Managing supplier risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

The current pandemic has left businesses scrambling to appraise threats to continuity and risk exposure. Once this assessment concludes, organizations will start identifying the areas where they can still influence and drive decisions. Their success in this exercise, as it relates to their supply chain, will hinge on the availability of real-time information and the ability to collaborate with suppliers.

In a recent post, IACCM President Tim Cummins wrote, “…there is every reason to agree that collaboration is the best way forward. But many may find that challenging.”

Collaboration between suppliers and customers begins with having the right information in hand. This frees up the people on either side of the deal to have the hard conversations that will allow both businesses to move forward. A secured system that serves as a single source of truth for all parties goes a long way in enabling collaboration, even in the best of times. And these are not the best of times, as @tcummins reports below:

Tim Cummins supply shortages Tweet

The best way for businesses to manage uncertainty is to leverage automation for supplier relationships. Rather than placing demands on an already strained workforce to track down deliverables and search ancient contracts for commitments, a single secured system monitors the status. Alerts and notifications let users know exactly what’s coming up short, by how much, and whether a breach of contract has occurred.

By extending the platform with a supplier/vendor portal, the conversations about shortfalls and risk happen in real time and are tracked and recorded to appease regulators. A portal also enables vendors, partners, and suppliers to submit contract and other requests to speed key business processes like sales, procurement, and legal operations. The use of an extensible system with user portal is currently being utilized in organizations ranging from pharma to consulting to healthcare.

Automating supplier management with Agiloft


Fraser Health Authority

The largest health authority in British Columbia, Fraser Health Authority, recently upgraded its contract management to keep pace with a growing list of suppliers and partners that provided critical services to patients. In an article in Health IT Outcomes, Agiloft CEO Colin Earl outlined the approach that Hardeep Chaggar, Fraser Health Executive Director of System Optimization, took with the organization’s Agiloft platform:

“Looking to empower employees and their suppliers through a unified platform, Chagger and his team implemented a system that could streamline current operations and scale with their vision. Data that employees had previously needed to track down now took shape with automatic alerts, scheduled reminders to vendors, and self-populating reports. This resulted in analytics and dashboards that accurately reflect the state of the business and its supply chain. These data points act as leading indicators, allowing for quicker recognition of a misalignment between vendor expectations and performance.”

“Having solid metrics, we can rely on with automated data analysis will enable us to see things that are developing before they become a crisis,” Fraser Health Executive Director, Mental Health & Substance Use, Andy Libbiter said. “It helps us in a collaborative way to help our outside providers cross correct and adjust to changing circumstances.”

Fraser Health Authority supplier collaboration graph

Hardeep introduced this image to his organization to capture the value of supplier management and collaboration within Agiloft. For more on Fraser Health Authority’s contract and vendor management, watch Hardeep Chaggar’s Business Showcase at Agiloft Summit 2019.

Williams Lea Tag

Recently winning the IACCM Innovation & Excellence EMEA Award for Operational Improvement using Agiloft, Williams Lea Tag, a leading provider of marketing and communications services, knows firsthand how automation can enhance collaboration and efficiency even in the largest enterprises.

"Using Agiloft afforded us the flexibility to be able to render a series of highly contingent processes into a cohesive whole, without the requirement for additional resources," said Max Elvey, WLT governance and supplier analytics manager. "With our previous approach to CLM and supplier management, we couldn't handle the complexity and the different rules guiding the diverse agreements and relationships without time-consuming manual interventions."

Read the press release to learn more about WLT’s supplier management.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical

La Jolla is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies intended to significantly improve outcomes in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. The organization engaged with Agiloft to implement a CLM system that included a tailored vendor request workflow that could easily be configured using our no-code platform. This gave the organization the flexibility to configure the system to better fit their needs and adapt to changing business needs.

Read the La Jolla case study for more information.

For those organizations who are already leveraging Agiloft’s supplier management to reduce risk and improve collaboration, there is still opportunity to do more. With Agiloft contract and commerce lifecycle management (CCLM) you can integrate all data across your CLM, ERP, ITSM, and CRM solutions to provide performance or financial data to drive value across all operations. CCLM reorients value-creating activities under one unifying element—the contract. And of course, none of this works in times of crisis without a scalable, resilient hosting infrastructure with full redundancy and a thorough IT disaster response plan.

Learn more about CCLM here or contact us to see it in action.