December 2018 Product Updates

December 2018 Product Update

For many, December is the holiday season. I guess this explains, to some degree, every time mistletoe was above the heads of our developers, they wrote more code. In any case, here are some holiday gifts for our users.

More Reverse Auction Features

We continued to refine the multi-lot experience for Reverse Auctions. Changes were made to both the buyer and bidder sides with a notable permissions change on the latter and a handful of usability enhancements on the former. In terms of the permissions change, we now have a true view-only mode for bidders. Note the lack of options to change bids and submit them.

Reverse Auction Bidder View-Only Mode

On the buyer side, it seems as if our users are most excited about the addition of “presence.” We now how a dot that indicates whether a user from a bidder is logged into the reverse auction or not. The dot is green when someone is there and gray if no one is.

Auction Presence

Detailed Views for Scorecards

While aggregated data turned into a numeric score is super helpful for getting a broad sense of how any one of your hundreds or thousands of vendors is performing, deeper insights can help inform critical decisions. For that reason, we’ve added “drill-down” views to the Scorecarding Module so you can see the results of a particular scorecard on a per-criterion basis as well as on a per-evaluator basis.

Scorecard Results per CriterionScorecard Results by Evaluator

Better Budget and Spend Options

In the earliest releases of Vendorful, we offered buyers the ability to specify a budget that they could use internally and associate with strategic sourcing events. As time passed, our buyers asked about periodically sharing some budget insights with vendors in certain scenarios. So we implemented that feature.

Some time hence, however, we’ve had an opportunity to think this through further. The result: a buyer can capture (for internal use only) current spend and budget and can share (with vendors/suppliers) budget information. We’ve expanded the latter so that buyers can choose what they share, be it nothing, a range, or a specific number.

RFX Budget Setup

Want to check out these new features? Sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

December 2012 Product Update

December 2019 Product Update

In the United States, November is probably most commonly associated with Thanksgiving, a holiday that begins with people expressing their gratitude and all too often concludes with people fighting the onset of “food comas” on the couch. At Vendorful, we enjoyed our turkey (and Tofurkey) along with our sweet potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. But we crushed a lot of bugs before the onset of food-induced sleepiness kicked in. Indeed, November was a month where we focused on small and behind-the-scenes improvements. Consequently, this will be a fairly short update.

More RFX Configuration Options

We further expanded the customizability (is that a word?) of eRFX. Two of the key additions were the ability to require the selection of a business unit/department and the ability to add/remove key dates. The former enhancement is particularly helpful for larger organizations that want to track which departments are running RFX…or having RFX run on their behalf. And the latter configuration option allows organizations to simplify building schedules that comport with their existing processes.

Set up milestones for your strategic sourcing events

Outbound RFX Improvements

Vendorful now allows searching and sorting on current and previously-created RFX by creator in addition to the members of the team. This feature was added specifically to address a need expressed by a customer. That same customer also wanted to be able to export the list of RFX after doing the requisite searching and sorting. So despite our best efforts to help people reduce their reliance on Excel, we now have an additional Excel export option.

New Form Builder

Behind the Scenes Stuff

November’s development work was like an iceberg in that most of it was under the surface. Many bugs were squashed and we also worked on a new (still secret) module that we hope to release in the not-too-distant future. Maybe next month we’ll be able to tell you a bit more?

Want to check out these new features? Sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

November 2018 Product Updates

November 2018 Product Update

In addition to adding regularly adding new features, the Vendorful development often revisits existing features, thinking about ways that can improved or enhanced. Let’s explore some of the enhancements we made in November. 

Reverse Auction Improvements

For a company that is legally named Boring But Great, Reverse Auctions provide a healthy dose of excitement. Even thought we don’t have “skin in the game” per se, there is something thrilling about watching a market-driven negotiation unfold in real time. As adoption of this module picks up, we’re continuing to improve it. Some of the key changes last month include

  • Adding more and better handling of network latency which can impact bids.
  • Cleaner formatting of data.
  • Some internal analytics.

That’s all well and good, but what about something you can see? We’ve got you covered as we’re pleased to announce support for multi-lot reverse auctions.

