Businesses crave the ability to not only identify new opportunities, but to implement them quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Quick Base defines this as operational agility. Although this may sound aspirational, achieving operational agility in your supply chain is within your grasp. And not only is it attainable, but it’s more than just a nice-to-have – it is a necessary for your business’s resiliency in the face of disruption.
Progressive procurement leaders and supplier managers already know this. When the coronavirus outbreak first hit in March, only companies who were able to rapidly shift operations were able to maintain production through the downturn. While many businesses didn’t survive, those that made it through the thick of pandemic-induced disruption have learned that operational agility is essential to business continuity.
Leaders have turned to low-code tools to design their own DIY solutions for their most pressing business challenges. This tactic circumvents the long, arduous, and expensive process of traditional software development, meaning that teams can build and launch functional applications in a matter of weeks, if not days.
To further expedite the implementation of low-code tools across your supply chain, Quick Base has built and shared two new sample applications that address major weaknesses uncovered by recent global disruption. These are a great place to start your journey towards operational agility and can be customized even further to meet your business’s unique needs.
There’s a lot of factors that are outside of your control that can wreak havoc on your supply chain, whether that be natural disaster, fluctuating costs, or a pandemic outbreak. Even if your company’s operations are up and running, the suppliers that you rely on might slow their production or even shut down entirely as a result. Without a clear back-up plan for obtaining the products you need to operate, the threat to your business is compounded. Not only are you vulnerable to a set of risks for your own company, but you are also vulnerable to all the risks your suppliers face.
One of our latest sample applications, the Supplier Management Application, can be your first line defense in this major area of weakness. This application provides the visibility and flexibility procurement leaders need to manage the quantity, quality, and compliance of suppliers in the best of times, but also in the worst of times.
The Supplier Management application allows users to quickly and easily identify suppliers for certain categories of products that are qualified to work with your organization. This means that your business can rapidly shift to procure from another vetted supplier without having to scramble through contacts, forms, and complicated assessments.
This application also provides full visibility into prospective suppliers who are still in the qualification process, streamlining their onboarding by allowing suppliers to provide necessary information and complete an assessment form directly in the application. This means that on top of having access to a comprehensive and accurate list of approved suppliers, stakeholders in your business can see where new suppliers stand in the process, making it easy to identify any missing information and automatically notifying the necessary stakeholders when they need to take action to move things along.
This application can serve as a central hub for all relevant supplier information, including any direct communications. Suppliers can submit questions to your team directly through the application, throughout the qualification process and after approval. This helps with storing any previous communications, allowing you to easily refer to previous questions they might have had – ultimately saving your team hours of digging through oversaturated email inboxes.
And, because this application is built on Quick Base, every aspect can be adapted to fit your business’s unique needs and processes. You can build out custom reports for suppliers within each product category and create custom dashboards, so individuals in different roles have access to only the information they need for quick insights and to carry out their part of the workflow. On the supplier side, you can add or change forms and information input fields to meet the level of information and qualification metrics that your team needs to collect and that meets your organization and industry standards.
If your business relies on contracts with multiple vendors and suppliers, managing the status of these contracts can be a constant battle of tracking down the right forms just to find out that a contract is past expiration or due to expire soon, causing you to rush to renew or find an alternative. This reactive approach can leave essential components of your operation up-in-the-air for long periods of time, negatively impacting the productivity of your operations. Our other latest sample applications, the Contract Management Application, allows your business to shift from being reactive to proactive – saving time, boosting efficiency, and paving the way to full operational agility.
This application provides supplier managers and procurement leaders with a central view into all their existing supplier and vendor contracts. You can integrate data across the systems you already use to build a single source of truth into your suppliers — allowing you to make the right decisions the right time.
It gives full visibility into current contracts, clearly presenting quick insights into the supplier’s name, the agreed-upon contract amount, the start and end date of the contract, the days remaining, and the status of renewal. With all this information at your team’s fingerprints, you can notify stakeholders about contracts before they expire so that your team can work to renew them in advance or work to find a replacement.
The application also streamlines the process of renewing contracts, allowing you to easily assign tasks to the contract team and set up notifications to notify stakeholders when they need to take action on the contract. Because this application is built in Quick Base, your real-time insights are accessible from anywhere, at any time – even on tablet or mobile devices.
Even more, this application can be fully customized to fit the needs of your teams. You can build custom reports for renewals that are currently in process and create custom dashboards so individuals in different visibility into the data most pertinent to their specific roles for quick insights into contract status and any pending action items. With the ability to add to or adjust forms to meet your unique workflow needs, you can ensure your team is presented with the level of information necessary to get their jobs done.