Managing relationships with suppliers can be complicated, but it is also important to the overall performance of the company. In many cases, the answer is as simple as choosing a software tool that can help streamline supplier relationship management (SRM). Epiq offers products that are designed to help strengthen those relationships. The company provides a number of features that can be used individually or that can be grouped together to meet the needs of the business. These features and tool can help manage supplier relationships, inventory costs, and multi-organizational collaboration, as well as other key elements of the vendor/buyer connection.
One of the key benefits of this type of product is that it allows buyers to communicate with their vendors in real-time via web-based programs. The tools also automate much of the negotiation process and simplify online bidding for projects so it is easier to form an initial relationship for both parties. Plus, Epiq created the product to be used by even novice computer users so it does not require any advanced knowledge or skill to be able to use its capabilities effectively.
The E-procurement product provides other benefits as well. Instead of using a complicated system to place orders with vendors, Epiq's program is accessible using an ordinary web browser. Thus, any employees with familiarity with the Internet can comfortably and knowledgeably work within the e-procurement parameters without a great deal of training. Also, the SRM features give buyers the opportunity to lower their costs and to open up projects to more potential suppliers by allowing competitive bidding for available projects. While this may seem detrimental to the vendor/buyer relationship, the reality is that such a system allows sellers to promote their value-added services and to figure out alternative ways to lower their costs while also making it possible for them to get their foot in the door with new buyers.
Because of the real-time communication in SRM, businesses can find out exactly when they can expect deliveries and suppliers can know exactly when the buyer's inventories are in need of replenishing. These two aspects alone can help both parties reduce the amount of time they spend on the phone checking on shipment times and on inventory levels, plus it means that neither party will have any negative surprises such as a last-minute rush order or a delayed shipment to deal with.
One of the biggest advantages of using SRM software to help boost the supplier/buyer relationship is that it costs less. Not only will the buyer save money thanks to the competitive bidding, but they will also save on other elements. For example, fewer employees are needed to manage the extra tasks related to supplier relationship management since most of them are either automated or simplified through the software. Employees can be devoted to other productive areas since it will take considerably less time and energy to keep the relationship running smoothly. Furthermore, since paperwork is almost completely obsolete with these systems, businesses will save on the costs of forms, printing, and storage. Additionally, since the system of finding a supplier and negotiating contracts is also made easier with the software, the costs of both of these relationship elements can drop significantly.
The bottom line is that supplier relationships are too important not to manage carefully, but most companies cannot do it alone. It is important to have the specific knowledge and expertise of a competent vendor in order to skillfully navigate the waters of Supplier Relationship Management.