What Can Data Do for Your Supplier Diversity Program?

January 11, 2019

If you’ve tried your hand at an economic impact analysis or any other kind of supplier diversity reporting, you’ve likely run into serious challenges. Most businesses have large amounts of data, after all, but they don’t trust it or know how to use it to their advantage. It may be held in separate systems that don’t communicate with one another. Different areas of the business have different information on the same suppliers, and it takes hours to pull together the most basic reports.

The key to cutting through these problems is a tailored data analysis strategy. The possibilities that arise with better data collection, integration, management and governance are impressive. Here are just a few of most compelling.

Make it easier to match up diverse suppliers with internal buyers through better data collection.

When a new supplier approaches your business, how do you collect their information? For many businesses, the information is stored in a system that doesn’t connect to other enterprise-wide systems. Managers are forced to pull supplier information separately and manually combine it with other data just to get basic insights.

A strategy for up-front data collection makes it possible to pre-qualify suppliers by screening them for pre-defined criteria. With the right processes and technology in place, you could automatically send supplier information to a relevant buyer inside your business or push the supplier toward resources that can help them down their path to qualification. A portal that connects to your existing systems and allows suppliers to log in, submit applications and fill out business profile information is ideal.

No more spending hours sifting through spreadsheets for basic insights thanks to better data integration.

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With a data analysis platform tailored to your business and designed to integrate with your existing technology, you’ll gain quick and easy access to data. That means you’ll no longer have to spend hours buried under spreadsheets just to gather the most basic insights into your program. Instead, you can spend more time doing the truly worthwhile aspects of your role—exploring the data for more useful conclusions, building relationships and developing suppliers.

With faster access to reliable data, you’ll begin to see emerging opportunities and potential risks you couldn’t identify before. With access to real-time information about mergers and acquisitions and status updates about certifications and compliance, you can reduce supplier risk and mitigate impacts to your business.

Stop wasting resources, losing revenue and risking your customer reputation through better data management.

Good data management processes keep your data reliable, accurate, and safe. Gartner and other industry experts estimate that businesses lose millions of dollars each year due to poor data practices. Sometimes poor data quality results in simple problems like an invoice delivered to the wrong address. These simple problems can directly affect profits and inhibit cash flow. In the case of supplier diversity, poor data quality can cause a lot of rework and wasted resources when employees have to work backward to fix processing errors. It’s common for employees to manually fixes data errors as they encounter them, but the fix isn’t applied across multiple systems. Proper data management and governance ensures that every part of the business has the same information as another, and that data remains protected under regulatory guidelines like GDPR.

When you don’t have click-through rates to reference like the marketing department, or revenue goals to hit like the sales team, it can be a constant challenge to prove the value of your supplier diversity program. A mature data analysis strategy frees you from the grind of moving data around in spreadsheets. It allows you to spend more time going after opportunities and less time on reactionary fire drills.

As an MBE-certified and woman-owned business, data analytics services for supplier diversity programs is an intuitive part of Onebridge's DNA because we understand both perspectives in a way that sets us apart. Chat with us about our supplier diversity experience now to find out more.

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