Vendor and contract approvals, where recommended vendors are vetted and approved to work for an organization, can be a painstaking process for companies with multiple locations and external contractors. Bidding process and compliance checks slow down an already complex interplay between vendors and internal management and departmental layers.
The Contract Process
Following vendor selection, a contract process needs to be initiated where a project attached to the selected vendor is routed throughout various levels of the organization’s hierarchy for approval.
Organizations need to be able to complete an online form to initiate a vendor or contract review and then manage the process from beginning to end with full transparency. Requestors should see, for example, that the contract was cleared by the appropriate compliance office or individual as well as any additional approvers. This allows them to follow-up with the appropriate office as needed should there be an unexpected delay in the process. Automated “nudge” alerts should be triggered at certain points in the process based on the length of delay in the approval step.
The Application Process
Vendors should be able to fill out a form on line to apply or initiate a contract with the ability to upload relevant documents (including any credentials the contract might require). The completed application should then flow to procurement, purchasing, finance, etc. for approval. If the approving office requires more information from the vendor, the request should bounce back directly to the vendor rather than being sent to the internal requestor to start over again.
Automation Reduces Risk
An automated workflow management system to handle vendor and contract approvals delivers efficient risk mitigation, streamlining the process to ensure that the vendors are certified, bids are properly evaluated, approving offices and individuals are held accountable, process documentation is accurate and stakeholders’ needs are met.
Workflow management also ensures on-time vendor payment by collecting all necessary paperwork directly from the vendors and automatically issuing purchase orders upon approval of the contract.
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