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Automated Supplier Onboarding: The Smart Way of Handling Long-Tail Suppliers

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Introduction: The Importance of Streamlining

Having reliable and high-quality suppliers is crucial for maintaining seamless business operations.

However, conventional onboarding and managing long-tail suppliers can often lead to complications. This blog post explores the advantages of adopting automated supplier onboarding and management practices.

The Pitfalls of Traditional Onboarding

Traditional supplier onboarding process

In traditional supply chain management, suppliers are typically onboarded by manually creating master records for each in the organisation's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), procurement or finance systems. This method has many disadvantages like laborious, manual tasks, inaccurate data due to human error, or incompliance. These multiply when handling infrequent or small-scale suppliers, often referred to as long-tail suppliers.

For a deeper understanding of the challenges traditional supplier onboarding poses and how technology can offer a streamlined approach, read our in-depth article here.

Automated Models for Supplier Onboarding

A contemporary approach to supplier onboarding employs automation that reduces the burden of onboarding and maintaining hundreds of suppliers from the buyer's shoulders and involves the supplier for the most accurate data. In this solution, the vendor can upload and update their information and necessary documentation directly onto your procurement platform after a buyer initiates the supplier onboarding. Once a supplier is onboarded to such a system, they are also available for other buyers. Automation can handle every other aspect of the onboarding process so that teams can focus on strategic tasks.

Automated supplier onboarding process

Managing One-Time Suppliers Through Automation

For organisations dealing with one-time suppliers, a smart approach to data management is crucial. Once an initial transaction with a one-time supplier is completed, it's a common misconception that their data no longer holds operational value. However, maintaining a record of all supplier transactions is imperative due to regulatory, tax, and potential audit requirements.

Automation can streamline the managing process, ensuring every recurring or one-time supplier is managed efficiently and complies with data retention policies. This enables resource allocation to be redirected toward more strategic tasks, like supplier relationship management.

On-time Payments and Long-Tail Supplier Relationships

Consistency and reliability are essential in building supplier-buyer relationships, especially for long-tail suppliers. These suppliers may not have frequent transactions with a company, making them particularly vulnerable to not receiving payment for their invoices on-time. Businesses can foster sustainable, efficient, and compliant supplier relationships by ensuring prompt payment upon receipt and review of invoices.

Mitigating Compliance Risks in Supplier Management

While many organisations perform rigorous compliance checks on their strategic suppliers, conducting the same process for long-tail vendors if often simply not possible with the resources available. With automated compliance checks built into your supplier compliance processes, you can mitigate various risks, including legal complications related to sanctions, involvement with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), reputation loss etc. This approach is more efficient and often more reliable than manual reviews.

Mitigating compliance risks

Future-Proof Your Supplier Management with Mazepay

If you're interested in automating your supplier management, get in contact. At Mazepay, process optimisation and compliance are critical priorities for us, so you can focus on tasks that really matter.

Mazepay offers a spend management solution where processes combined with payments help organisations mitigate risks and reduce the impact on operations.

Take the first step towards a smarter, more efficient supply chain and improve supplier relations. Contact us or book a demo to learn more about Mazepay.


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