority and you’ll be on the road to success.

data enrichment

Supplier data enrichment can lead to new partnership opportunities.

Leveraging Enriched Supplier Data to Support Small and Local Businesses

Small and local businesses can gain insights into their suppliers and other companies they do business with through data enrichment. By collecting and analyzing in-depth data, businesses can discover new growth opportunities and build meaningful relationships.

Deeper Data, Deeper Insights

Enriching basic supplier information like names, addresses, and contact details with additional data points helps create a more well-rounded view of each supplier. Details such as the supplier’s product offerings, capabilities, certifications, shipping locations, and more enable small businesses to understand each supplier’s abilities. Analyzing enriched data across suppliers may also reveal gaps or inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Build Stronger Connections

With a broader range of supplier insights, small businesses can identify areas of common interest or specialization and forge closer partnerships. For example, if multiple suppliers share sustainable business practices or diverse ownership, a small business may want to develop a local sustainability or diversity initiative in partnership with those suppliers. Strong, mutually beneficial supplier relationships built on shared values or priorities often lead to long-term success.

New Growth Opportunities

Enriched data provides context that sparks new ideas. By analyzing supplier data trends over time or comparing across regions, small businesses may discover emerging market opportunities or demand for new products and services. Local businesses can also use enriched data to identify suppliers that may be well-suited to help expand into new locations or adjacent market segments. Growth opportunities are in the data—we just have to open our eyes to see them.

Leveraging data enrichment strategies generates actionable insights that drive growth for small and local businesses. While data collection requires investment, the potential benefits to profitability and community relationships make it worthwhile for long-term success. Enriched data paves the way for small businesses to thrive.

 

data enrichment

There are several strategies for enriching your customer and supplier data.

Strategies for Enriching Supplier and Customer Data

There are several strategies for data enrichment that can fuel the growth of your small and local business.

Web scraping

Web scraping involves extracting large amounts of data from websites to enhance your supplier and customer records. You can scrape contact details, product info, reviews, and more from suppliers’ websites, social media pages, and industry websites. This helps ensure you have the most up-to-date and comprehensive data on each supplier and customer.

Data appending

Data appending combines your existing data with high-quality third-party data sources. Data appending gathers information from data brokers, supplier websites, business registries, and social networks. By merging multiple data sources, you gain more details on each customer or supplier to support targeted outreach and partnerships.

Data categorization

Categorizing data allows for improved organization and analysis. You can group suppliers and customers by location, products/services, certifications, business size, and other attributes. Categorization enables focused search and discovery, so you can quickly find suppliers that meet your specific needs and criteria. It also allows for segmentation, so you can tailor communications and offers to different groups.

These enrichment strategies will give you a robust, multifaceted view of your suppliers and customers. With a broader range of categorized details, you can gain insights into your customer and supplier bases and forge new partnerships that drive business growth. Most importantly, enriched data supports a personalized approach, allowing you to connect with suppliers and customers in a way that resonates and provides value.

Conclusion

So there you have it. By enriching your supplier and customer data, you’re setting your business up for success and growth. Clean, accurate data means improved operations, better customer service, and new opportunities to expand into new markets.

It may seem like a small step, but maintaining high-quality data can dramatically impact your bottom line and help take your company to the next level. While it requires an initial investment of time and resources, the rewards of increased efficiency, new customers, and improved decision-making are worth the effort.

So roll up your sleeves and get to work scrubbing that data – your small business will thank you for it!

How Suppliers Can Thrive: Supply Chain Trends Post-Pandemic

As a supplier, the way you do business will never be the same after the events of 2020. But change brings opportunity, and if you’re willing to adapt, the post-pandemic landscape could be prime for thriving. You just need to position yourself for success with these supply chain trends post-pandemic.

The keys are flexibility, innovation, and partnership. The companies that will emerge strongest are those that were able to pivot quickly to new models of supply and demand. If you invested in digital capabilities and e-commerce, you’re already ahead of the game. Don’t stop now – keep optimizing, automating, and integrating new tech.

Success will also depend on how well you collaborate. The supply chain struggles of the past three years have highlighted how interconnected we are. Suppliers that build strong partnerships and networks will weather continuing changes and supply chain disruptions.  They’ll also have customer loyalty, shared knowledge, and the resilience to withstand future shocks.

