Keep communicating

If the outbound messaging does not sell the value of EDI, or your supplier-facing employees

are less than enthusiastic about the program, it will damage your success in achieving near

100% connectivity of your supply base.

Photo by Jason Rosewell

Throughout your organization there must be a commitment to supplier enablement and an

understanding of the efforts that are required from not just the buying departments, but also

supply chain, operations, and even finance. Getting these different groups of people on the

same page is a necessity:

  • Executive (CPO or CFO) to serve as the champion

  • The buying manager and all members of the purchasing department

  • An experienced project manager to deal with the day-to-day issues

  • Senior IT manager who will determine document formats and implementation processes

  • Finance team that will be best suited to monitor the progress in areas such as electronic invoicing

External communication is traditionally where most plans stall in the early stages of an

enablement program. External communication must inform all suppliers of your intentions,

the benefits to them of starting or expanding their integration and automation of critical

business documents, and providing your suppliers with all the tools necessary to make it fast,

affordable, and simple to connect. Examples of the various forms of communication are:

  • Videos from executives discussing the program

  • Solution demonstration videos, overviews and pricing information

  • Webinars targeted at select groups of suppliers

  • Email campaigns linking suppliers to all the available information

  • Central online repository of all program information

  • Community forums for supplier discussions

The disparity, demographics, and diversity of your supplier community will determine the

level of external communication required to maximize supplier participation in your supplier

enablement program.