Integrate Suppliers into Procurement and Document Management Processes

Integrate Suppliers into Procurement and Document Management Processes

Integrating suppliers and vendors effectively is key for engineering, procurement, construction companies. With supplier involvement at key points in the procurement and document control processes companies can improve quality, schedule, and getting the most out of the supplier.

On the flip side, if suppliers and vendors aren’t tightly integrated, horrible things can happen like building from the wrong revision, delays, or receiving equipment that doesn’t operate correctly.

Obviously, there is more to supplier management than we can talk about at once, but having the right skills to integrate suppliers using simple online tools can make all the difference.

Suppliers need the right data to be productive. Plain and simple. They also need to know how they plug into your procurement process. Seems reasonable. They need to know the right ways to interact with different stakeholders (clients, buyers, engineering, etc.). Also seems like a no-brainer. Why then, are so many companies neglecting these core principles of supplier management?

Let’s start with getting suppliers the right data. As I mentioned earlier, suppliers need the latest revision of engineering material to make accurate bids. If they are looking at the wrong drawings and specs – they are going to bid on the wrong design. To prevent this, there are many document management systems out there that send notifications to any stakeholder notifying them that a document has a new revision. The bare minimum here is having a system like that and hooking the supplier up with a license and the appropriate notifications. A better way is to deliver online bids from a procurement system that integrates with document control, so only the latest revisions are accessible. The best route is a combination of online bid forms that integrate with the document control application and email notifications. However you manage it – giving suppliers the latest data is going to improve quality, cost, and schedule.

Next is integrating suppliers into your procurement process. Integrating suppliers makes them feel like part of the team, making them more likely to work as cooperative team members than adversarial. Again, cooperative suppliers is going to improve quality, cost, and schedule in addition to making your buyer’s quality of life much better.

Integrating suppliers is pretty simple. Lay out the rules, provide a structured framework for them to participate, and enforce the rules you set. This can take some time as many suppliers are conditioned to take the adversarial stance once they have won the PO. A good way to start is to quit having phone conversations and using emails to communicate. Instead use an online system to solicit online bids, distribute documents, and manage communication. The right procurement system will lay out the rules, provide the framework, and enforce participation within the established boundaries.

Finally, suppliers need a better way to interact with stakeholders than email. If email is allowed, the supplier may not be able to resist the urge to exploit the inherent deficiencies of email communication. They may email the wrong person, send the wrong information, or use other shady tactics to their advantage. One way to fix this is to only allow a single point of contact and make sure each buyer and engineer refers the supplier back to the contact owner. However, the ideal way to fix this is to execute technical and commercial queries in your procurement system. I previously talked about having an online supplier portal where suppliers can receive documents, enter bids, submit bids, receive/manage POs. Another important piece to the supplier portal puzzle is giving suppliers the ability to initiate and respond to technical and commercial queries. These queries should be directed to buyers who can route the query to the appropriate authority (engineering, contracts, construction, logistics, etc.)

Taking the above (relatively simple) steps can align your suppliers with procurement and engineering which will improve cost, quality, and schedule for your procured goods and equipment.

ProjecTools Product Information

ProjecTools Client Spotlight

September 24th, 2015|0 Comments

ProjecTools Client Spotlight "I don't see how companies can manage projects like [...]

Standard Project Management Features

September 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

ProjecTools subscriptions provide valuable standard features that support projects. ProjecTools standard features are available to each user to complement core application functions and business processes. Utilize the modules below to increase top-down visibility, communication, accountability

Security and Reliability

September 1st, 2015|0 Comments

Users need a secure, reliable environment to access project information and perform work. All applications and client data resides in a private cloud network with data replication and failover to geographically diverse datacenter equipment. ProjecTools provides 99.5% Network Availability

Construction Project Management Services

August 31st, 2015|0 Comments

ProjecTeams is proven for flexible on-site or remote project deployments. Each ProjecTeam specialist has deep work history with a career of improving project execution, information management processes, with tools that make projects efficient, timely, and profitable.

ProjecTools Resources

Spreadsheets and Email as Project Management Tools

March 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Projects have too many moving parts and too many players to be trusting critical data to spreadsheets and emails. You need a spreadsheet reduction strategy.

Project Management Assessment

November 15th, 2016|0 Comments

Project Management Assessment Assess your project management practices against the best project execution teams in the Capital Construction, [...]

  • Review & Approvals

Document Management Software ROI

October 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Document management is massively important for engineering and construction projects. Take the approach and use the tools that add the most value.

Aligning Document Control and Cost Control

February 15th, 2016|0 Comments

Align Document Control with Cost Control and create seamless progress and earned value reports to stay on budget and improve cash flows.

ProjecTools Videos, Demos, and Webinars

  • Review & Approvals

Document Management Software ROI

October 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Document management is massively important for engineering and construction projects. Take the approach and use the tools that add the most value.

Document Distribution and Access for EPC and Construction

August 24th, 2016|0 Comments

Global projects have global teams that need to be in the loop. Cloud technology takes the pain out of giving teams on demand access to project data.

Supplier Document Management for Construction Projects

August 17th, 2016|0 Comments

Supplier document management is a vitally important component of design and build projects. Often times projects don't plan for supplier document management, so there is a scramble to process the documents, execute reviews, and provide feedback. The most common result of this scramble is throwing manpower and spreadsheets at the problem. Missing the mark in managing supplier documents leads to delays, shutdowns in operation, and upset investors and asset owners. The best way to hit the mark is planning for supplier document management alongside document management planning (preferably before the design phase).

  • Data Silos and Spreadsheets

How Data Silos and Spreadsheets Hurt Energy Projects

July 28th, 2016|0 Comments

...will give you a competitive advantage particularly on large complex projects and that managing those large projects with spreadsheets, email...