Reverse Auction Lot Configuration

Improved Question Editor for RFX

The “questionnaire” is the linchpin of a strategic sourcing event. In addition to making improvements to how groups of questions are handled, we’ve simplified the process of editing (and configuring) individual questions. You can select question type, weight, and even add rich media into the question itself. 

RFP Question Editor

Calendar Sync

You asked and we answered. You can now sync key dates in Vendorful, e.g. RFP deadlines, with your calendar of choice. Just click on the event you want to synchronize and select your calendar.

Sync Key Dates with your Calendar

More Permissions in an Improved Layout

As we add functionality, we need to remain extra vigilant about maintaining the ease of use our users tell us they love. Bearing this mind, we’ve changed the way we lay out permissions so they are more logically grouped.

User Permissions

In addition to the items mentioned above, we were hard at work with other improvements. We’ve continued to iterate on the Scorecarding user interface, making it easier to use and more scalable. Speaking of scaling, we now auto-scale images that are inserted into our text editor so even huge pictures lay out nicely.

Onward and upward!

Want to check out these new features? Sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

October 2018 Product Updates

October 2018 Product Update

From the colors of the leaves outside in many parts of the world to the code base here at Vendorful, change was in the air in October. Since we try to keep these product update entries reasonably sized, it was actually a bit of work to figure out which features and enhancements should make the cut. This time, we decided to give a little bit of attention to some of the nooks and crannies that haven’t received much exposure here. So if you’ll indulge us, let’s get into the weeds a bit.

Taxonomies and Category Management

Early in Vendorful’s product journey, categories were a global attribute, i.e., all of the organizations in the system would have the same category list. It was two levels deep and users could add to it, but any re-organizing or deleting would be managed by Vendorful staff. This wasn’t a bad approach in our early days when our sole focus was IT RFPs, but as the product has expanded beyond IT and organizations have decided to source all sorts of things, it no longer made sense.

Enter our new category management system. Key features include

  • Each organization can manage its own categories and even have multiple category lists at the same time.
  • We have an n-level-depth hierarchy. In English? You can have a parent category, which has a child, which has a child, which has a child, etc. Go as deep as you’d like. For example, rather than having IT–>CRM. You can have IT–>Software–>Cloud–>CRM and IT–>Software–>On-Premises–>CRM.
  • Point and click access to using the categories as well as editing them.

List of Available TaxonomiesCategory List

Spend Import

At Vendorful, we have a big appetite and love to consume APIs. However, not all software offers a public API. Now, if you want to associate spend data with your vendors, you can export an Excel or CSV file from your accounting system and upload it into Vendorful.

Import Spend Data from Excel

Better RFX Templates

We overhauled our templates so they’re more robust AND easier to use. Key features include

  • Building and editing templates outside a strategic sourcing event.
  • Simplified, drag-and-drop re-arranging and re-ordering.
  • The ability to use multiple templates in a sourcing event.

RFX Template Builder and Editor

More Permissions in an Improved Layout

As we add functionality, we need to remain extra vigiliant about maintaining the ease of use our users tell us they love. Bearing this mind, we’ve changed the way we lay out permissions so they are more logically grouped.

User Permissions

Want to check out these new features? Sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

September 2018 Product Updates

September 2018 Product Update

Autumn brings with it the sweater weather, fall foliage, and more features and enhancements. In September, we doubled down on our Scorecarding module while also giving some love to other parts of the product. Here are some of the highlights.

Power Editing

There are lots of areas where text comes into play in strategic sourcing and vendor management. So we decided to boost the power of our text editing experience. Key improvements include:

  • More options for text decorations, e.g. setting color, highlighting, alignment and justification.
  • Drag-and-drop image insertion. (No, it’s not text, but in theory, each picture is worth 1000 words.)
  • Colored-cursors for multi-user collaborative editing.

Here’s what it looks like when you take a screenshot of Vendorful and then embed it into the collaborative planner. (How meta!)

Native Image Support

Scorecard Tracking and Automation

A couple months ago, we rolled out the first version of our Scorecarding module. Last month, we added some more magic, particularly around the administration of scorecards. Scorecards can now be configured to run on pre-set cadences, e.g. montly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc. You can just “set it and forget it.”

