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Nearly two-thirds of business are neglecting supplier communications

Almost two-thirds (64%) of enterprises don’t have strong communication channels in place with suppliers, according to a new survey by HICX.

This comes at a time when supplier relationships should be more important than ever.

The Supplier Experience Survey provides insights from a hundred of the most senior procurement professionals from global billion-dollar organisations, including more than 30 respondents from enterprises with an annual turnover of more than $10 billion.

“In times of scarcity having resilient supply chains is the best way to gain a competitive advantage,” said HICX chief executive officer, Costas Xyloyiannis. “To truly achieve this, enterprises must ensure they have the strongest, healthiest relationships possible with all their suppliers.”

The survey revealed that when it comes to data management and onboarding suppliers, there is a vast difference between what enterprises perceive is working well and the actual experience. While 98% of respondents believe it is effortless for suppliers to submit and update their data, and over three quarters feel they are best-in-class to do business with, this may not always be so.

According to the survey, suppliers need to invest a substantial amount of time into the customer-relationship. For instance, almost 100% of suppliers need to interact with two or more systems within a single organisation and only 5% have managed to reduce their onboarding period to only two weeks.

“Making these processes more efficient will help suppliers do a better job because they’re able to save on coordination time and reduce errors, which leads to mutual success,” says Costas.

64% of respondents cite communication between departments within enterprises and lack of clarity around who to contact for what, as a top three area for improvement. This casts the spotlight on a persistent pain point. When asked what their suppliers would view as a bugbear, 67% identified that the time it takes to resolve queries needs to improve.

The report found that enterprises are not intentionally trying to frustrate communication efforts, however, the traditional technology landscape and set-up presents barriers to defining, routing and handling enquiries better. Investing in technologies to support digital processes, combined with the right skills, is key to changing this.

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