Vendor Data Management: Ditch the Binder and Truly Get Organized

I’m probably more organized than your average person. I firmly believe in “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Sometimes this causes friction in my house, since my husband is more the “set it down; forget it forever” type, and I’m regularly following his pathway through the house putting hairspray away, closing cabinet doors and putting keys on the key hook (because God knows he’ll be panicked in the morning when he can’t find the keys). We are yin and yang in this regard, I suppose.

This has definitely ratcheted up for me recently as we prepare to welcome our firstborn kiddo into our home next month. I am constantly getting teased about “nesting,” but the truth is, I just like to know where things are in my life, like them to make sense and like to be able to put them out of my mind when all is set to rights. And I’m painfully aware that a baby brings lots of stuff, chaos and mess. I just want to get a jump on the impending tornado that is a newborn—is that so bad?

Just like there is a wide range of tolerances for clutter and mess in our personal lives, I’m finding more and more that corporate tolerance for data “messes” varies from organization to organization. Size of team or enterprise doesn’t seem to have a direct correlation to how organized a company’s business processes are or their acceptance of some of the organic chaos that comes with managing complex data.

For example, I was recently in a customer service line at a Fortune 100 company and spotted this:

I was really surprised to see such an outdated tracking system for vendor information. How do they knowledge share among their team members? What if one of the binders disappears? What if a bunch of critical information is removed or lost? How will they quickly identify trends, issues and items to resolve should questions or problems arise?

I know 20 years ago, just having a binder of your vendor information could put a company ahead of its peers, but now, as fast as data moves, as quickly as threats are identified and as swiftly as companies need to respond, paper and local-file systems are just not allowing teams to keep up. It’s time to engage the new tools at your fingertips to help your teams access vendor data quickly and clearly.

Lest you think I’m preaching without practice, I’ve added several tools to my kit to help me stay on top of the changes that will come with a baby. I’ve outlined my chores on an app that reminds me what to do each day, how frequently to repeat those chores and gauge my completion of chores room by room in the house. I’ve set up my subscribe and save on Amazon so I don’t run out of key household staples while sleep deprived.

Companies can look for ways to gain efficiencies in their data management as well.

  • What ongoing tasks could be automatically created for team members to execute, so the trail of completion is clear, cyclical and ongoing?
  • What details could be collected from stakeholders on a regular basis to measure against company thresholds, helping identify potential issues before they arise?
  • What centralized system could be easily implemented and accessed so employees are likely to update the information and find it when they need it?

At Onspring, these are all critical components of solutions we build on our no-code platform. We start with these broad questions and then focus on the specific process pain points to solve. Having a tool that is easy to configure, easy to use and fully tailorable to what you need makes all the difference.

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