Your Supplier Database contains the data that is the foundation of most of you day-to-day purchasing decisions. 

Regular scrubbing is not only a best practice for you and your team, but it is a necessary process if you hope to optimize your core enterprise functions.

There’s plenty of room for improvements in this field. Without any exaggeration, we can freely claim that almost each and any supplier database comes with duplicates, inaccurate, or incomplete records. Also, it’s also very likely that you’re using a couple of databases, rather than only one on a daily basis. can help you structure and cluster data to come up with a single clean and reliable vendor master database.

Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Your Supplier Database

It comes without saying that any database ages rapidly. It’s an inevitable process. According to some estimates, various changes can affect between 30 and 40% of the available data in your database on a yearly basis. Your business relocates, merges, or changes all the time, including the names and contact persons associated with it. Also, some databases can contain a few hundred million records you have to keep up-to-date. Therefore, improving the quality of your business data and optimization of data management processes present themselves as an absolute must. You’re required to normalize, rationalize, standardize, update, improve, and maintain your data all the time. Needless to say that you also have to remove all duplicate records. Duplicate and inaccurate data should be deleted as soon as you identify and locate them in your system. Updating, organizing, and enhancing your supplier database on an ongoing basis will enable you to get the most out of your business systems. When you’re using a clean and accurate accounts payable master database, you’ll be able to work more efficiently. Also, you can optimize your purchasing processes and ensure substantial cost-savings.

Implementing an ERP or an eProcurement system

The success or failure of an implemented ERP or an eProcurement system depends entirely on the quality of the data you enter and use. Cleaning and maintaining the supplier database enables you to get the best results out of your business system. Which one should you implement, an ERP or an eProcurement system? To answer this question, you need to evaluate your company’s size and result expectations. More information about these systems, you can find in our section about eProcurement.

Consolidation Process

The very first step in identifying possibilities for consolidation of your supplier database is to perform a holistic review of all the data within. You end goal, of course, would be to come up with a clean, complete, reliable, accurate and up-to-date dataset which combines all ‘like-vendors’ and documents the various relationships between them.

Invoices Processed and Paid Twice

Having duplicate vendors leads to the creation of duplicate payments. Particularly in those cases where there exists more than one supplier database. Usually, these multi-database scenarios are maintained by different members of the organization who follow different protocols and can even have separate data formats and taxonomies.

Integration of Supplier Database Files

In a world dominated by ERP systems, the current trend is to deploy additional web-based software products to manage things like Invoicing, Procurement or supplier data collection. Each of these disparate systems comes out-of-the-box with its hosted database and allows both you and the suppliers to make changes. All of this data needs collection, organization and integration back into the Vendor Master in an orderly manner.  Ultimately, all efforts should lead back to one central vendor master database, which contains all relevant information.

 

Joe Flynn is a Co-founder of Lavante and writes for both The Hub and his site Vendor Portal Expert