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Article

Supplier Evaluation as a Service

Industry SaaS Offering Series - Part 4

This is the continuation of my series of articles on Industry SaaS. The term ‘Industry SaaS' can be used interchangeably with BpaaS (Business Process as a Service). However, the term ‘Industry SaaS' meaning a Software as a Service meant for a specific industry need needs more attention, as the term BpaaS has yet to mature with a clear definition.

Supplier Evaluation

  • Most organizations need an automated tool to select suppliers and evaluate them.
  • These systems form an important part of Supply Chain process, as they aim at evaluating the supplier's capabilities and other compliance information about the supplier, which will be a key supporting evidence in organization's sourcing policy.
  • These tools normally will have a supplier self-registration portal to authenticate and on-board suppliers, and have provisions for suppliers to enter their profile, business classification, address, etc.
  • These systems will typically have databases to store supplier profile information and they are collaborative in nature, in the sense both the buying enterprise and the suppliers log on to this system and important information can be shared among them.
  • Specific reports will be generated through these systems to support the supplier evaluation process.

Supplier Evaluation Fitment to SaaS Model

  • Due to the collaborative nature of this application, interaction between the buying enterprises and the supplier organizations are required and a common Cloud Broker can manage the authentication of multiple parties and relieve the organizations from those activities.
  • There is not a standard way of evaluating suppliers, and most organizations tend to adopt check lists and other guide lines to evaluate suppliers, hence SaaS providers can innovate in this space to provide a standard work flow-based evaluation techniques
  • Most of the global suppliers have business with multiple enterprises and hence from a supplier perspective their profile creation and compliance certification process may be duplicated across multiple buyers and hence a common SaaS Model will support the suppliers as well.
  • More stringent compliance requirements from federal and state governments are in place nowadays to certify suppliers, for example.
    • ITAR: The Supplier understands its responsibilities under U.S. export control laws and regulations, including ITAR, and certifies that it will not disseminate any ITAR-controlled Technical Data that would violate applicable export control laws and regulations.
    • In several countries the following guide lines also needs to be enforced on the suppliers

§  Supplier will ensure that hiring practices are in conformance with International Labor Organization for Minimum Age criteria (Child Labor)

§  Suppliers will engage in business without bribery or corruption

This means a common regulated and centralized system can validate most of these compliance checks using standardized procedures.

Of course the standard Cloud Attributes like pay-per-use, dynamic scalability, elasticity and rapid provisioning also hold good for Supplier Evaluation as a Service much like other SaaS offerings.

Players
The following are some of the players in this space, whose offering can be used by buying enterprises to adopt a SaaS Model. As stressed earlier the aim is to promote SaaS adoption and ranking the individual vendors is not in the scope of this article; enterprises are requested to adopt their own evaluation criteria.

Oracle Supplier Management & Supplier Hub

  • Oracle Supplier Management provides the necessary framework needed to on-board, evaluate, and manage suppliers across trading lifecycle.
  • Oracle's Supplier Management offering includes two products: Oracle Supplier Lifecycle Management and Oracle Supplier Hub.
  • Supplier Management has many sub systems and pre dominantly the following functions are covered.
  • Registration and Onboarding of New Suppliers
  • Supplier Profile Management (including Supplier Self-Service)
  • Manage Supplier Relationship Profile like Address, Contact, Business Diversity Classifications
  • Supplier Performance Evaluation Questionnaire and Templates
  • This solution is available as a Pay Per Use Basis to be qualified as a SaaS solution

Nonverba eCustodio Supplier Evaluation System

  • NonVerba's eCustodio is an online supplier evaluation management system, which allows organizations to interact with their suppliers by use of web-based technology. This interactive tool allows organizations to request suppliers to provide exhaustive information about their business, including financial documents, insurance, quality, H&S and environmental certificates through online questionnaires.
  • As we stressed collaborative needs of this Supplier Evaluation System, Suppliers receive login credentials to login to their online registration questionnaire and complete and submit the questionnaire
  • Based on the documentation available, we could not clearly get whether the product is hosted on a Cloud Platform and available to enterprises on a pay per use basis, however they have options for On Premise and service provider locations through, the system can be deployed with only the supplier website accessible through the Internet, while the database and the Procurement website are within the company's network, totally protected by firewall
  • Further Information about this product can be obtained from the Vendor site, http://www.nonverba.com/SupplierEvaluation.htm

Summary
As mentioned in the beginning of this series, the aim is to identify the areas within the enterprise business process that can be served using a SaaS/BpaaS model. Like the earlier business processes, this supplier evaluation is also a good candidate to move on to SaaS Service Delivery Model.

However we are not seeing very many players with this offering on Supplier Evaluation as a Service, Please write to me if any other player is providing a similar service using a cloud base solution.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).