Just 9% of buyers prioritise suppliers' growth

Weaknesses in data, processes and communication are the main obstacles to improving suppliers’ experiences, a survey has found.

Supply chain platform HICX said 82% of procurement executives named shortcomings in these areas as the most common barrier between suppliers and customers.

The company surveyed 100 of the most senior procurement professionals from organisations with a turnover of above $1bn per year in Europe and North America. A third of respondents represented companies with a turnover of more than $10bn.

The survey found it takes an average of 15-28 days to onboard new suppliers – with only 5% managing to achieve this on average in less than two weeks.

For enterprises with a turnover of more than $10bn, average onboarding times ranged between 29-60 days.

The survey also found systemic weaknesses, with 99% of suppliers saying they had to interact with at least two or more systems.

Two-thirds (64%) of respondents said there were problems in communication between departments within enterprises and a lack of clarity around who to contact for what. And 67% admitted they needed to improve the time taken to resolve queries.

Half (52%) said having too many manual processes or exceptions created a barrier to improving supplier experience, while 34% complained about a lack of skillsets to analyse data.

The report found supplier satisfaction had a low priority among respondents, with 99% saying negotiating the best price was one of their top priorities. Just 9% said being able to support their suppliers’ growth and success was a priority.

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

“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.”

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