Supplier Management Software  >  Supplier Onboarding

Supplier Onboarding

What is supplier onboarding
What is supplier onboarding

What is Supplier Onboarding?

Supplier onboarding is the process of building stronger buyer-vendor relationships by creating streamlined processes for an improved business outcome for both parties.

Irrespective of how evolved your supply chain is, qualifying and onboarding the right suppliers is fundamental to your supply chain’s success. Here, the major intent is to meet your "well-defined" expectations by automating the entire process.

A next-generation EQMS like ComplianceQuest can automate and digitally transform your supplier management workflow with a well-established supplier management system.

ComplianceQuest can enable easy collaboration amongst internal stakeholders and supply chain leaders with the help of various critical features of next-generation EQMS, such as:

  • A system of communication and collaboration rather than a record system.
  • AI and data-driven supplier management solutions that automatically prioritize issues and risks as per the severity labels (high, moderate, low risk).
  • Integrates with your ERP, CRP, and the rest of your EQMS process.
  • Dashboards and quality analytics features to drive continuous improvement (CI).

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In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain leaders are grappling with new managing supplier qualifications, upgrading quality processes for current and new suppliers, and reinventing their supply chains to adapt to the new normal.

However, supply chain leaders still are responsible for mitigating business disruptions and planning for future incidents by taking supply chain preparedness to a higher level.

As companies start returning to work, it is vital to focus on your people, which means employee wellness, your customers’ wellness, and your supply chain’s wellness.

Over the last few years, ComplianceQuest has been working with many supply chain leaders, helping them automate their supplier management process, mitigating risk, and fixing inefficiencies in key supplier management processes.

ComplianceQuest EQMS solution is designed to enable supply chain leaders to track quality and risk metrics in an integrated fashion from the supplier qualification phase to:

  • Monitor all real-time supplier-related data
  • Review any supplier’s quality standing with end-to-end data visibility
  • Address supply chain-related requests promptly
  • Contract manufacturers, dealers, or partners and submit requests to suppliers
  • Collaborate and communicate with key stakeholders
Supplier onboarding

What are the processes involved in supplier onboarding?

A robust supplier onboarding process consists of six steps to develop an onboarding process from supplier consideration to approved partner. They are:

supplier onboarding process

  • Define your Success Criteria: The initial step is to clearly define your expectations from each supplier you would like to onboard and then document the success criteria. With this step, you can optimize the supplier qualification process for both required quality metrics and risks that need to be mitigated. ComplianceQuest’s supplier management solution automates quality and compliance processes and helps with risk management.

  • Develop the Qualifying Steps Converting 'Success Criteria': Once the success criteria are defined, you must document this into formal requirements like a supplier qualification checklist. This checklist includes questionnaires for all suppliers, supplier interviews, audits, and inspections. Once the checklist is ready, detail the supplier qualifying steps, which includes:
  • Manufacturing capabilities
  • Technology and innovation
  • Size of the company and experience
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Quality certifications and standards
  • Customer experience
  • Cost and delivery
  • Openness to collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability of the product development lifecycle
  • Engagement experience with the team
  • Once the qualifying steps have been defined, prepare the supplier workflow.

  • Shortlist Suppliers after Research: Based on the various risk categories (critical, high, medium, and low risk), shortlist suppliers, keeping the cruciality of the product in mind. Those suppliers should have the required experience in serving your industry and have the right capabilities and technology at their disposal.

  • Vendor Evaluation: This phase includes thorough on-site and offsite supplier audits to ensure all information is captured. This will help you understand suppliers’ ability to mitigate supplier-related risks by being in line with the defined ‘success criteria.

  • Selection of Suppliers and Supplier Onboarding: After completing vendor evaluation, suppliers are onboarded into your supplier management system. By leveraging data in real-time, a next-generation supplier management system can help drive continuous monitoring and improvement across all suppliers.

  • Sign Supplier Agreements and Conduct Periodic Re-Qualifications for Continuous Improvement: Even after supplier onboarding is done, you must assess, monitor, and improve continuously to strengthen the supplier-manufacturer relationship. During the onboarding process, you should sign an agreement that covers the following aspects, including:
  • Objective and scope of the supplier-manufacturer agreement
  • Products governed by the agreement and its dispatch details
  • Terms, conditions, and expiration dates and resolution of any dispute
  • Regulatory compliance adhering to GMP requirements
  • Quality Assurance and Program, Performance, and Change Management
  • Supplier management process design
2nd Annual Supplier Quality Maturity Benchmark Report

Reimagining Supplier Qualification & Onboarding: A 6-step approach

Importance of Supplier Onboarding Process

The supplier onboarding process serves several crucial purposes.

  • Establishes formal relationships between a company and its suppliers, enabling both parties to understand expectations and requirements.
  • Helps manage compliance and mitigate risks by conducting due diligence, verifying legal and regulatory adherence, and evaluating financial stability.
  • Allows companies to qualify suppliers based on their capabilities, experience, certifications, and production capacities. It also streamlines supplier integration into the company's operations, facilitating communication, sharing specifications, and defining logistics.
  • Contributes to cost savings and value creation by negotiating favorable terms, accessing competitive pricing, and identifying innovation and process improvement areas.
  • Supports supply chain resilience by assessing supplier redundancy options and developing contingency plans.
Importance of Supplier Onboarding Process

Key Benefits of Effective Supplier Onboarding

Developing an effective supplier onboarding process for any business is not an easy undertaking. It starts with getting approval for acquiring suitable software and moves to changing internal policies and procedures to meet the new system’s needs. Nonetheless, there are several benefits to having an effective supplier onboarding process. Some of them are:

  • Develop efficiency, visibility, and flexibility while providing business continuity
  • Reduce inventory costs and improve purchasing behavior
  • Ensure that companies comply with various internal and external regulatory requirements
  • Streamline quality processes and supplier selection
  • Enhance collaboration and improve communication with the suppliers

ComplianceQuest’s supplier management solution can help you to get real-time visibility of your operations and efficiently support your suppliers and services partners along with:

supplier audits

Supplier Audits: Avoiding Critical Risks when Managing Raw Material Suppliers

supplier audits
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How to Streamline Supplier Onboarding?

