The “Q” Word – Questionnaires

A favorite character in the James Bond series (other than James himself) is Q. Q always has these amazing hi-tech gadgets that save James from a certain demise at just the right time. Explosive alarm clocks, the Knife Shoe, exploding pens, a submarine Lotus Esprit, and of course the attacking sofa. He also has little patience for James and his laissez-faire attitude.  Q is cool.  

For your suppliers, what’s not cool is the “Q” word: Questionnaires.

Suppliers receive and return countless questionnaires containing dozens to hundreds of questions from each customer. Many of these questions are similar from customer to customer with slight variations and various formats. Just google “supplier questionnaires” and you’ll be overwhelmed with many template options and suggestions of what to include in your questionnaires. 

So as a procurement organization, what should you include in your questionnaires? And how do you keep them up to date? Key global risks, evolving market conditions, geopolitical issues, and new compliance mandates require revisions to your questionnaires to collect crucial pieces of information from your suppliers. This is necessary to mitigate any risk to your organization. 

Each time a company sends out a questionnaire or sends an updated questionnaire, the supplier must respond to each customer separately. The queue for having your specific questionnaire updated and returned can be quite lengthy, therefore creating a lag in the transfer of information. This lag leads to stale data and a lack of visibility to manage your company’s risk in current market conditions.

So, what’s the solution?  The “S” word: Standardization. Trust Your Supplier (TYS) has pulled together a conglomerate of major buying organizations to develop a set of questionnaires that are standardized. These questionnaires cover industry, location, and buyer-specific issues that allow each organization to assign the relevant questionnaires to their suppliers. And these questionnaires are kept updated to reflect new requirements and regulations.

Here’s an example of how it works: 

A set of questionnaires can be assigned to a supplier by a customer. Once those questionnaires have been completed and published by the supplier, the procurement team can review the answers. But there’s more!  Suppliers can then share the same completed questionnaires with other customers…with just a click of a button. So instead of sending the same 200 answers separately to each customer, the supplier now just needs to focus on any unique questions a customer may have. This dramatically reduces the supplier’s administrative burden as well as the onboarding time and keeps their information current and accurate.  

Let’s suppose this supplier has added a new product and now they are working with conflict minerals. No problem. The supplier can update the Conflict Minerals questionnaire and once published, the system will automatically notify every connected customer. The supplier’s new motto is now: “Do Once, Share with Many.”

These standardized questionnaires offer additional benefits to buyer teams. The TYS approvals workflow can be customized and automated with each questionnaire. Each answer can be “scored” based on your internal risk threshold. Any answer that does not align with your company’s preferred score will then be directed to the appropriate team role for further review and approval. This allows your team to focus on undesirable answers rather than spending time reviewing all answers.

Another TYS feature that softens the blow of the Q word is Questionnaire Groups. Depending on the supplier segmentation strategy, buyer organizations can use a targeted approach to send relevant questionnaires to a configured group of suppliers. These groups are customized by the buyer team and then assigned as a group to suppliers that fit into that category (i.e., location). This simplifies the questionnaire assignment process for the buyer team. 

And the newest TYS feature is Predictive Questionnaires. Buyer teams can create a set of rules that will predict which questionnaires should be assigned to a particular supplier. This is tremendously valuable as new compliance regulations and laws come into play throughout the world, and provides the opportunity to reach more of your supplier base without further manual outreach.

Ultimately, standardization and automation result in benefits for both supplier and buyer organizations. The reduction in the onboarding cycle time allows transactions to occur faster and there is reduced administrative effort on both sides. Buyer organizations can also then benefit from having full visibility into their supplier base for strategic decision-making and risk management.  

Check out a real example of how quickly suppliers can complete their profiles and questionnaires on the TYS system.

TYS Implementation Case Study

Now available is a Trust Your Supplier case study on a telecoms company’s approach to managing change when implementing a new supplier onboarding process. Read how the organization worked with suppliers and internal teams to roll out the Trust Your Supplier platform and the outcomes they are finding as a result.

Read the Case Study

 

FAQ: What is the Importance of Standardization?

Frequently Asked Question: What is the importance of standardization?

Trust Your Supplier has endeavored to bring together buyer organizations across and within industries to determine the best practices and key questions needed to ensure supplier questionnaires address compliance and risk perspectives. Our questionnaires were built with key regulatory questions that address global, local and industry specific requirements. 

These standardized questionnaires and workflows reduce onboarding time by allowing suppliers to focus on any unique questions without having to readdress shared questions. This gives suppliers a better experience overall, while reducing time, effort and costs for both parties. Internally, organizations can move in an agile way to get the suppliers they need and meet their goals & deadlines. 

Watch this short video to learn more. https://trustyoursupplier.com/resources/cycle-time/ 

FAQ: Why Supplier Management?

Frequently Asked Question: Why did Trust Your Supplier choose to tackle supplier management?