The world may never look the same, but the future remains bright for suppliers ready to evolve. With the right strategies and mindset, you have the power to not only survive but thrive in the post-pandemic reality. The opportunity is yours – now seize it!

supply chain trends post pandemic

Supply Chain Trends Emerging Post-Pandemic

The pandemic has reshaped supply chain strategies and priorities. As a supplier, you’ll have to adapt to succeed in this new normal.

Greater Transparency and Visibility

Supply chain stress tests will be commonplace, requiring end-to-end visibility into your operations and those of your partners. For this supply chain trend post-pandemic, be ready to share detailed data on sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution to give customers insight into potential disruptions.

Diversified, Localized Supply Bases

Reliance on a single country or region is too risky. Buyers are looking for additional geographically dispersed suppliers and nearshoring or onshoring some production. Having a diversified, localized network will make you more resilient and more appealing to buyers.

Agility and Flexibility

Fixed long-term contracts are out. You’ll need the ability to rapidly adjust to changes in demand, supply, and circumstance to take advantage of this post-pandemic supply chain trend. Build a nimble infrastructure and workforce that can pivot quickly. Offer customers flexible terms and shorter-term deals.

Digitized, Automated Processes

Technology enables transparency, diversity, and agility. Invest in platforms and tools for forecasting, sourcing, productivity, and end-to-end supply chain management. Automate where possible to improve speed and efficiency.

By embracing transparency, diversification, flexibility, and technology, you can turn this era of uncertainty into an opportunity. The suppliers that get this right will thrive in a post-pandemic world. Be proactive and start fortifying your supply chain today. The future is waiting.

supply chain trends post-pandemic

How Suppliers Can Prepare for Disruptions and Build Resilient Supply Chains

As a supplier, preparing for potential disruptions should be a top priority in today’s world. Companies can employ supply chain strategies like backup-supplier arrangements and geographically restructuring supply lines to reduce risks and mitigate disruptions. Being well-prepared for disruption is a major supply chain trend post-pandemic.

Diversify Your Supply Base

Having backup suppliers and a diverse supply base is crucial in preparing for supply chain disruption. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by relying on a single source for critical components or materials. Identify alternative suppliers in other regions in case your primary suppliers face difficulties. Spreading out your supply chain geographically also helps avoid over-dependence on a particular area. 

Regularly evaluate suppliers and their supply chains to determine responsiveness and resiliency. Having backup options and flexibility built into your supply network will allow you to pivot quickly if there are supply constraints or delays.

Stay in Close Contact with Your Suppliers and Buyers

Companies should focus on managing upstream supply disruptions from tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. Maintain open lines of communication with your suppliers and buyers to stay on top of any potential issues as early as possible.

 Discuss possible scenarios that could disrupt your supply chain and create joint plans for addressing risks, whether it’s a materials shortage, natural disaster, or another crisis. Ensure you have real-time visibility into each other’s inventory levels, demand forecasts, and business operations. Strong relationships and open communication will allow you to anticipate issues, solve problems quickly, and adapt when needed.

Increase Visibility into Lower Tiers

Greater visibility into your extended supply chain, including lower-tier suppliers, allows you to assess risks and vulnerabilities ahead of time. Map your supply network and understand interdependencies for insight into how disruptions to a lower-tier supplier could impact your operations or disrupt business for your buyers. Use tools like surveys, audits, and data sharing to increase transparency into the health of your broader supply base.

Invest in Digital Technologies

Digital tools can provide transparency and help you sense supply chain disturbances rapidly. Solutions like supply chain control towers, risk management platforms, and end-to-end visibility platforms tap into data from across your supply network. They use AI and analytics to detect issues early, model the impacts, and suggest corrective actions. Digital technologies also enable real-time collaboration and fast communication with your partners when you need to make quick adjustments or reroute supply flows.

Ensure your responsiveness by continuously optimizing your supply chain network and business relationships. With teamwork, diversity, and technology on your side, you’ll thrive in a post-pandemic world.

By diversifying your supply chain, maintaining close contact with suppliers, increasing visibility into lower tiers, and investing in new technologies, you’ll be in the best position to navigate disruptions and continue delivering for your customers. Success in today’s world requires resilience and adaptability. Following these best practices will help you thrive as a supplier, no matter what comes your way.

supply chain trends post-pandmic

Keys to Retaining and Satisfying Clients Post-Pandemic

To retain and satisfy your clients in a post-pandemic world, focus on three key factors:

Consistent, High-Quality Experiences

Your clients now expect seamless, high-quality experiences with every interaction. Train your staff to deliver excellent service. Monitor quality and quickly address any issues. Pay close attention to details and go the extra mile.

