How to Use Automated Communications to Support Your Private Brand Supplier Performance Management (SPM)

I’d like to end this short series of blogs on Supplier Performance Management (SPM) by focusing on using automated communication reminders as part of your Supplier Engagement. When it comes to productivity frameworks, there are always those pesky tasks that can easily fall between the cracks. These are the items that need to be completed on or by a certain day, but not at a specific time. A way to seriously reduce this hassle can be automated reminders.

So what are automated reminders?

Simply put, automated reminders do exactly what they say on the tin and work to mechanize your communication campaigns. A Communication automation platform can do just this. By ensuring targeted messages reach a predefined audience at a specific time on a particular day it will help you to automate and optimize engagement with your Suppliers.  However, it’s important to remember people are often busy. Therefore an element of reminders and progress chasing is unfortunately inevitable. At the same time, it is vital that these reminders are ‘intelligent’; they should not simply become an annoyance to all involved.

How does it work?

By setting up automated reminders as part of your workflow.

For example, if you are waiting on a response to a specific communication, you can schedule a reminder to be sent at a specific time or based on a specific event. This will increase your response rate and in turn Supplier Engagement. More importantly, it will save you and your Suppliers time and energy… so a win-win for all.

Making the progress chasing appropriate.

Knowing whether a message has been opened or not allows you to tailor reminder mailings to your specific needs. This is exactly how you can utilise a system like our ENGAGE Platform. For example, when working with surveys, you could send out a different message depending on whether someone is yet to start a survey or are part-way through it. For a non-starter the chaser would highlight the importance of the survey, and encourage the Supplier to respond, whereas the latter would have more of a focus on ‘helpful links and tips’. Specifically, if they need more help.

e.g. “It appears you’ve left a survey before it is complete. Do you need more information on how to complete this? If so, click here.”

I use this functionality a lot with my clients to maximise responses to surveys.

With the best will in the world some work priorities have to take precedence or, as I find in many cases, the Supplier simply gets distracted or forgets… As discussed in last week’s ‘Supplier Self-Help’ blog this is also another chance for you to point them at your Self-Help system for instructions or advice on how to complete the task.

Finally, I wanted to share with you 3 tips that I always consider when working with automated communication campaigns. These will not only help you streamline traditionally manual processes but, more importantly, help you build stronger, more engaging working relationships with your supply base.

  1. Schedule your communications.Use automation to start creating both immediate and scheduled communications to your Suppliers, all within the same interface. Just remember not to get carried away—your audience still expects a human on the other end!  Use intelligence to ensure Suppliers only receive the necessary and the helpful reminders.
  2. Identify the information that you need to collect for your communication campaigns. Start with first name, last name, and email address, and then go from there. For example, if you want to create an automated email on training sessions booked months in advance, make sure you have the relevant data to make it happen such as dates and time. Set reminders up to recur 1 week prior to the event and again the day before. In ENGAGE we can also set automatic messages if course times are amended, or courses cancelled and re-scheduled. But again, remember it’s important not to bombard your audience with an overload of automated reminders. People don’t like to feel interrogated.

Experiment with automated communication campaigns by automating simple, recurring emails. 
These are perfect for testing the communication automation waters. Experiment with email communications that are sent automatically when a Supplier takes a particular action, such as updating contact details. For example, on a change of role they could automatically receive notification of content in the supplier portal that is relevant to their new role. You have plenty of information to use when it comes to personalizing your communications. This is always better than blasting everyone in your database with a generic email.

That draws the
Three Ways Successful Supplier Engagement Can Improve Your Private Brand Supplier Performance Management (SPM) to yet another close. I hope you’ve found it useful. If you have missed any, or would like to revisit any of the blogs, please click here.

Tags: Supplier development, Supplier engagement

Team S4RB

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