We realized that there was a large gap in the reliability of supplier data. With today’s supply chain risks, volatility in supply, and the increased regulatory situation, traditional methods to discover, onboard and monitor suppliers can’t keep up with the pace of changing information. 

Fundamental to all supply chains is the “supplier”. Globalization requires proper vetting and risk assessment of suppliers across a broad spectrum of subject areas to ensure trust, transparency, and compliance with global regulations 

The pandemic has demonstrated that a lack of supplier diversity and reliance on one or two concentrated suppliers can lead to a total supply disruption, higher costs, and process inefficiencies. As part of their material risk and qualification assessments, investors, buyers, and consumers are requiring suppliers to demonstrate ESG and sustainability initiatives.  

Our parent company, Chainyard, believes that a blockchain-powered solution such as Trust Your Supplier is foundational to the future of supplier management. 

Trust Your Supplier Whitepaper Download

For Trust Your Supplier, blockchain isn’t just a buzzword. It’s the technology we are using to lead the way from today’s portal-based ecosystem to a true, universally consumable supplier digital identity. 

Download the free whitepaper to learn more about our technology and the many benefits to both procurement organizations and supplier companies.

https://trustyoursupplier.com/resources/whitepaper/ 

 

9 Ways to Know Procurement Has Outgrown Excel 

Microsoft Excel is a great product that has been the mainstay of business data and calculations tools for decades. It’s easily available, considerably stable, and most computer-savvy users can learn it. However, it does have limitations, and as your business grows, you’ll notice some disadvantages when relying solely on Excel. So how can you tell if your procurement department has outgrown Excel and needs a different technology? 

Read more about this topic on the Buyers Meeting Point blog at 

https://www.buyersmeetingpoint.com/digital-transformation/entry/9-ways-to-know-procurement-has-outgrown-excel 

#digitalprocurement #supplierrelationshipmanagement #digitaltransformation #BuyersMeetingPoint

Good Advice From Joyce Harkness

In the United States, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Our time is spent sharing food and other traditions with family and friends.  As I’ve been making preparations, I remembered some family-themed advice given to me by Joyce Harkness. 

Joyce joined me on an episode of the Procurement Block podcast and as a single, working mother offered up this tip for managing work and family:  “We have a shared online family calendar. At the beginning of each school year, we would put the usual school and family events in the calendar. And then it helps us then have conversations about who’s attending what.”

Joyce was such a pleasure to have on the show. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to her episode on Supplier Information Management, you can check it on below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

https://trustyoursupplier.com/procurement-block/podcast-s1e4/ 

Digital Transformers: Supplier Management Using Blockchain

Historically, procurement has considered themselves the ‘gatekeepers’ for enterprise contracts and supplier relationships. Information was regarded as power, especially if it could give them an upper hand in supplier negotiations. That paradigm no longer works.

Today’s procurement organizations are not only beginning to empower distributed buyers to make more and more independent decisions about suppliers, they are working towards stronger, more trust-based partnerships with those suppliers.

In this episode of Digital Transformers, powered by Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Kelly Barner welcome Gary Storr and April Harrison with Trust Your Supplier to the podcast to discuss supplier management using blockchain:

· The importance of establishing mutual trust in a digitally transformed business environment and how specific technologies can help companies achieve that at scale

· How blockchain can not only increase the trust factor of supplier information, it can also prevent suppliers from having to manually make updates across a range of customer systems

· Ways in which the past year has helped procurement see just how reliant they are on their suppliers

Listen to the episode here.

The Value of a Blockchain-Based Identity

by April Harrison

A trusted supplier identity is the keystone of our Trust Your Supplier (TYS) platformTYS provides organizations a trusted exchange of information across an encrypted blockchain environment to minimize risk & fraud throughout the onboarding and life cycle of partnerships. Our value proposition relies on ensuring identity control and privacy for network participants. 

The exchange of information is crucial to business operations in all industries. Conventional systems are open to fraud, error and inefficiency. These manual processes lack data security and each participant has their own separate database, or ledger — increasing the possibility of human error or fraud. Shared databases cannot prevent malicious activity. Hacked entities can corrupt or destroy data in the shared database, making it invalid for everyone involved. 

Blockchain is designed for trust and secure trading, reducing vulnerabilities. It provides clear provenance and a single, shared, tamper-evident ledger. Once recorded, transactions cannot be altered. This is ideal for supporting auditing capabilities as it provides an immutable relationship history between parties. 

The TYS supplier profile data is sovereign, owned & controlled by the supplier, who can selectively share additional profile information with companies they choose to connect with on the network. 

This single, digital identity for suppliers can be shared with multiple buyers and business networks. A 2-tiered supplier profile approach allows suppliers to be discovered by new customers without handing over unlimited access to their data. 

To learn more about this innovative new approach to supplier identity that is transforming supplier relationships, please visit www.TrustYourSupplier.com