Manager Engagement

Managers should regularly connect with clients to understand their needs and concerns. Build personal relationships and trust. Be proactive and reach out often, not just when there are problems. Ask for feedback and input into how you can better serve them. Make clients feel valued and heard.

Adapt to Changing Needs

The pandemic has transformed consumer behaviors and priorities. Stay on top of trends and be willing to pivot quickly. For example, many clients now prefer contactless or virtual interactions. Provide options to connect how and when clients want. Look for ways to enhance safety, convenience, and value. Make their lives easier in meaningful ways.

Keeping clients happy in our new normal requires suppliers to be responsive, flexible, and hyper-focused on service and experience. Pay attention to the details, go above and beyond, and build personal connections. Make clients feel heard, valued, and cared for. When you consistently meet and exceed their expectations, you create lasting loyalty. Focusing on high-quality, seamless experiences, engaged managers, and adapting to changing needs are the keys to thriving as a supplier in the post-pandemic world.

Supply Chain Trends Post-Pandemic

Adapt Your Business to Succeed in the New Normal with These Supply Chain Trends Post-Pandemic

Suppliers must adapt to new ways of doing business to succeed in the post-pandemic world.

Focus on Efficiency.

With economic uncertainty looming, companies will be looking to cut costs wherever they can. Suppliers who can streamline processes and reduce waste will be most appealing. Look for ways to optimize your supply chain, cut excess inventory, and pass on cost savings to customers.

Prioritize Agility.

The pandemic has shown how quickly markets can change. Suppliers need to be able to pivot quickly in response to changes in demand, supply shortages, and shifts in consumer preferences. Stay on top of trends, diversify your offerings, and build a flexible infrastructure that can adapt rapidly.

Enhance the Customer Experience.

As more business is conducted online, the customer experience is increasingly important. Make your website easy to navigate, with a seamless purchasing process. Offer additional services like curbside pickup, delivery, product recommendations, and chat support. Personalized experiences will set you apart.

Expand Your Digital Capabilities.

Digital fluency is crucial. Suppliers should have a robust e-commerce platform, utilize data to gain customer insights and take advantage of technologies like AI and automation where possible. Companies that leverage digital tools will be poised for growth.

Build Strategic Partnerships.

Strong relationships with customers and partners have never been more critical. Look for collaboration opportunities through joint marketing campaigns, bulk purchasing, shared distribution, or cross-promotions. Strategic alliances can help diversify your customer base and open new doors.

By focusing on efficiency, agility, customer experience, digital capabilities, and key partnerships, suppliers can position themselves to not just survive but thrive in the post-pandemic world. The future may be uncertain, but with the right strategies, success is still possible.

Conclusion

The future is looking bright for suppliers who make the right moves now. To take advantage of supply chain trends post-pandemic, focus on building true relationships, not just transactions. Invest in technology that streamlines your processes and gives your customers visibility. Remember— people are still at the heart of every supply chain. Treat your team well, so they treat your customers well.

The pandemic was a wake-up call for many and highlighted our interconnectedness. For savvy suppliers, the pandemic also became an opportunity to strengthen connections, gain loyalty, and position themselves as indispensable partners. Suppliers should continue to take pandemic lessons to heart as supply chain issues continue.  Stay flexible, keep learning, and get ready to thrive. The suppliers that will come out on top are the ones that serve, support, and innovate.

How Procurement Pros Can Find Small Local Suppliers Now

Have you been struggling lately to find smaller suppliers in your area? As a procurement pro, sourcing locally is an important part of your job. But in times like these, it can feel nearly impossible. Don’t lose hope! There are still great local vendors— you just have to know where to look.

In this article, we’ll show you some tips and tricks for uncovering those hidden gems in your own backyard. You’ll learn how to tap into community connections, search industry associations, and think outside the big box. We’ll even point you to a few technology tools that make local sourcing easier than ever.

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a toolbox full of strategies to find small and local vendors even when the economy isn’t exactly booming. And you’ll feel good knowing you’re supporting businesses in your own community when it’s most needed. So grab your laptop and your little black book of contacts—it’s time to start sourcing locally again.

