Supplier Management Portals: Why Security Matters?

Roger Woehl
Contributing Writer

Managing suppliers effectively reduces risk, drives quality, and creates trusted relationships with customers. However, tracking data, compliance records, onboarding, audits, and more on paper can lead to inefficient decision-making and poor quality outcomes. Businesses that utilize paper and follow-up with emails are wasting valuable time and resources managing suppliers that they could redirect in other, more productive ways. Developing a secure supplier portal can help organizations create opportunities for improving accuracy, strengthening supplier relationships, and making real-time decisions all while ensuring that their supplier information remains uncompromised. 

Want to know more about secure supplier portals and how they work? Let’s dive deeper.

What Is a Secure Supplier Portal?

Supplier management is a multi-step process that encompasses the entire working relationship between a facility and its suppliers from certification and onboarding through evaluation and auditing. It requires reviewing and retaining up-to-date certifications, monitoring performance and productivity, and reducing risk. Many businesses are still attempting to manage supplier relationships on paper or communicate vital compliance issues via email. 

Imagine if all of the supplier management data from end-to-end could live in a central location that everyone involved could easily access. A secure supplier portal provides a single point that streamlines the entire supplier relationship while ensuring that your supplier data remains private. Businesses that invest in a secure supplier portal can quickly reap significant dividends. Supply management software that includes a secure supplier portal can be the difference-maker that sets an organization apart from others in the industry.

What Does a Secure Supplier Portal Do?

Manually tracking supplier data consumes an incredible amount of time and resources. In smaller businesses, management already stretched thin can get bogged down in data entry errors, expiring certificates, tedious onboarding paperwork, and lagging follow-ups. Larger businesses may be managing many suppliers, resulting in a vast amount of data and paperwork. The inconvenience and low visibility pushes companies to manage their suppliers with software, but not all supplier management software is equal. Some supplier management software solutions don’t secure your supplier information. Most supplier management software will enable you to: 

  • Reduce or nearly eliminate data entry errors that skew decision-making

  • Provide efficient self-service solutions that allow for fast-tracking onboarding suppliers

  • Deliver tasks, notifications, and invoices

  • Ensure compliance with quick certification and audit upload

Though, these benefits of supplier management software are important, without a private network protecting your supplier information you and your suppliers are left vulnerable. 

Strengthen Supplier Relationships Through a Secure Supplier Portal

While a supplier portal can be an investment upfront in terms of software implementation and training, the payoff can be considerable and come in a relatively short period of time. A supplier portal allows businesses to eliminate inefficient administrative tasks, and that time can instead go toward driving quality and accuracy. Suppliers can also access performance data and save valuable time and resources by working through a central location for every aspect of their working relationship with the organization receiving their materials. For suppliers that provide material to multiple partners, an efficient way of communicating is invaluable. 

Finally, secure supplier portals can offer excellent traceability and visibility. Both suppliers and buyers can access certifications, purchase orders, audits, and any events related to them. Traceability and visibility in all aspects of the relationship facilitate more straightforward communication and help stave off more significant issues by revealing mistakes or miscommunications early on. You and your suppliers can do all of this in a secure and private portal to protect your information. 

Does your facility use a secure supplier portal to manage your supplier relationships? How can a secure supplier portal benefit your facility?

If you have more questions about how secure supplier portals can benefit your organization, watch a demo video and learn about Supplier Management with SafetyChain. Take control of your supplier management today.