In 2022, IT company SoftServe along with our team launched a web portal designed to improve SoftServe's interaction with suppliers.
”Our supplier prerequisites are outlined to set behavioral expectations, build trust, and ensure compliance.The quote from 'become a supplier' portal.
1. Start of cooperation between IPSM and SoftServe
In June 2021, we started our cooperation with the Ukrainian IT company SoftServe. The goal of the cooperation is to optimise procurement processes through consulting and reach a new level of cost management.
In February 2022, procurement PROs around the world realised that the pandemic was just a warm-up. Everyone was affected. Procurement for the IT sector has also become much more complicated. And the unstable situation in the semiconductor market added even more problems. Definitely, new conditions require new procurement solutions. And the winners are those companies that did not wait for further complications but accelerated the procurement transformation process.
SoftServe wanted to make its supplier relationships more transparent, efficient and understandable. For our part, we helped the customer identify pain points; we assessed the company’s supplier relations and contract management process. And our joint efforts culminated in the creation of a web portal designed to minimise business risks, simplify the everyday routine of internal employees and improve their interaction with suppliers in the future.
2. How does the SoftServe Supplier Portal work?
This service is designed to help the company at the stage when they search for contractors, analyse and start interacting with the supplier. The SoftServe portal is part of a new, more modern approach to procurement.
The web portal is designed to meet usability standards, is as easy to use as possible, allows an external user to understand the page structure quickly, and is as reliable as possible regarding information and technological security.
The portal consists of three blocks:
- Supplier Code of Conduct
- Eligibility criteria
- Coupa Supplier Portal (CSP)
The first two blocks are collections of the company’s “rules”, subject to which SoftServe can include a supplier in its database and start interacting with it. This is a kind of “invitation” to a tender or negotiation procedure.
SoftServe Supplier Portal
The Supplier Code of Conduct is a set of rules defining the tolerated processes and best practices. It outlines SoftServe’s behavioural expectations of its suppliers and their staff. These rules extend to the supply chain and include commitments on how SoftServe will work with its suppliers to build trust and ensure compliance.
Eligibility criteria are SoftServe’s minimum requirements for potential suppliers. In order to begin working with SoftServe, potential suppliers must meet these prerequisites. This list is not exhaustive, and additional expectations and guidelines may be added depending on the goods and services provided. These will be provided on a case-by-case basis.
The Coupa Supplier Portal (CSP) is a free tool for suppliers to easily do business with customers who use Coupa. CSP makes managing customers and transactions easy. Depending on your customer’s specific Coupa configuration, you can manage content and settings on a customer-by-customer basis, including viewing purchase orders, setting up delivery methods, creating catalogues, sending invoices, and advance ship notices (ASNs), checking the status of transactions, and more.
3. What are the practical benefits of the portal for SoftServe?
- The supplier onboarding process has become much more efficient. Thanks to the IPSM recommendations, the portal has made the criteria for selecting contractors automated, as transparent and clear as possible; it has simplified the life of both internal employees and suppliers. After all, a supplier that for some reason does not fit SoftServe will no longer waste its time on vain hopes.
- The information provided by suppliers allows us to reduce risks and make appropriate decisions on them as quickly as possible. This will result in significant savings and increase the reliability of future operations.
- The client received a single channel for “communication” with suppliers, having clearly defined the criteria for the initial selection and automated the initial stage. This greatly simplified communication. The process of approving and assigning roles was also accelerated.
- The portal has helped SoftServe relieve internal staff by reducing the number of operations that do not require in-house resources. This way, the company’s procurement specialist will now have more time to focus on strategic tasks. Thanks to automation, part of the work that used to be done by the company’s procurement managers is now collected by the portal. Each supplier uploads the necessary information, and then SoftServe uses it to check and analyse potential contractors. Thus, automation simplifies the process of submitting and collecting information. And the responsibility for collecting and providing information now lies on the supplier.
- Automation has improved the quality of supplier analytics. In the future, this will give the company a certain visibility of the entire array of information and data, an analytical cross-section for further decision-making. It will be possible to find out from which markets the requests come, what form of ownership companies are more likely to apply, etc. The collection of information is simplified and the number of errors is reduced.
- The role of the company’s procurement team has increased. Traditionally, procurement people in IT companies have a weak position. Now suppliers’ database is proved to be effective, so SoftServe’s procuremnt PROs have stronger position.
It’s great to have your work recognised at such a high level as SoftServe does:
We are grateful to IPSM and Maryna Trepova in particular for helping us identify problems in the company’s procurement and directing the function in the right direction. Thanks to the web portal with rules for suppliers, we were able to relieve the workload of internal employees, who can now focus on the strategic role of procurement in the company, and reduce the risks associated with suppliers. The portal also allowed us to optimise the supplier selection process for more efficient work and long-term benefits. IPSM helped us to formulate the main messages of the portal in terms of interacting with suppliers.
– Vasyl Bychynskyi, VP of IT Asset Management, SoftServe.
4. Work results
As a result, SoftServe received a ready-made specific tool – a portal for potential suppliers. It became the framework for the updated image of the company’s procurement function: more transparent and sustainable. A big potential bonus of the portal is the ability to use the information received from suppliers to work with partners and make more accurate forecasts, reducing possible errors in decision-making.
We are sure that the success of such projects is possible only via effective interaction with the client. It is very pleasant when external specialists are not hindered in the company, but rather supported and helped to bring their ideas to life. It’s great that information about our developments has been shared with all stakeholders, and the rules for suppliers have been set out in fruitful cooperation with SoftServe.
The portal is available here: www.softserveinc.com/en-us/become-a-supplier
At IPSM, we work across various industries to support companies of different sizes who want to make their procurement and supply chain clear and transparent.
Photo by IPSM company and from SoftServe website