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Supplier Relationship Management Software
The sourcing process has also become more complicated with rapidly developing technologies that keep products moving quickly in and out of the marketplace. Strategic sourcing and other procurement point solutions, while providing short term benefits, may not be the best strategy for the long run. Many companies have recognized that they can generate substantial cost savings by implementing strategic sourcing initiatives using a holistic approach. Adopting integrated cross-enterprise frameworks to manage supplier relationships can help to increase profit margins. Supplier relationship management software is they key to that kind of holistic approach.

Design, sourcing, enablement, purchasing transactions and settlement using sophisticated analytics are all functions of supplier relationship management software. Internal organizations can be easily linked to collaborate in managing transactions and strategic data can be shared both internally and externally with suppliers.

There are significant benefits to be realized from such a system, including reduced costs throughout the company. When spend volume, contracts and discounts can be leveraged company wide, savings accrue. Payment processes can also be automated and streamlined.

Tracking for increased visibility throughout the process is another typical benefit of supplier relationship management software. Critical resources can be tracked throughout the system, supplier effectiveness can be continuously monitored and historical information becomesreadily available which aids in negotiating with suppliers.

Administrative time and costs are reduced by a streamlined company-wide approach. Processes are standardized throughout the organization and procurement cycles can be compressed from previously required time frames.

There are some general features and conditions that companies should look for when seeking to optimize their purchasing processes with supplier relationship management software. The solution should be able to manage all spend processes company-wide, for both goods and services, which, in turn, drives cost reductions throughout the extended supply chain. Tools required for managing those functions include spend analytics, strategic sourcing, e-procurement, services procurement, e-settlement, and executive dashboards.

Suppliers should be connectible in order to drive collaboration with internal and external stakeholders throughout the entire process. Contract management tools, coupled with supplier metrics and supplier rating programs are necessary for this function.

Also required is the capability for optimizing supplier performance and improve relationships with strategic suppliers utilizing tools like contract management, supplier metrics and supplier rating programs.

Todays SRM solutions offer a great deal more than just automating the purchasing transaction process. They allow integration between spend analysis and transaction systems for monitoring of all sourcing efforts and maintain ongoing spend data that is accurate and company-wide. Work streams are reorganized through eSourcing work flow engines making for smoother operation through the system. The result is a solution that saves money, integrates functions, and provides for ongoing relationships between buyers, distributors, and suppliers.

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