Your business, however small, would have empaneled at least a few vendors including SaaS technology, logistics service, and strategic goods suppliers. Arguably, they are the backbone of your business. But gathering supplier background details, documents, and approvals for vendor onboarding only becomes more complex, when done remotely, and at scale.
Off the bat, the easiest way to reduce the stress around supplier evaluation, onboarding, and engagement is digitizing related paperwork with eSignature solutions.
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Step-by-step guide to using eSignatures for better vendor onboarding
Attracting the right high-performing vendors is critical for the smooth functioning of your business. But, you need to have robust processes in place that not only attract the right vendors but also get them excited to work with you.
Unfortunately, standing between selecting the right vendor and enabling them to seamlessly work with your business is a lot of paperwork. And nothing spells partnership fatigue like mind-numbingly mundane documentation.
Here is how eSignatures can help reduce the issues related to traditional means of sending and approving vendor onboarding paperwork.
Step #1: Request for proposal (RFP) - Create a simple RFP template that has a placeholder for the task requirements/expectations and another for vendor details and solutions, and save it on your eSignature platform. The likes of Signeasy will store this template on the cloud so that it can be pulled out whenever a new RFP needs to be put out. So, every time you need to reach out to potential vendors, you can just tweak this template to suit the new requirement. In this way, you skip investing time and effort into drafting RFPs from scratch.
Step #2: Due diligence - When vetting the prospective vendors, a lot of documents need to be exchanged and approved, from mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (MNDA) or Confidentiality Agreement to OFAC/PEP checks, reference check and vendor risk assessment. Many stakeholders may need to sign off on these documents, one after the other or all at the same time. So, here, you could use Signeasy to set a sequential or parallel workflow for the approval of these documents. And, once everyone has signed, they will all receive the final document. What an improvement from having to courier these documents back and forth between signers!
Step #3: Contract signing - Once you have the best vendor shortlisted, both parties need to sign the vendor contract and collect licenses, insurance, ACH forms, certifications, and other documentation from them. In a pre-2020 scenario, all this could have been done with wet ink signatures (even though it would have still not been very productive). But, now that social distancing measures are in place, all of these documents need to be shared and approved remotely with eSignature solutions.
During onboarding, vendors should also be sent forms to collect pertinent information such as supplier name, address, phone number, email, bank details, etc. Since these vendor information forms tend to be quite elaborate, a few fields may escape the notice of the signers. But, at your end, you don't want to spend hours checking for gaps or errors in such forms. Nor do vendors want to refill these forms. So, just use electronic signature solutions such as Signeasy to set ‘document fields’. This feature guides vendors through each field (via explanatory prompts) that they need to fill and even points to where they need to sign. Additionally, you can also ensure that the form cannot be signed off by the vendor until they fill all the essential fields.
Step #4: Vendor relationship-building - Even once the vendors are onboarded, there are still a lot of documents that need to be processed to ensure that the everyday interactions are stress-free. You need to mutually sign off on instructions for invoice processing, W-8 or W-9 forms, payment terms, pricing and discounts, returns, and account credits process.
- eSignatures tools make efficient your document approval, by doing away with printing, scanning, or faxing. This online document signing from anywhere, in turn, helps build efficient operations. End result - stronger buyer-vendor relationships
- To further fortify your relationship with the vendor, it could help to ensure that your branding is present across all vendor touchpoints -- even on your third-party eSignature platform. Signeasy lets you customize the signing workflow, with your brand logo and other visual elements, so that your brand value is iterated. This also inspires a sense of trust that the documents sent and signed are confidential and professionally managed.
Why your vendor onboarding needs Signeasy
Rappi is a prime example of a Signeasy success story when it comes to vendor onboarding. The on-demand delivery startup began using Signeasy to get restaurant vendors to sign onboarding service agreements without meeting their team face to face. Because of the success of the solution in remote vendor documentation, today, they also use it to exchange and sign high-profile contracts, NDAs, and other day-to-day paperwork.
Signeasy addresses all challenges of remote vendor onboarding and also offers-up opportunities for improving process efficiencies. Let’s look at them.
- Reduce time to approve and activate new suppliers - Hands down, this is one of the top benefits of Signeasy. By streamlining the signing workflow, it not only makes remote approvals of documents a breeze but also lets you and vendors sign from anywhere and anytime. All you need is a mobile device and documents can be processed in minutes!
- Attract more quality vendors - From empaneling to everyday exchanges, you want to be the company that processes invoices, approves proposals, and approves contracts on time. But, you cannot move fast on these documents if your document management processes are broken. Signeasy helps appeal to vendors by fast-tracking most paperwork which helps develop a positive reputation in the industry.
- Keep all stakeholders free from cross-contamination - When you deal with a lot of vendors, you risk the chance of contracting a communicable ailment from the many documents exchanged physically. Since Signeasy is a contact-free solution, it is so much easier to send and sign vendor documents without ever interacting with high-touch surfaces like pens, printers, scanners, etc.
- Save organization's time remotely managing vendor documents - No matter how complex or simple the signing workflow, Signeasy will help you track the document’s status and even automates the sending of reminders to the signers at regular intervals. To further optimize the paperwork, you should also consider integrating Signeasy with your ERP software so that the invoices, onboarding files, and quotes are processed straight from within the legacy system. Just think of the man-hours saved in terms of physical follow-ups with each vendor on the documentation.
Drop us a note at sales@ if you have a very specific vendor documentation need that needs to be fulfilled. We will arrange for a demo right away!