Supplier Management can be a difficult task, especially if you don't have the right tools and methodology in place.
Coupa provides you with an easy to use tool for managing your suppliers. Managing your supply base is important for organizations of all sizes, as your suppliers help provide goods and services to keep you in business.
Supplier Management is an ongoing process and even if you addressed many or all of the topics during your initial implementation of Coupa, you should revisit your processes on a regular basis to make sure you are truly optimizing your investment.
Keep reading to see some key supplier considerations.
Was your initial focus in implementing Coupa on optimizing your P2P processes to automate your requisition creation and PO delivery processes? Do you consider sending a PO via email as electronic delivery? A PO sent via email may have automated your process but has not automated supplier's side.
Why should you automate supplier processes? If you can help save time and effort on their side, you will have a great argument to further reduce the pricing that your supplier charges.
Where can you optimize your Suppliers' Processes?
Purchase Order Delivery
By offering your suppliers the option for PO delivery via cXML, your suppliers can have orders directly populated into their order management system, saving them time and eliminating errors.
See this page for more details on PO delivery options.
Many organizations require suppliers who submit a certain number of invoices per year to do so electronically. Have you considered such a requirement? With Coupa, your suppliers have two standard options to do so to minimize data entry by your Accounts Payables personnel:
- cXML Invoicing: they can automatically send Invoices to your Coupa environment via an industry standard format
- PO Flip: suppliers can log onto the Coupa Supplier Network (CSN) and "flip" a PO into an invoice. The CSN is a FREE network
- Are you managing supplier information or have you pushed that to suppliers to manage via the Coupa Supplier Network (CSN)?
- Why not consider having your suppliers join the CSN and then they can directly maintain information rather than passing updates to you to maintain.
Which end of the supplier management spectrum are you on? Is supplier management a totally manual process or have you automated? If you have automated, have you pushed key supplier data fields to suppliers to manage?
Many organizations start on one end of the spectrum with manual loading of files downloaded from your financial/ERP system. Coupa can aid in validation when uploading files, but the manipulation of such data prior to loading can lead to errors.
A logical next step would be to automate the feed to/from your financial system. Coupa has integrated with over 30 different systems and Supplier Integration is a common practice.
If you've already integrated to your financial system, you may want to consider pushing the maintenance of supplier data to your suppliers. The graphic below shows a CSN-linked supplier from within your Coupa system and the shaded data elements are those which can be maintained by the supplier:
- Website, Duns and Tax ID
- Contact Information
- Address Information
- PO Delivery Information - email or cXML
Additionally, suppliers can create catalogs for your approval, load them into your Coupa Environment, and maintain their punchout information on the Coupa Supplier Network.
Why Manage Content in Coupa?
To enable your employees to spend smarter and save money with an easy-to-use and innovative tool!
What spend should go through Coupa?
To fully optimize your Coupa investment and drive results to your bottom line, you should target having all your Non-Payroll or all your Indirect Spend flow through Coupa.
Many organizations start using Coupa to address specific tactical issues within their organization and do not look beyond initial target categories (for example, IT spend or Services Spend). Content management is an ongoing process as sourcing groups are continually evaluating your supply base. The good news is that by utilizing Coupa for all types of spend, you will have rich spend history which can be used by your sourcing team.
- Do top suppliers have catalogs? Should they? Should they be managing them instead of you?
- Are you doing a lot of free-form for items that can be in a catalog?
- Are you doing free-form where you can standardize with a form?
- Are you missing out on using punchout with suppliers who are currently supporting punchout?
- Are you able to capture spend that is submitted after the fact via your expense reporting process?
Coupa supports all the standard content approaches of other providers and additionally supports iRequest, which no other eProcurement provider can support.
Understanding Your Supply Base
Coupa provides a standard dashboard report to monitor your top suppliers over a 3-month, 6-month or 1-year horizon.
Have you drilled down into the rich content available in Coupa to find out where opportunities may be for each of the suppliers?
Detailed spend can be tracked via a number of different mechanisms in Coupa including reports by supplier, commodity or geography to identify opportunities such as:
- Who are your top suppliers? Do 20% account for 80% of your spend?
- Have you profiled the top 20% to determine optimal content (catalog, punchout, Fill-out Form) and communication (cXML or manual) for each?
- Do you have opportunities to consolidate suppliers where duplicates exist?
- Are you missing key Spend categories in Coupa that you are paying (in AP) your suppliers?
- Are you leveraging services spend and standard accrual reports to upload into your financial system?
Even if you addressed all of the above in your initial deployment, your supplier base changes over time, so reviewing data may be a wise use of your time.