The Benefits of Sourcing Locally During Economic Uncertainty

Sourcing supplies locally during tough economic times offers some compelling benefits.

Support Small Businesses

Local suppliers are the backbone of your community. By choosing small, independent companies in your area, you’re helping them weather the storm and come out intact on the other side. Every order makes a difference.

Reduce Environmental Impact

Localized supply chains mean fewer miles traveled and less pollution. And because small suppliers often use sustainable, eco-friendly practices, you can feel good about the impact of your purchases.

Meet Customer Demand

Consumers today want to buy from businesses that support their local economy and share their values. Localizing your supply chain is a great way to boost your brand and attract new customers. People will appreciate knowing their money is staying in the community.

Discover Unique Products

Small, locally-owned companies are breeding grounds for innovation. You’ll find unique, handcrafted goods and custom products unavailable from large suppliers. Offering one-of-a-kind items is a point of differentiation that sets you apart.

Build a Resilient Network

Diversifying your supply base by sourcing from local vendors in different industries helps minimize risk. If one supplier faces hardship, you have alternatives to fall back on. Nurturing these relationships over time leads to a robust, collaborative network.

While global supply chains certainly have a place, localizing your sourcing, even in part, yields benefits for both your business and community. Every dollar you spend locally multiplies, creating opportunities that strengthen your regional economy from the inside out.

Where to Find Small and Diverse Suppliers in Your Area

As a procurement pro, finding small and diverse suppliers in your local area is key to supporting your community. Where can you look to uncover these gems?

ANA Supplier Diversity Directory

The ANA has curated a list of certified diverse suppliers in the marketing/advertising industry. Search by location, diversity certification, and business classification. Many of these companies are small, local organizations looking to do business with other businesses in their area.

State and Local Supplier Diversity Databases

Most states and local municipalities offer a directory of small and diverse suppliers within their borders. For example, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity hosts a searchable directory of over 16,000 small and diverse suppliers. You can filter by city or county to find suppliers right in your community. These state databases are an excellent resource for sourcing locally. You can also look into local area chambers of commerce and see if you can access their member list.

By tapping into these supplier diversity resources, you’ll uncover small enterprises in your city or county that would value your business. Reach out and start building relationships – your local economy will thank you, and you may find unique, specialized suppliers you never knew existed in your own backyard!

Corporate Memberships and Subscriptions

WEBENC, NMSDC, NAWBO, Disability:IN, and NGLCC all have databases of suppliers they have certified. You can access these databases with corporate memberships/sponsorships through each organization. You can filter these databases to find diverse businesses to work within your area.

Diversity Information Resources offers an online sourcing portal. The portal’s database includes small, minority, women, veteran, service-disabled veteran, LGBT, HUBZon,e and disability-owned business enterprises certified by NMSDC, WBENC, NWBOC, CPUC, 8(a), NGLCC, Disability: IN, WEConnect, CAMSC, State and City Agencies, MSDUK and more. 

SupplierGATEWAY’s Supplier Diversity Platform comes equipped with a sourcing database that contains five million+ suppliers. You can filter your supplier searches by locality, business size, certification type, industry, NAICS codes, and more. The sourcing tool is only a part of SupplierGATEWAY’s robust Supplier Diversity Platform, which allows you to track your tier-1 and tier-2 diversity spend, report on local economic impact, and help you find local and diverse suppliers you’re already working with. 

Building Relationships With Local Businesses

Building strong relationships with local suppliers and small businesses is key to securing the partnerships you need during tough economic times. As a procurement pro, here are some tips for connecting with these valuable contacts:

Reach Out and Offer Help

Don’t just call local companies when you need something from them. Routinely checking in to see if they need help or advice is a great way to build goodwill. Ask open-ended questions about how their business is doing and if there’s any way you might be able to assist or provide value. Your willingness to help for the sake of helping can go a long way.

Meet in Person When Possible

While phone calls and emails have their place, face-to-face meetings are ideal for forming personal connections. See if you can schedule quick coffee meetings or walk-throughs of suppliers’ operations. Putting a face to the name and seeing their business firsthand helps to build rapport and trust. These in-person interactions allow you to express your genuine interest in their success.