Streamlining Supplier On-Boarding can also help simplify your supplier onboarding activities for new vendors, contract manufacturers, and key suppliers. Streamlining also helps increase supplier performance while reducing risk and cost by integrating quality, safety, performance management, and collaboration tools. ComplianceQuest’s Supplier Central automates the supplier qualification workflow to:

  • Determine and document the criteria for supplier qualification,
  • Design a custom workflow for qualifying steps,
  • Categorize suppliers by risk level, shortlist suppliers,
  • Track and document vendor assessments,
  • Complete the supplier onboarding process,
  • Manage supplier agreements, and
  • Finally, conduct periodic re-qualifications as needed
streamline supplier onboarding

Challenges in Supplier Onboarding

Technologies can affect several changes in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world. So, supply chain leaders will be working with numerous suppliers in the future. Consequently, they need to be more agile and have a better understanding of their suppliers, capabilities, performance measurements, and the resulting risks. Supply chain leaders are grappling with several challenges, including:

  • The need to drive efficiency and minimize costs in the supply chain.

  • Decrease supply chain turnover and increase product and process quality across the board.

  • Continuous training of suppliers to meet the evolving needs of both customers and regulators. Automating the process of risk management and mitigation is an ongoing process as well.

Challenges in Supplier Onboarding
  • Allow the supply chain to accelerate and decelerate timely using analytics and demand forecasting techniques.

  • Minimize any friction between suppliers and internal parties, often caused due to rapid changes to the product design, manufacturing, delivery schedules, and quantities.

  • The need to drive efficiency and minimize costs in the supply chain.

  • Decrease supply chain turnover and increase product and process quality across the board.

  • Continuous training of suppliers to meet the evolving needs of both customers and regulators. Automating the process of risk management and mitigation is an ongoing process as well.

  • Allow the supply chain to accelerate and decelerate timely using analytics and demand forecasting techniques.

  • Minimize any friction between suppliers and internal parties, often caused due to rapid changes to the product design, manufacturing, delivery schedules, and quantities.

Great product, support, and people to work with!

We have rolled-out CQ across our company to automate various elements of QMS requirements such as Document Management, Complaints, Non-conformances, Corrective Action (8D and A3), Supplier Management and Audit Management. We have been using the software for more than 2 years. We are glad to see how well the system is being used across the company. We have several thousand users on the system currently and working to scale the usage further. CQ solution has been configured to meet our needs, works elegantly across languages, across time zones, and business verticals. With integration between CQ and SAP to exchange critical data, the process automation provides a lot of productivity.

Lia Budiman,
Solution Consultant, Continental Contitech

continental contitech
continental contitech

How does the ComplianceQuest Solution Help Businesses Overcome Supplier Onboarding Challenges?

ComplianceQuest’s Supplier Management Solution allows business leaders to derive insights from patterns and trends related to demand using Einstein Analytics and the right data models. Supply chain leaders can eliminate various supplier onboarding challenges using data analytics and AI-enabled trend to detect issues like price volatility and demand fluctuations. ComplianceQuest offers an EQMS solution that has a robust supplier management module. This module can address three important problems of supplier management:

  • Supply chain issues can result in delayed product builds and shipments and loss of revenue and brand value.

  • Defective or faulty products can reduce customer satisfaction ratings and profit margins, increasing warranty costs.

  • Every supplier must meet supplier qualification standards, including 21 CFR 820, FDASIA, and ISO 9001:2015.

Eliminate various supplier onboarding challenges with CQ’s Supplier Management Solution

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Quality-centric Companies Rely on CQ QMS

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  • tupperware mono
  • continental logo mono
  • vyaire mono
  • lifescan mono
  • janssen mono
  • lundbeck mono
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  • csa group mono
  • impossible mono
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • With unique features, ComplianceQuest’s Supplier Management solution can help your businesses gain visibility into supply chain processes and vendor performance. Its modern collaboration and communication system make your supplier and vendor relationships impeccable, error-free, and connected. The solution helps create a unified supplier management pipeline for a single, synchronized view of back-end operations, moving away from siloed data and disparate systems. Consequently, you can remove bottlenecks by meeting deadlines, maintaining costs, and achieving quality, safety, and regulatory standards.

  • With the evolution of technology, supply chain leaders are embracing the latest digital transformation technologies to adopt Quality 4.0 and other best practices to drive a continuously evolving and ever-improving transformation. AI And Data-Enabled Supplier Management Systems automatically help businesses categorize suppliers right at the onboarding phase. This allows easy collaboration amongst internal stakeholders and supply chain leaders that help deliver operational excellence.

  • The following supplier Qualification & Onboarding Process Checklist helps enhance the overall quality of all key suppliers.

    • Properly define your success criteria
    • Identify all the risks related to supplier
    • Transform ‘success criteria’ into formal requirements
    • Document all details, then design and develop the SOP to quality, onboard or re-board the supplier
    • Shortlist suppliers for a particular requirement
    • Perform vendor evaluation and get all the information on compliance, certifications, and quality standards
    • Assess documentation from supplier interviews and audits
    • Properly document the end-to-end supplier selection process and onboarding process
    • Prepare a supplier quality agreement
    • Conduct periodic audits and re-qualification for continuous improvement

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