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6 min read

The Pros and Cons of Self-Onboarding for Vendors

Vendor onboarding is a crucial process for any company that works with external vendors. At its very basics, many working in supply chain recognize the process as introducing a new vendor to their company, setting up accounts, reviewing and approving contracts, and ensuring compliance with regulations. But, with so many options available, it can be difficult to determine the best approach for your company. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of two main options available: vendors onboarding themselves or using an experienced outsourced team.  

We will also explore the importance of vendor onboarding and how a well-structured process can help to minimize risks and prevent errors, ultimately saving a company time and money. By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding of the options available to your team and how to choose the best one to achieve success both now and into the future. 

What is Self-Onboarding (AKA Supplier Onboarding)? 

Self-onboarding, also known as supplier onboarding, is the process of collecting all the necessary information from suppliers to set them up as approved sellers with your company. The main goal of self-onboarding is to establish a smooth and efficient working relationship between your company and the supplier, enabling you to purchase goods and services and make payments to the supplier with ease. 

Self-onboarding allows suppliers to provide their own information and compliance documents, giving them more control over the process and enabling them to complete the onboarding process at their own pace. This can be done through a portal or a set of forms that the supplier can access and fill out. 

By taking the time to properly onboard suppliers through self-onboarding, businesses can ensure that they are working with reputable and reliable vendors, and that all transactions run smoothly. This process helps businesses to build trust and establish long-term relationships with their suppliers while minimizing risks of fraud or non-compliance. 

Benefits of Vendors Onboarding Themselves 

Traditionally when a company onboards a new supplier, they undergo a flurry of emails and questions that can be seen as an unavoidable cost of doing business. In an enterprise scenario, these delays can lead to significant financial losses, and small businesses can also be affected as their cash flow may be impacted while systems are put in place and any issues are resolved. Therefore, one of the primary benefits of vendors onboarding themselves is the reduced cost. 

Additionally, vendors often have a good understanding of their own processes and systems, which can lead to a quicker onboarding process. They know their own systems and procedures inside out and can easily provide the information needed to get up and running quickly, which can lead to a smoother integration with the company, as the vendor is already familiar with their own systems and procedures. Overall, vendors onboarding themselves can help to minimize disruptions to the company's operations and get the vendor up and running as quickly as possible. 

Drawbacks of Vendors Onboarding Themselves 

One of the main cons of vendors onboarding themselves is a lack of experience and knowledge in compliance and regulations. Vendors may not have the same level of expertise in compliance as an experienced outsourced team and may be more likely to make errors or oversights. This can lead to non-compliance and potential legal issues for the company. Additionally, vendors may not be aware of all the regulations and requirements that are specific to the company's industry or location. This can lead to delays or even the rejection of the vendor's onboarding process. 

Another drawback of vendors onboarding themselves is the potential for errors and oversights. Because vendors may not be as familiar with the company's processes and systems, they may make mistakes during the onboarding process. This can lead to delays, additional costs, and frustration for both the vendor and the company. Additionally, it can be difficult to standardize processes across different vendors when they are handling their own onboarding. Each vendor may have their own way of doing things, which can lead to inconsistencies and difficulties in managing vendors effectively. 

Benefits of Using a Specialized Team  

One of the main benefits of using an experienced outsourced team (like ConvergentIS) for vendor onboarding is the expertise in compliance and regulations. Outsourced teams have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations that apply to the company and its industry and can ensure that vendors are compliant with all relevant regulations. This can help to minimize the risk of legal issues and non-compliance. Additionally, an outsourced team can provide guidance and support to vendors throughout the onboarding process, helping to ensure that everything is done correctly from the start. 

Another benefit of using an experienced outsourced team is the consistency in processes and standards. When vendors are onboarded by the same team, there is a greater degree of standardization and consistency in the process, regardless of the vendor. This helps to ensure that all vendors are treated fairly and equitably, and that they meet the same standards and requirements. Additionally, an outsourced team is able to implement best practices and provide training to vendors, to ensure that they perform their work efficiently and effectively. An outsourced team can also help to minimize the risk of errors and oversights, which can ultimately save the company time and money. 

Drawbacks of Having an Outsourced Team 

One of the main cons of using an experienced outsourced team for vendor onboarding is the additional costs for the company. Outsourcing vendor onboarding can be more expensive than having vendors handle the process themselves. This can be a significant consideration for companies on a tight budget or for small businesses. Additionally, the costs of an outsourced team can vary depending on the services they provide and the size of the vendor's operation, which can make budgeting for vendor onboarding difficult. 

Another con of using an experienced outsourced team is dependence on the outsourced team for vendor onboarding. When a company outsources vendor onboarding, they rely on the outsourced team to handle the entire process. This can be problematic if the team is unavailable or if there are delays in the onboarding process. Additionally, companies may feel that they are losing control over the onboarding process, and they may not be able to make changes or adjustments as needed. This could lead to dissatisfaction with the vendor and might even lead to vendor replacement. 

 
Conclusion 

In conclusion, vendor onboarding is a crucial process for any company that works with external vendors. It involves introducing a new vendor to the company, setting up accounts, reviewing and approving contracts, and ensuring compliance with regulations. When deciding on the best approach for your company, it is important to consider the pros and cons of both options: vendors onboarding themselves or using an experienced outsourced team. 

Vendors onboarding themselves can provide cost savings for the company and a quicker onboarding process, but they may lack the expertise in compliance and regulations and may lead to errors and oversights. On the other hand, using an experienced outsourced team can provide expertise in compliance and regulations, consistency in processes and standards, and reduced risk of errors and oversights, but it can be costly and dependent on the outsourced team for vendor onboarding. Ultimately, it is important for companies to weigh the costs and benefits and choose the option that best fits their needs.