Ask for Feedback

Don’t just assume you have a good working relationship with a supplier or local business. Ask them directly how you and your company can support them better. Let them know you value their input and are open to constructive criticism. The feedback you receive can help strengthen your partnership and ensure their needs are being met.

Stay in Regular Contact

Out of sight, out of mind—this saying applies to business relationships, too. While you don’t need to communicate with suppliers daily, do reach out regularly, and not just when you have a request or issue to discuss. Send a quick email to say hello, share an article of common interest, or just reiterate your desire to continue building a long-term working relationship. Making yourself visible and available on an ongoing basis will keep connections with local businesses alive and well.

Fostering close-knit ties with small suppliers in your area leads to partnerships that benefit both parties. With the right mindset and consistent effort, you can establish valuable support networks that will serve your company in the future.

Negotiating Win-Win Deals With Small Suppliers

As a procurement pro, finding and negotiating with small local suppliers during tough economic times requires finesse and understanding. Your goal should be creating win-win deals that help sustain these vendors through the downturn.

Build Trust First

Reach out to introduce yourself and your company, explaining you want to source locally. Express interest in learning about their business and products. This demonstrates you value them, building rapport and trust which are essential before negotiating.

Do Your Homework

Research market rates for goods and services to determine fair pricing. Check the supplier’s website and social media to understand their business. Come prepared with a range of acceptable prices for discussion. The supplier will appreciate your knowledge and preparation.

Focus on Partnership

Frame the discussion around forging a mutually beneficial partnership, not just a transactional relationship. Explain how their business aligns with your company’s goals and priorities, like supporting small local companies. Discuss ways you might collaborate and promote each other to generate goodwill and long-term success.

Be Flexible and Creative

Small suppliers are often less flexible on pricing and terms, so you may have to get creative to get the deal you’re looking for. Look for non-monetary ways to create value in exchange for more flexibility from them. Offer introductions to other buyers, promotion of their business on your website or social media, or mentoring. You might suggest exclusivity or preferred supplier status for lower prices and inventory priority. Offering a market opportunity that is too good to pass up can often make inflexible terms more pliable.

Stay in Touch

Once you’ve negotiated a deal, continue communicating to ensure the partnership remains strong. Ask for feedback, check on any issues, and revisit the relationship as economic conditions evolve. Your ongoing support and dialog will build loyalty and position you as a preferred customer when times improve.

With the right mindset and tactics, you can negotiate win-win deals with small local suppliers despite the challenges of an economic downturn. Focusing on building a true partnership will lead to a sustainable relationship that benefits you both now and in the long run.

Ensuring Quality and Reliability From Smaller Vendors

As a procurement pro, finding new suppliers during tough economic times requires extra diligence to ensure quality and reliability. While cost is important, the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice if it means sacrificing consistency or service.

Perform Thorough Vetting

Do your homework on potential new suppliers. Check their references and financial stability. Make sure they can deliver what they promise before signing a contract. It’s best to start small to test the waters. Place a small initial order to evaluate them on key metrics like on-time delivery, responsiveness, and product quality before committing to a long-term relationship.

Monitor Closely After Onboarding

Once you’ve onboarded a new supplier, keep a close eye on them. Review the quality of their goods and services regularly. Provide feedback to address any issues right away. It’s much easier to correct problems early. If a supplier continues to underperform after you’ve given them a chance to improve, you may need to part ways to avoid disruptions to your own business.

Help Small Vendors Succeed

While monitoring suppliers closely is important, so is offering support. Smaller companies may need more hand-holding as they get started. Be willing to show them the ropes and provide guidance to meet your standards. A good long-term partnership is mutually beneficial. If you invest in helping a promising small supplier improve, it can pay off through a reliable, affordable source of quality goods and services.

Following best practices for supplier management and maintaining open communication is key. Though it requires time and effort up front, ensuring consistent quality and service from all your vendors, big and small, leads to greater stability and satisfaction in the long run. By taking the time to find and develop the right suppliers, you’ll build a resilient supply chain to weather any economic storm.

Conclusion

You now have some solid tips for seeking out those small local suppliers in your area even when times are tough. While it may require some extra legwork, the rewards for your company and community can be huge. Not only will you find innovative and agile partners, but you’ll be supporting the economic recovery of businesses right in your own backyard.

