June 21, 2023

The Risks Associated with Sourcing and Onboarding Suppliers

Rémi Legorrec

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Rémi Legorrec


CRO et Cofondateur

The Risks Associated with Sourcing and Onboarding Suppliers
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In a world where competition is intensifying and economic interdependence is increasing, supplier sourcing has become a key element in companies' procurement strategies. However, this process is not without risks. In this article, we will dissect and analyze the risks associated with supplier sourcing to help you navigate this complex process with confidence.

Supplier Sourcing: What is it?

Supplier sourcing is the process by which a company identifies, assesses, and establishes a partnership with suppliers of goods or services. This practice aims to minimize costs, improve quality, optimize supply chain management, and create added value.

Risks Associated with Supplier Sourcing

Despite its many advantages, supplier sourcing carries several risks that need to be proactively managed. Here are the main ones:

  1. Financial Risks
    The first risk that can arise during supplier sourcing is financial risk. If a supplier encounters financial difficulties, they may not be able to meet their contractual commitments, which can result in delivery delays, a drop in quality, or in the worst case, a complete interruption of supply.
  2. Quality-Related
    RisksAnother major concern is the risk associated with quality. A supplier who does not meet quality standards can have a direct impact on the final product, which can harm your company's reputation.
  3. Supply Chain-Related Risks
    Issues related to the supply chain are also a significant risk. Supply chain disruptions, whether due to logistical problems, natural disasters, or geopolitical conflicts, can cause delivery delays and increase costs.
  4. Legal and Regulatory Risks
    Legal and regulatory risks should not be overlooked either. Companies must ensure that their suppliers comply with all relevant regulations, whether environmental standards, human rights, working conditions, etc.

How to Mitigate Risks Associated with Supplier Sourcing ?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate these risks:

  1. Assess Your Suppliers' Financial Health
    It is essential to regularly check your suppliers' financial health. This can be done through financial audits, review of balance sheets and annual reports, or the use of supplier account management software.
  2. Implement Quality Checks
    Ensure that your suppliers meet the quality standards you have set. This may involve regular inspections, quality audits, and constant communication with your suppliers.
  3. Diversify Your Supplier Base
    To reduce supply chain-related risk, it is advisable to diversify your supplier base. Having multiple suppliers for the same product or service can help you avoid supply disruptions.
  4. Ensure Legal and Regulatory Compliance
    Finally, make sure your suppliers comply with all relevant regulations. This may require regular checks for compliance and appropriate contractual clauses.

Risks Associated with Supplier Onboarding

Supplier onboarding, also known as supplier integration, is another essential process in supplier management. This is the process by which a newly selected supplier is trained in your company's policies, procedures, and expectations. However, like sourcing, supplier onboarding also carries its own risks.

  1. Communication Risks
    One of the major difficulties can be communication. Mistakes or misunderstandings when explaining your company's procedures can lead to long-term problems. Suppliers may not clearly understand your expectations regarding quality, delivery times, billing processes, which can lead to delays, errors, and frustrations.
  2. Compliance Risks
    There is also a risk that the supplier will not comply with your company's policies and regulations, whether environmental standards, human rights policies, compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc. This can result in fines, sanctions, and a negative impact on your company's reputation.
  3. Technology-Related Risks
    Adopting technology can also be a challenge. If your company uses specific technology for ordering, billing, or supply chain management, the supplier may struggle to adopt it, which can cause inefficiencies and errors.

How to Minimize Supplier Onboarding Risks ?

To minimize these risks, here are a few recommendations:

  1. Clear and Effective Communication
    Ensure you have clear and effective communication with your suppliers from the start of the onboarding process. This should include detailed explanations of your expectations, opportunities for the supplier to ask questions, and comprehensive training on your procedures.
  2. Compliance Verification Process
    Set up a robust process to verify the supplier's compliance with your policies and regulations. This could include regular audits, compliance training, and specific contractual clauses.
  3. Technological Support
    Providing technological support during the onboarding process can help mitigate technology adoption issues. This could include technology training, available technical support, and clear user manuals.

Ultimately, identifying and proactively managing the risks associated with supplier onboarding can greatly facilitate the process and lead to more successful and efficient supplier relationships.


Supplier sourcing and onboarding are complex processes that carry numerous risks. However, by understanding these risks and taking steps to mitigate them, you can not only protect your company but also make the most of your relationships with your suppliers.

So remember, before embarking on supplier sourcing, carry out a comprehensive risk analysis. With good supplier account management software and proper planning, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for your company.

By enabling you to simplify communication, interactions, and transactions with your suppliers, Flowie can support you in this process.

Rémi Legorrec
Rémi Legorrec
CRO et Cofondateur

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