Solve Your Supplier Collaboration Issues in SAP with a Direct Spend Portal

Pros and Cons of the Hybrid Cloud

Author: Jon Brooks, Business Development – CX Director, itelligence UK.


Managing complex supplier relationships can be a challenge when you don’t have the right systems in place, so there are significant gains to be made by automating supplier management processes. In this blog we will take a closer look at how a direct spend portal can improve efficiency and reduce your administrative costs.

Automated Onboarding

As you select new suppliers, the supplier onboarding process can be supported by the portal. A direct spend portal will help ensure that all stages of registration are correctly completed, including proof of regulatory compliance, putting the onus on the supplier to provide the right information and confirm that it’s error free. This removes a time-consuming task from your team and improves the accuracy of your master data.

A simplified experience

It is far easier and more intuitive for all users to move around a portal than it is to traverse the complexities of SAP. The user experience with direct spend is designed to be simple, quick and clear, speeding up the ability to retrieve and enter relevant data. This is a huge advantage for your procurement team, as well as suppliers.

The direct spend portal uses an interface that is very clear and simple, while graphical analysis gives visual clarity. The suppliers’ screen view is designed to display only what they need to see, removing any room for confusion.

Customisable dashboard

The supplier’s view within the direct spend portal can be customised by you to provide them with the most useful information, from unconfirmed purchase orders to performance issues and outstanding requests for quotation (RFQs).

Requests for quotation

Once RFQs are raised in SAP, this information is served via the direct spend portal and suppliers are then able to respond accordingly. They can provide a quote based on your requirements which may incorporate pricing breaks for economies of scale – you can then accept or reject the quote submitted. Capturing this process within the portal provides a complete history of supplier quotes, allowing you to assess pricing trends overall and by supplier.

Easy monitoring of supplier KPIs

You can expose as many supplier KPIs as required. When you need to review supplier performance, full visibility of performance indicators and the ability to drill down into these gives you a clear picture of which suppliers are meeting your requirements fully and those who are consistently struggling to reach the desired service levels. Thanks to this increased transparency, you can build better supplier relationships by addressing KPI issues as they arise and talking through how to resolve them. When necessary, you can take the decision to penalise a supplier for delivery delays, or replace them, based on hard data demonstrating underperformance.

Streamlined purchase order (PO) and scheduling agreement (SA) management

By introducing automation into the process of confirming purchase orders for efficiency, you can speed up authorisation via a centralised location, strengthening your relationships with suppliers through improved control of orders. Any changes to POs are reflected in SAP immediately, enabling your internal teams to make informed decisions thanks to the quick communication of crucial data via the portal (rather than your email inbox), removing the manual process.

Your scheduling agreements sit within the portal too, meaning that it’s easy for both suppliers and internal teams to access your required delivery quantities and dates, as well as the history of a scheduling agreement, at any time.

Quality notification (QN) management

Should a problem with quality be raised within SAP, direct spend will expose the details of the quality notification direct to the supplier, to which they can respond and resolve in much reduced timeframes.

Better management of documentation

Documents can be added to direct spend so that both you and your suppliers can access them easily and keep track of any actions arising, such as expiry dates of certification.

Keep track of contracts

A colour-coded system flags when contracts are about to expire, as well as consumption against a contract. Data relating to purchase orders raised against a contract and the materials on it can be accessed quickly via a minimal number of clicks.

Operates within your existing SAP stack direct spend is delivered natively inside SAP, so the data and business processes used are those already established in SAP. There’s no duplication and no need to replicate any of the data – all of the information provided by the portal is fully accurate, in real time. As your suppliers provide data (subject to your approval where required) it will directly update the correct location in SAP. Any updates to information in the portal are updated in your SAP master records immediately.

Suitable for multiple global territories

he direct spend portal is a scalable solution that can be used by global organisations across multiple territories, thanks to its multi-lingual functionality, so your entire organisation can see the same data in real time.

Let’s get started

Find out how our SAP certified supplier portal can help your business transform its supply chain. Watch the On Demand webinar here.



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