So start making those calls, sending emails, attending virtual meetups, and getting the word out that you want to buy locally. The suppliers are out there, eager for your business and ready to build a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. And when we all come out the other side of this challenging time, you’ll have a robust network of trusted local vendors you can continue to tap into for years to come. The effort you put in now will pay off in so many ways down the road. So roll up your sleeves, pound the pavement, and start discovering all the hometown gems in your supplier base. Your company and community will thank you for it.

The 3 Biggest P2P Invoicing Headaches (And How to Cure Them)

Ever get frustrated with your company’s invoicing process? As a procurement pro, you know that p2p invoicing headaches can be a real drag on productivity. The good news is, that the top 3 problems plaguing p2p invoice processing are totally fixable if you know the cures.

In this article, we’re going to walk through the biggest p2p invoicing headaches from a buyer’s perspective and show you how to remedy them once and for all. By the end, you’ll have actionable solutions for streamlining your p2p invoicing, reducing costs, and improving vendor relationships. So grab your metaphorical medicine bag and let’s get to work—your p2p invoicing relief awaits!

Invoice Errors – The #1 P2P Invoicing Headache

Invoice errors are the number one headache in p2p invoicing – and for good reason. When invoices are processed manually, the error rate can be as high as 21%. These mistakes cost companies big time in overpayments, missed discounts, and wasted resources.

As a buyer, inaccurate invoices create major problems. Duplicate payments are common, often caused by typos in the invoice number or amount that slip through the cracks. Your accounts payable team has to track down the error, get credits issued, and fix any resulting mismatches in your accounting systems. What a hassle!

Incorrect invoices also mess up your records and reports. Your accounts receivable, inventory, and cash balances can all be thrown off when the wrong amounts are paid or paid twice. Resolving these issues requires hours of research and reconciliation to set the numbers straight again.

To cure this invoicing headache, it’s time to automate. Using OCR and AI, digital solutions can capture invoice data accurately and automatically match it to the correct purchase orders and receipts in your system. They validate amounts, flag duplicates, and alert your team to any issues before payment is made.

With automated p2p invoicing, you’ll kiss goodbye to the high costs and consequences of human error. Your accounts payable process will be streamlined, and you’ll gain new visibility into your cash flow and spending. Isn’t that worth investing in? After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make the switch to digital, and put this p2p headache behind you for good!

Duplicate Invoices – An All Too Common Occurrence

Duplicate invoices are one of the biggest headaches in the P2P invoicing process. As a buyer, it’s annoying to get the same bill twice and have to sort it out. Here are a few tips to help prevent duplicates from causing chaos:

Regularly audit invoices for duplicates. Go through your invoices at least once a month to catch any potential duplicates before you end up paying twice for the same goods or services. Look for invoices with the same vendor, date, and amount. If you spot any suspicious matches, contact the vendor right away to verify which invoice is correct.

Use smart invoice numbering. Ask your vendors to include the full date (year, month, and day) in their invoice numbers. For example, have them use numbers like INV20200101 instead of just INV20. This makes it much easier to catch duplicates at a glance.

Automate where you can. Use optical character recognition (OCR) to automatically capture invoice data and match it to the correct vendor and general ledger account. Automated 3-way matching of invoices to purchase orders and goods receipts can also help flag duplicates. The less manual data entry, the lower the chance of human error.

By diligently monitoring for duplicate invoices, implementing smart invoice numbering, and automating parts of your process, you’ll cure one of the biggest headaches in P2P invoicing. Your accounting team will thank you, and you’ll gain back valuable time and money.

Delayed or Missing Invoices – The Bane of AP’s Existence

Delayed or missing invoices are the bane of any accounts payable department’s existence. Without an invoice, payments grind to a halt and cash flow suffers. Here are the main reasons invoices go MIA and what you can do about it:

Manual data entry

Entering invoice data by hand is tedious and error-prone. It’s easy for invoices to get lost or misfiled, and matching purchase orders to invoices is difficult. The solution? Automate as much of your AP process as possible. Optical character recognition (OCR) can extract data from PDFs and automatically match invoices to POs. This reduces lost invoices by up to 60% and speeds up processing.

Disorganized supplier records

If you don’t have a centralized supplier database, invoices may get sent to the wrong person or department. Create a supplier portal where vendors can upload invoices directly. Have suppliers confirm or update their contact details and billing addresses regularly. Standardize how you name, file, and store invoices to make them easy to find.

