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Why you need automated processes across supplier lifecycles

Beyond onboarding, Canopy's rules engine helps automate a range of business processes that will help you get the best throughout your supplier lifecycles.

Canopy rules engines allows automation of processes across supplier lifecycles
With automated supplier management processes, procurement can focus on the bigger picture

In a recent blog, we looked at how Canopy's rules engine can help to automate the process of supplier onboarding. Of course, procurement teams must initially vet and approve suppliers according to a governance framework that minimises risk. But once they're onboard, you still need to make sure they stay compliant and perform throughout the supplier lifecycle to minimise your risks. And you need confidence that they fit into your strategy to meet broader business goals. That can be time-consuming and a drain on resources in a small team. In this blog, we'll look at how the rules engine can automate these ongoing processes so that you get the best out of your suppliers.

A reminder about the rules-based platform

There are many advantages to a comprehensive supplier management platform. We've developed Canopy to bring all your supplier data into one place, to make it visible, and to make it work for you. The rules engine can determine which data to collect and monitor about each supplier, based on what they do and where they do it. Tasks are automatically routed to the right people in your organisation when they need to take action.

Many of our clients have embraced the benefits of automating their onboarding processes with Canopy. One of our major clients has reported that using Canopy reduced their average onboarding time for new suppliers by 61 percent over six months. But there's so much more that can be automated throughout the supplier lifecycle. And that can make a substantial difference for a small team, by removing time-consuming administrative tasks and alerting people when they need to do something. It allows you as a procurement professional to really add value, ultimately ensuring ongoing compliance and good contract performance by your suppliers.

Better procurement processes through automation

Once you put your supplier dataset under constant surveillance, you have the chance to automate several processes which could alert you to when a supplier's risk level is elevated. And that can allow you to do the business of procurement better. Canopy allows you to activate alerts about contract expiry, compliance breaches, elevated risk levels, and much more.

Take contract expiry, for instance. A supplier's contract may have an auto-renewal clause, but if you haven't traded with the supplier for several months, this may pass unnoticed. With Canopy, the platform can signal impending contract expiry, prompting you to analyse your past dealings with the supplier and assess their performance score.

Canopy can help you get to the nuts and bolts of procurement. It can automatically block trade or re-route approvals to trade based on parameters such as levels of spend or levels of risk. You can more easily prioritise 'preferred' suppliers if that's a priority. And automated processes can also enhance your approach to category management, shaping buyer behaviour by defining different thresholds driven by your category strategy. At a time of stressed supply chains, you might also need to be alert to the number of suppliers within a specific discipline to not become over-reliant on a single point of failure.

Focusing attention on the supplier lifecycles

Setting automated rules can also become incredibly powerful when monitoring suppliers in comparison to your company's broader business parameters. It can alert you to suppliers who fall outside of your desired thresholds for risk and performance. For example, you might be monitoring acceptable levels of carbon emissions or targeting levels of indemnity cover in certain jurisdictions.

Canopy has plenty of features that help you manage your supplier relationships across your supply chain. Amongst these, the automation of processes can not only save you time on the basic tasks, but it ensures you do them better. And that in turn allows you to hugely increase your impact as a procurement team across the supplier lifecycle.

To find out more about the rules-based Canopy supplier management platform and automating business processes, contact one of the team today. ·

Post by Nick Verkroost

Nick is an experienced business leader and the CEO for Canopy (OCG Software), the rules-based Supplier Management platform. Nick's focus is on commercial and operational excellence and ensuring our clients maximise the opportunities that Canopy offers.


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