Digitize Supplier Management to Turn Disruption into Innovation

| Product Lifecycle Management | Supplier Relationship Management
Posted By: Trace One

A perfume manufacturer starts making hand sanitizer. A pillow company manufactures face masks. A restaurant chain pivots to delivering groceries. A supermarket chain reroutes surplus food to food banks.

Nothing is immune to disruption when a global pandemic knocks the world off course, but some companies are better prepared to pivot when they need to.


Even for those not undertaking dramatic transitions, the focus shifts from long-term goals to short-term innovation: How can we maintain operations with minimal disruption? Of course, pivots are rarely of the scale and severity that a global pandemic requires, but such drastic times do lay bare the differences in preparedness.

Trace One's Supplier Collaboration Portal creates the conditions under which companies can innovate and even thrive during changing market conditions.

While digital PLM creates a single source of truth for product data, the Supplier Collaboration Portal (SCP) facilitates collaboration, streamlines communication, and minimizes delays caused by manual input to make short-term innovation possible, even under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Read more about the SCP:

Customer Case Study: Streamlining Supplier Relationship Management with Trace One's SCP

How to Use Your PLM System to Facilitate a Full Quality Management Program


When everyone is stuck at home, collaboration is a challenge. If everyone is working from localized files like spreadsheets, communication is sporadic and inefficient at best, not to mention the chance for errors cause delays. If everyone is working from a single source of truth that's accessible to everyone, however, it's business as usual.


SCP provides a single, standardized, enterprise-wide view for all supplier data. It also provides questionnaires with pre-built templates and required fields that can be sent to all vendors and facilities, eliminating delays caused by missing or incomplete supplier data.

Standardized processes, schedules, and expectations further streamline supplier management.


All supplier data is housed in the Supplier Collaboration Portal, eliminating the inefficiency that plagues manual processes. Supplier documents are accessible and easily tracked, alerts notify all parties of approaching document expiration dates before they become a blocker, and every question answered by suppliers is stored in a searchable database.

The results, even when efficiency gains are expected, can be surprising, as one process lead noted at the 2019 Trace One User Conference. “The biggest win—and I don’t think we realized how big a win it was going to be—is the efficiency with which we manage all that data now,” he said.


SCP's standardization and centralization result in stronger compliance. Issues are easily spotted and corrected, and compliance risks and supply chain challenges can be mitigated before they impact production.

Streamlined supplier management through digitization

The problems that plague formula-based global supply chains are amplified during a global quarantine, but the problems solved by efficient collaboration achieved through digitization are always present to varying degrees. Digitizing operations and streamlining supplier communication through the Supplier Collaboration Portal turns disruption into a source of innovation.