Configure Scorecard Cadence

In addition, we’ve added some more functionality to help everyone stay on top of their responsibilities. Survey respondents will now have Vendorful tasks assigned to them in addition to receiving email notifications. And administrators can track which surveys are out as well as their status: in-progress, complete, or overdue.

Scorecard Completion Tracking

Contracts: Parent-Child Relationships

Related contracts like a Master Services Agreement (MSA) and an associated Statement of Work (SOW) can now be “tied together” via a parent-child relationship. The parent is the “master” agreement and any child agreements will be listed right on its page. Similarly, all child agreements will have their master agreements just a click away.

Master Agreement with Children

Post RFX Executive Summaries

Memory can be a funny thing…. And when it comes to commercial decisions, you shouldn’t be relying on it. That’s why we’ve added an Executive Summary feature that presents itself upon completion of a Strategic Sourcing event. You can enter the who, what, and why of your event and it will be memorialized so that you can refer back to it in the future.

Strategic Sourcing Event Executive Summary

Want to check out these new features? Sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

August 2018 Product Updates

August 2018 Product Update

For Americans, July brings with it barbecues, trips to the beach, and more coding. Oh wait, that last part might be more true for us than others. Here are some of the improvements we made to Vendorful in July.

Dragging and Dropping

There are several places in Vendorful where we’ve added drag-and-drop capabilities. Most notably, this can be found in the questionnaire builder, where questions can now be moved around via mouse inside a subsection. But we also included it right from the start in our form builder. Why do we need a form builder, you might ask? We see lots of reasons and in the coming months, we’ll start sharing them with. But since we don’t want to make things too suspenseful, here’s the form builder.

Drag and Drop Form Builder

Permissions

While Vendorful has always had “per-sourcing event” permissions, we’ve added permissions at the organization level. Now, you can determine which people in your organization can/can’t start RFP processes, see all RFX, and even which users can/can’t manage the permissions of other users.

Change RFX Timelines

It happens with surprising frequency. Something comes up with your RFP that results in your wanting to push our a deadline or add a new date. Now you can do that on your own, without asking our support team for help. Simply click the new “Edit” button and you’ll be able to change and of the dates currently set with your strategic sourcing event as well as add new ones.

Change RFX Schedule

Reporting for Duty

Vendorful has lots of filterable, sortable tables. How about some pretty graphs and charts? Users can now dynamically generate charts for contracts and strategic sourcing events.

Ad Hoc Reporting

To test any of these features yourself, sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

July 2018 Product Updates

July 2018 Product Update

For Americans, July brings with it barbecues, trips to the beach, and more coding. Oh wait, that last part might be more true for us than others. Here are some of the improvements we made to Vendorful in July.

Dragging and Dropping

There are several places in Vendorful where we’ve added drag-and-drop capabilities. Most notably, this can be found in the questionnaire builder, where questions can now be moved around via mouse inside a subsection. But we also included it right from the start in our form builder. Why do we need a form builder, you might ask? We see lots of reasons and in the coming months, we’ll start sharing them with. But since we don’t want to make things too suspenseful, here’s the form builder.

Drag and Drop Form Builder

Permissions

While Vendorful has always had “per-sourcing event” permissions, we’ve added permissions at the organization level. Now, you can determine which people in your organization can/can’t start RFP processes, see all RFX, and even which users can/can’t manage the permissions of other users.

Change RFX Timelines

It happens with surprising frequency. Something comes up with your RFP that results in your wanting to push our a deadline or add a new date. Now you can do that on your own, without asking our support team for help. Simply click the new “Edit” button and you’ll be able to change and of the dates currently set with your strategic sourcing event as well as add new ones.

Change RFX Schedule

Reporting for Duty

Vendorful has lots of filterable, sortable tables. How about some pretty graphs and charts? Users can now dynamically generate charts for contracts and strategic sourcing events.

Ad Hoc Reporting

To test any of these features yourself, sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

June 2018 Product Updates

June 2018 Product Update

School’s out for summer? Says who? We’re still cranking away on Vendorful. Here are some of the sunny highlights from June.

Advanced Filtering for RFX

It’s on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t remember the name…. But the details, you kind of remember. We can empathize and user empathy is a great way to build new product features. With advanced filtering, you can find old, new, and in-progress sourcing events even if you can only recall a bit of information. A particular question you asked still rattling around your brain? You can find the associated RFX. A vendor that you invited called you again? Just type and let the filtering magic happen.

