Supplier Data Collection Portal? Objection Handling 101

Supplier Data Collection Portal? Objection Handling 101

Does your company use a supplier portal to collect compliance data? Are you thinking of using a supplier portal to collect compliance data? At Assent our research shows this is the fastest way to collect data at scale and be able to quickly consolidate answers, analyze responses and create appropriate data validation processes. Any method of data collection you choose could meet with some objections from suppliers. In this post we look at common objections and the best ways to objection handle when working with your suppliers for data collection using an automated portal.

Enter two of Assent’s account managers, Brandon/Keegan:

When reaching out to suppliers, you may encounter a number of objections as to why they cannot complete your request using a Supplier Portal. You can hear a wide range of objections that could sound something like the following:

We do not use external portals”

–          Before accepting this statement, go back to the supplier and ask why this is? If it is part of their corporate policy, find out the actual reason

  • Is it from previous bad experiences?
  • Do they feel as if it will be hard to use?

Any problem foreseen by the supplier can be handled through a 90 second Supplier Portal Tutorial video. In most cases once they see the ease of use and efficiency, they will use your data collection portal.

 “We do not trust your link or your portal”

 –          Assent and other vendors who have data collection portals should go out of their way to ensure that the user has not only an enjoyable experience, but a secure experience as well. Some of Assent’s security Protocols include the following:

Server Security

Browser Security

User Security


Corporate Security

-Full PCI Compliance-CICA 5970 Type B-SAS70 Type II Certifications


-HTTPS, 156-bit SSL Encryption -1-way, hash blind encryption-Industry standard DES-Tiered User Access


-SOC 2 Compliance


“It is easier for me to email you the declaration as opposed to going to a website”

–          If you use Assent’s portal the steps are as follows:

  1. Click Link
  2. Select File
  3. Click Upload 

–          To email you need to:

  1. Hit reply (or copy and paste an email)
  2. Select File
  3. Hit Send 

In terms of “click steps” it’s the same number but will enable the system to programmatically review and analyze the document instead of the email recipient doing it. Portal 1, Email 0.

 “We don’t fill out custom surveys” 

–          Assent Compliance rarely request that suppliers use custom surveys (For conflict minerals) The Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) for example is an industry standard. While some clients do have custom surveys and this is a feature of the Assent platform, getting buy in for this step is a separate post.  You might be interested in our Ebook – Supplier Influence which tackles lots of the psychology of supply chain 

An educated supplier is a compliant supplier! 

One of the most important aspects of a clean compliance program is proper supplier education! Before you send your suppliers compliance requests, make sure they know that they are coming. In your first send out, include the following:

–   A link to a Supplier Success Center that contains insightful videos on how to comply in less than 2 minutes: Supplier Success Center

–          A link to specific videos such as a Supplier Portal Tutorial so that the supplier can see exactly what they are supposed to do

–          A link to the blank CMRT form in the following format: “Don’t have a CMRT form? Download one here

  • This way they can fill out the form prior to the initial request, and can ask questions ahead of time 

At Assent we’ve worked with literally 10’s of thousands of suppliers and have split tested different data collection mechanisms, done extensive user testing and have several clients that have gotten to 100% response rates in their data collection efforts. Next time a supplier objects to giving you data, we hope these points help. Need a hand with anything compliance related? Email us anytime: