Poor supplier data results in severe business consequences

93% of procurement and supply chain leaders are hampered just as a global need for accurate data grows, according to a Tealbook survey.

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At a time when organizations are realizing that supplier data is more critical than ever for their business operations, they are experiencing severe problems resulting from misinformation and outdated supplier records, according to a newly released survey.

The 2020 Supplier Information Study, commissioned by supplier intelligence platform provider Tealbook, revealed "a staggering number of critical issues that organizations are dealing with as a result of poor supplier data," according to the company. 

Probably the most shocking result was that 93% of procurement and supply chain leaders had experienced adverse effects of misinformation about their suppliers, and nearly half (47%) experience such negative effects on a regular basis, Tealbook said.
Finding new suppliers is of paramount importance right now, yet companies are also spending an average of 21 days to validate and onboard suppliers, the company said. What's worse is that 81% are not completely confident in their supplier data, according to the survey.

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In fact, 60% of executives reporting outdated supplier information said that it took them four days to update that information, showing that even seemingly small hiccups can cause severe negative consequences, such as missed deadlines (51%), unhappy clients (42%) or even financial loss (40%), Tealbook said.

The lack of up-to-date supplier information is by no means isolated to structured procurement organizations. In fact, the negative impact was documented on both the procurement organization and the suppliers: consequences include wasted time (63%), delays in projects (47%), and worse, terminated supplier relationships, the company said. 

Supplier trust is a big issue

One of the most alarming findings was that more than half of respondents (58%) who use a supplier portal said that they don't trust their suppliers to always keep their information up-to-date, Tealbook said. Additionally, all of this data misinformation has led to many executives citing financial losses with two-thirds (67%) of those cited experiencing such loss within the last six months, demonstrating how frequent and prominent this issue occurs, Tealbook said.

"Trusted supplier information is the most critical asset a procurement organization can possess," said Matt Palackdharry, vice president of sales and commercial strategy at Tealbook, in a statement. "This information is the fuel that powers all procurement technology, it influences billions of dollars of business decisions, and without it, organizations lose the ability to be agile when supply chains become overrun."

The need for trusted supplier information will only continue to increase over time, as the whole world is feeling the effects of COVID-19, Palackdharry added.

Based on the survey results "it's clear that businesses are experiencing serious consequences as a result of outdated and incomplete supplier data," the company said in its release. Moreover, companies are still using time-consuming methods to research and validate their suppliers, with many relying on antiquated methods including online search engines (63%), industry conferences (63% and industry publications (59%). 

"Geopolitical issues are forcing enterprises to rethink regional economic structures," Palackdharry said. "Without trusted supplier information, making informed decisions during this time is impossible." 

Tealbook said it received survey responses from 250 procurement and sourcing executives at director level or above.

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Image: Tealbook

By Esther Shein

Esther Shein is a longtime freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in several online and print publications. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of Datamation, a managing editor at BYTE, and a senior writer at eWeek (formerly PC Week)...