Advanced Filtering for RFX

But wait, there’s more! The above interface only lasted a couple weeks in that form. The bottom part of the UI, the table, was updated with a more robust one. Now, you can show/hide columns as you see fit, add conditional filtering at the column level, and even re-order the columns in the table. Below, we have a preview of in-column conditional filtering.

Filtering in Columns!

More File Manager Enhancements

We souped up the File Manager with a few new features including

  • an updated UI
  • support for nest folders
  • drag-and-drop capability
  • global search

File Management with Drag and Drop

Sertifi E-Signature Integration

From inception, Vendorful was built on a foundation of APIs in large part to facilitate integration with 3rd-party systems. Last month, we completed an integration with Sertifi. Now, users of the Contracts Module can upload their agreements and kick off Sertifi’s e-signing process with a click of the mouse.

Sertifi e-signature integration

To test any of these features yourself, sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

May 2018 Product Updates

May 2018 Product Update

“When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.” Well, even in warm weather, we like to write code. Here are some of the feature highlights from May.

RFX Scoring Abstention

If you’ve ever been asked to score an RFP response and feel ill equipped to evaluate the answers to particular questions, you’re not alone. We’ve made it easier to opt out by adding an “Abstain” button to each question-answer set in the scoring experience. What’s more (though not pictured below) is that you can skip the in-app scoring process altogether. While we expect that, in most cases, users will prefer to leverage Vendorful’s point-and-click interface to do their scoring, this is no longer a requirement.

Abstain from Scoring

Sorting and Filtering Support for Tables

There are lots of places in the Vendorful app where tables are used, e.g. Contracts Administration  eSourcing. As these tables are populated by every-increasing amounts of data, it’s critically important that we help our users find the specific information they want. To that end, we’ve added sorting and filtering to tables across the application.

Table with Sorting and Filtering

More Spend Capture

At the conclusion of a sourcing event, you now have the ability to enter the contracted value of your agreement. We call this “Final Spend.” By capturing this information, you’ll be able to calculate savings per event as well as across sourcing events.

Final Spend Data

To test any of these features yourself, sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!

April 2018 Product Updates

April 2018 Product Update

In April 2018, we came, we saw, we coded. Here are some of the Vendorful product updates we released.

File Manager

Are there files that you attach to every RFP/RFI/RFQ that you issue? It can be annoying or inconvenient to have to add those files each time. To address this, we’ve introduced a file manager that allows you to upload, store, and re-use files. Upload the file and we’ll convert the file (if possible) to a PDF preview. In subsequent RFX, you’ll be able to click on the file in the Vendorful file manager to use it again. 

File Manager

Network Diagnostics for Reverse Auctions

We made a variety of improvements to the Reverse Auction module. For example, we now use science to select the colors assigned to each of the bidders in the real-time graph. However, there is one feature we’ve added that we’ve never seen anywhere else.

Vendorful’s Reverse Auctions now support real-time network diagnostics. We track time drift, latency, and jitter. Why? It’s all in the interest of fairness. Imagine this scenario.

  • Bidder 1 places low bid and has a clock that is five seconds fast.
  • Auction ends for Bidder 1. Five seconds remain for other bidders.
  • A new low bid comes in and the auction goes into overtime.
  • Multiple new lows are established.
  • Bidder 1 is celebrating its victory, not realizing that the auction continued and another bidder won.

Network Diagnostics

Vendor Management

Last month, we introduced the concept of public and private attribute templates for vendors. We also made it easier than every to manage attribute templates with the addition of the “clone” feature.

Clone Attribute Template

Contracts Administration

April was a big month for Vendorful’s Contracts module as we added a variety of new features.

  • Notifications: Key stakeholders are now identified in advance of a contract’s expiration and/or renewal.
  • Multi-document records: A contract record can now have more than one document associated with it.
  • Search and filter: We revamped and expanded the interface to allow users to find the specific contracts they want.

Search and Filter Contracts

To test any of these features yourself, sign up for a free Vendorful trial.

Interested in being the first to know about new Vendorful features or just want to keep up on procurement news? Subscribe to the blog!