Businessman buried in paperwork

The Real Cost of Manual Document Management

Helen Timothy
May 19, 2021

TraceGains Supplier Management: Automate and digitize your supplier and sourcing programs for real-time insight and easy audits.

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Manage Suppliers and Sourcing Like a Pro

For many companies, finding, qualifying, and managing suppliers, items, and ingredients are manual and disjointed processes. Documents are filed away, and the data they contain can’t be used for insight or easily accessed for an audit. TraceGains Supplier Management can help by digitizing and automating your supplier and sourcing programs.

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Most leaders in the food, beverage, and supplements industries understand that failing an audit is costly and that being non-compliant exposes customers and the business to risk.

But how much does it cost the business to attempt to achieve compliance with manual and disparate processes? Here are five questions teams should ask about their regulatory compliance document management approach to determine the real cost.

1 - How Much Does it Cost Annually for Employees to Manage This Process?

Breaking it down, how many employees are currently involved in the documentation process? To calculate the annual cost, you need to calculate the salaries for each committed employee and then break it down by how much time they spend on these manual processes. Could their time be better spent doing other things?

2 - How Much Does it Cost to File New Supplier Documents?

Consider how many suppliers your company currently works with, how many documents come with each supplier, and roughly how long it takes to file each document in the appropriate location. For smaller companies with dozens of suppliers, this time can add up quickly, but the time required for larger companies with hundreds of suppliers becomes genuinely overwhelming.

3 - How Much Does it Cost to Retrieve Documents?

How long do you and your team spend searching for the requested documents? Perhaps you need specific documentation for your GFSI/FDA audit, but you store different data points in different locations, either in a shared drive or even in separate filing cabinets. Every minute counts when it comes to document retrieval.

4 - How Much Does it Cost to Request Documents?

Imagine you've found that one of your suppliers has overlooked important information regarding particular items. You've determined you do not have the proper documentation needed for your records. You spent precious time discovering that something was missing and will now need to track down the supplier and attempt to get the documentation you need. Depending on the supplier, gathering that information could involve dozens of emails and phone calls. Those minutes, hours, or even days add up.

5 - How Much Does it Cost to Validate Your CoAs?

Calculating the cost of validating COAs is a little more complicated. You will need to consider the number of COAs you receive each week, the time it takes to compare each COA manually against your specifications, the percentage of those COAs that are out-of-spec, and the amount of time it takes for your team to follow up on non-compliant COAs.

There's a Better Way

TraceGains Supplier Management streamlines supplier qualification and sourcing by collecting and digitizing supplier documents, extracting the relevant data, and arranging it into performance dashboards and reports. Users can choose standard or custom dashboards for allergen, organic, country of origin, nutrition, risk analysis, and other mission-critical data. The system generates automatic alerts when supplier documents are missing, incomplete, or about to expire.

Leveraging TraceGains Network, users can easily connect with suppliers, and necessary documents are instantly delivered from a vast supplier document repository. On average, our customers find that 80 percent of their suppliers are already in TraceGains Network, allowing them to immediately connect and collaborate. If it’s not documented, you didn’t do it, especially in the eyes of an auditor. TraceGains customers regularly report how delighted auditors are when documents and underlying data are just a click away. To learn more about Supplier Management, click here.