The Supplier Portal, or the Vendor Portal as it is more commonly known, is a tool that enables collaboration between multiple internal and external stakeholders. This software harmonizes supplier and product master data in the various systems.
External stakeholders in retail, wholesale, or distributor business setting typically include:
Suppliers/Vendors who supply goods for resale, supplies, and equipment,
Service Providers who provide maintenance services and professional services,
Intermediaries (Brokers, Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders, and Carriers), and
Internal stakeholders typically include:
Master Data Management,
Supply Chain (Replenishment, Warehouse Management, Transportation),
Store Management, and
Next, the above stakeholders likely use different computer systems in their respective companies and functional areas, such as Procurement system, Pricing system, Point-of-Sale system (POS), Warehouse Management system (WMS), Transportation Management system (TMS), and Accounting system. Any or all of these could be home-grown systems held together with hard-to-maintain interfaces.
As these systems rely on product data and supplier data, this data must be complete and accurate at the source. One golden record for each data element will ensure data quality and productivity. Here a Supplier Portal will add value.
Software such as the Simplain Vendor Portal:
Define data hierarchy and interdependent data relationships,
Validate data at the source with their data quality rules that identify existing issues and prevent new data issues,
Utilize logic to perform data calculations where appropriate,
Standardize the data at the source by using lists wherever possible, making fields mandatory or optional, and providing tooltips to assist users in providing data in the desired format,
Validate and enrich data such as tax ID, addresses, and zip codes/postal codes by integrating with reputable 3rd party data sources,
Implement sophisticated cross-functional approval and maintenance workflows that respect the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform) matrix within the company,
Share data with downstream systems in real-time or close to real-time,
Allow mass updates to data to ensure data is maintained cost-effectively,
Enable users to navigate, search and report with ease and accuracy,
Provide a comprehensive 360° view of master data.
So, a vendor portal will streamline data collection and maintenance processes, ensure a high degree of data quality, and remove data entry redundancies. The outcome will be increased confidence in business decision-making and reporting.
A vendor portal is a business necessity.