Collaborating with external vendors and suppliers is not something you can avoid in the public sector. In fact, outsourcing is essential to maximizing value and delivering a seamless customer experience.
In your search to procure the right goods and services, an elaborate bidding process involving multiple vendors and RFPs/RFQs is used to reduce risk, lower costs, and ensure transparency. But as with every aspect of the integrated supply chain, managing vendor relationships has grown increasingly complex.
There are now more moving parts of the business to juggle, from purchase orders and invoices to RFP/RFQ deadlines. Without the right technology in place to effectively handle the procurement process, public sector organizations are in danger of service delays, cost overages, and failed projects.
In this blog post, we want to help you avoid the 7 most common mistakes made in vendor management, specifically within the public sector. With insight into these collective mistakes, we will show you how an integrated vendor collaboration solution with a modern vendor portal is the best way to resolve these problems and alleviate these risks.
- Relying on manual processes and spreadsheets.
Manual processes and data consolidation are extremely time-consuming when you are trying to balance dozens of vendors, track upcoming RFP deadlines, and collect overdue payments. Unfortunately, most public sector organizations are still doing it the hard way with uncontrolled spreadsheets and disparate systems that don’t speak to each other. This presents internal challenges with standardization and training, as well as external challenges for vendors.
- Working in departmental silos with minimal communication.
RFPs, purchase orders, invoices, quotes, and communications can be overwhelming for public sector employees without the support they need from other departments. But most organizations don’t have a single centralized system to easily access real-time data or communicate status updates. As a result, important deadlines get missed, invoices get lost, and vendor relationships suffer.
- Making excuses for late payments.
You don’t want to be known as the government entity that takes forever to process an invoice. To build a successful, mutually beneficial vendor relationship, you need to ensure they receive and pay their invoices on time. The problem is that the outdated technology used by many public sector organizations does not have the accounts payable automation and purchase order integration required to streamline these processes.
- Not having a single location to track and manage bids.
The RFP/RFQ process involves a lot of different people and departments from both sides. While your organization needs visibility into open requests and status updates, your vendors also need to stay informed on purchase order statuses and approvals. Without a vendor collaboration portal to track and manage all of these areas, meeting expectations, demands, and timelines can be difficult.
- Not having access to real-time insights.
In the public sector, retaining records for vendor performance evaluations and auditing purposes is integral to your operations. But when you are running several systems for logistics, sales, and purchase management, you don’t have timely access to accurate data for reporting and analysis.
- Existing technology has no ability to scale.
If you’re a small agency tracking one or two RFQs a quarter, it may not seem like you need an integrated vendor collaboration tool to effectively manage these projects. The reality is, you have likely left that stage long ago, and now your employees are burdened with unscalable spreadsheets and more administrative work than they can handle.
The Solution to Vendor Collaboration
If any of these common mistakes sound familiar, this is where a vendor collaboration platform can help. Vendor collaboration software is designed to improve how you work with purchase orders, RFQs/RFPs, invoices, and consignment inventory. Although there are many vendor collaboration solutions out there, it’s beneficial to find a product that seamlessly integrates with your existing ERP or accounting system.
As technology experts with decades of experience working in the public sector, OnActuate recognized the need for a solution that could centrally manage the bidding process and improve the vendor experience. We built our Vendor Collaboration solution on the Dynamics 365 platform to help our public sector customers centrally manage the bidding process and increase outreach to their vendors through a modern portal. Here are some of the key benefits OnActuate’s Vendor Collaboration solution provides:
- Uses a single platform that enables instant collaboration between internal employees and external vendors
- Significant time savings on invoice processing with AP automation
- User-friendly vendor collaboration interface that displays real-time information about purchase orders, invoices, and consignment stock
- Mobile workspace to help vendors stay informed on purchase order statuses and respond easily to orders that are awaiting approval
- Ability to retain records of all collaboration actions for vendor performance evaluations and auditing purposes
- Intuitive workflows designed to quickly set up new users and manage security roles
- Rank analysis and scoring for RFPs/RFQs
See How OnActuate’s Vendor Collaboration Solution Works
Our integrated Vendor Collaboration platform built for Dynamics 365 is designed to fit your public sector vendor management needs by providing a reliable foundation for the bidding and procurement process. Watch the in-depth product webcast below to find out more about how OnActuate’s Vendor Collaboration solution can help you manage vendor relationships, handle vendor scoring and payments, and gain end-to-end visibility of procurement.
In this webcast, you will learn more about:
- The Microsoft ecosystem and how it supports modern supply chain management
- What features are included in OnActuate’s Vendor Collaboration solution and Vendor Portal
- How our Vendor Collaboration Platform works