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Strengthening Your Supply Chain: Optimizing Vendor Relationships for Strategic Procurement


Allison Caggia

August 8, 2023

As market conditions become increasingly volatile and unpredictable, the ability to move fast and rapidly implement change and innovation has taken on a new urgency. Effective controls must be matched by greater speed – bringing agility to the forefront of functional capability. In the 2023 Global Report on the State of Agility in Procurement & Supply, 88% of respondents in executive management functions agreed that adopting agile procurement is a strategic imperative. In the same study, it ranks the priority of commercial operations. It’s no surprise that the digitalization of both procurement and sales is the number one priority in procurement and supply.

At Malbek, we recognize that procurement departments play a critical role in digitizing, developing, nurturing, and sustaining supplier relationships. You and your team likely deal with many vendors and contracts, and are responsible for managing the process, relationships, financial tracking, renewals, and expirations, which means a million moving pieces. Malbek CLM software makes it all easier by providing one central repository for all supplier contracts, creating visibility and easier tracking of contracts. It can also help make collaboration between your team and other internal departments and suppliers more efficient by allowing everyone to see who is responsible for what, easily address issues, and see exactly where the contract is in the lifecycle process. 

In this post, we will explore major challenges that procurement departments face and key strategies that help optimize supplier relationships from a procurement perspective, by leveraging CLM software.

Challenges that can negatively impact supplier relations 

  • Manual processes- If your procurement department relies heavily on manual tasks, such as emails and paper-based processes, then you know this can consume valuable time and manpower. This can also lead to errors, inconsistencies, non-compliance with regulatory regulations, and potential legal disputes. This can also lead to longer contract lifecycles instead of a well-oiled machine that operates effortlessly. And most importantly, this can lead to issues with vendor relations due to frustration and subpar service. 
  • Lack of visibility- Without having a centralized system in place to house all information, procurement teams struggle to stay on top of contracts, which can lead to missed deadlines, expirations, non-compliance issues, and difficulty tracking key performance indicators. Gartner found that 83% of legal and compliance leaders identified third-party risk after initial onboarding and due diligence, which can easily be identified and avoided by implementing CLM software. 

  • Inefficient collaboration- Without a single source of truth for every stakeholder to refer to and the inability to view real-time data, the chance of miscommunication, delays, and longer contract lifecycles is inevitable. I’m sure you’ve experienced this and felt the frustration many times!

  • Limited data insights- Procurement teams are crucial for decision-making, forecasting financials, and optimizing supplier relationships. Without key insights, you and your team are operating in the dark and could be missing out on so many important metrics that CLM software can highlight, which can only lead to stronger supplier relationships and cost-cutting opportunities.  

Malbek CLM software to the rescue 

Malbek’s CLM provides a transformative solution to help alleviate some of these pain points and help boost business and supplier relationships. Here are some of the benefits of implementing a CLM for you and your procurement team. 

  • Enhanced efficiency- CLM software automates manual tasks, simplifies workflows, and reduces contract lifecycles. This allows your team to spend more time focusing on strategic initiatives and building and nurturing supplier relationships instead of administrative tasks.  

  • Central repository- Having one central hub is a huge benefit for people in procurement; you can get instant access to critical documents, milestones, and real-time status updates, ensuring better control, visibility, and management of supplier contracts, renewals, and most importantly, relations. 

  • Streamlined collaboration- Putting a CLM system in place facilitates better communication and collaboration between all stakeholders. It allows everyone to have one single system to operate on, with version control, e-signatures, and other capabilities that keep the train running smoothly and on time! Having this effective system in place will lead to faster negotiations, approvals, and satisfied suppliers and customers. 
  • Risk Mitigation and Compliance- Malbek’s CLM has built-in compliance features, such as alerts on upcoming expirations, automatic notifications, pre-approved clauses, and built-in security risk analysis that will help reduce the risk of non-compliance and avoid potential legal issues.  

  • Data-Driven Decision Making- CLM software allows you and your team to gain valuable insights through analytics and reporting tools that can help identify cost-saving opportunities, monitor supplier performance, and negotiate better terms. 

  • Drag and drop Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Integrations:  
    • Coupa: Access real-time Coupa Supplier and Purchase Requisition data as a master data source during contract creation. Push executed contract data to Coupa with the key terms upon activation of the contract in Malbek. 
    • Oracle: Vendor, sourcing event, and purchase requisition data flow into the contracting process with post-execution obligation management and tracking of invoice receipt and payment status. 

In a recent G2 review, a procurement customer in Information Technology and Services stated, “We had multiple folders and places where we were saving our contracts. There was no single source of truth. Also, it was hard to keep track of renewals and expirations. Some of the benefits of implementing Malbek’s CLM are the reminders feature, having one source of truth for all contracts, the amendment feature, customized workflow, and amazing customer service”. 

Procurement departments are indispensable (yes, you!) for organizational success. But as you know, your role can face many challenges that prevent you from being as smart and scrappy as possible. By implementing CLM software, you can address pain points resulting in increased efficiency, reduction of risk, and strengthened supplier relationships. By integrating CLM software, you can empower your team to focus on strategic initiatives, make informed decisions, and be key contributors to your company’s success!   

Sign up for a demo today or explore our Procurement solutions to learn how you can create a better experience for you and your procurement team (and your suppliers, too)! 







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