Lack of invoice approval workflow

Without an automated approval workflow, invoices can fall through the cracks waiting to be approved. Set up a streamlined electronic workflow that automatically routes invoices to the right approvers. Require approvers to sign off on invoices within a certain time period. Send reminders to those who don’t respond.

Supplier errors

Make sure your suppliers know exactly what information you need on an invoice for it to be approved and paid. Provide them with a standardized invoice template or checklist. Double-check that all details match the PO and shipment received before approving the invoice. Follow up with suppliers right away regarding any missing information or discrepancies to avoid payment delays.

Automating parts of your AP process and improving supplier relationships can significantly slash the number of lost or delayed invoices. This frees up your AP staff to focus on more strategic work and ensures all parties get paid on time. By streamlining and organizing your invoicing system, you’ll cure the headache of chasing down missing invoices for good.

Difficulty Matching Invoices – A Manual Chore

Manually matching invoices to purchase orders and receipts is tedious and time-consuming. As a business owner, this is one of the biggest headaches you’ll face.

Difficulty Matching Invoices – A Manual Chore

Matching invoices manually often means sorting through stacks of paper to find the right documents. It can take hours of work for a single employee to go through them all, double-check for errors, and ensure payments are correct.

With a manual system, it’s easy for duplicate payments or incorrect amounts to slip through the cracks. Human error is inevitable when handling reams of paper invoices and matching them to the proper POs and receipts. Small mistakes can add up to big costs over time.

Not only is manual matching difficult and prone to mistakes, but it requires a major time investment. Employees have to physically handle each document, review the details, and match it to the corresponding records. This tedious process reduces productivity and pulls staff away from more important tasks.

For growing companies, the volume of invoices and purchases will only increase over time. Manual systems quickly become unsustainable, requiring more staff just to keep up. Automated invoice matching software can help reduce reliance on paper and cut manual processing errors.

With automated tools, you upload digital copies of your invoices which are then matched to the proper POs and receipts in the system. Approved invoices are paid automatically while exceptions are flagged for review. This cuts out the manual sorting and matching, reducing human error and saving countless hours of time.

Your business depends on accurate and efficient P2P processes. Automating invoice matching is one of the best ways to cure this headache, improve accuracy, increase productivity, and scale with growth. Why suffer through a manual system when technology can handle this tedious task for you?

Lack of Visibility – Flying Blind on Spend

One of the biggest headaches with P2P invoicing is the lack of visibility into your business spend. When you can’t see how and where your money is being spent, it’s like flying blind without a clear view of the landscape below.

Suppliers Out of Sight

Without a centralized place to view all your suppliers in one place, you may end up paying more to use the same supplier for the same goods or services. Or worse, you miss opportunities to consolidate spend with preferred suppliers to gain better pricing and terms. Creating a repository of all current and potential suppliers, along with details on their offerings, pricing, and your spend history can help gain visibility into this area.

Mysterious Spend Categories

Do you know exactly how much you’re spending each month on office supplies versus travel expenses versus consulting fees? When spend categories are not clearly defined and tracked, your budget may end up skewed. Implementing a spend categorization method, like the UNSPC code, can help group like items together so you see the bigger picture.

Unauthorized Purchases

Without strict controls and oversight into who can approve and make purchases, unauthorized spending is more likely to occur. This leads to wasted money and missed savings. Tightening approval workflows, setting clear authorization limits, and conducting frequent audits of spending activity can reduce the risk of unauthorized purchases slipping through the cracks.

Out of Control Spend

When you lack deep insight into how and where money is being spent in your organization, spend can easily get out of control. But gaining visibility through analytics, forecasting tools, and spend dashboards gives you the power to identify wasteful spend, spot trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your budget.

Gaining visibility and control over your P2P invoicing processes may require an investment in technology and resources upfront but can pay off significantly in the long run through hard-dollar savings, reduced risk, and improved efficiency. No more flying blind – achieve 20/20 vision into your business spend.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the three biggest headaches with P2P invoicing and some easy solutions to remedy them. Managing invoices and the overall P2P process doesn’t have to be complicated or frustrating. With the right tools and strategies in place, you’ll be paying vendors on time, catching errors before they happen, and avoiding those stressful fire drills. And the best part? You get hours of your day back to focus on more important things. So do yourself a favor and implement a few of these tips. Your accounts payable team and budget will thank you for it.