As more customers dive deeper into our Vendor Management module, we're doing a lot of listening so we can further improve their experience. This means everything from UI enhancements to completely new features. Last month, we spent more time working on this module than any of our others so this update will be a bit more thematic than most.
For avoidance of doubt, our team spent plenty of time working on features pertaining to other parts of our platform, but more attention was directed at Vendor Management than any other module so that will be the focus of this entry.
Refinements to the Vendor Attribute Page
Try as we might to identify the scope of a new feature, we are always surprised by customers who use the product differently than previous ones...and certainly differently than we had anticipated. Recently, we added several customers that plan to make Vendorful the entry point for supplier onboarding. Once the supplier data, what we call "attributes," are entered into Vendorful, other systems will ingest this data via the Vendorful API.
As there are multiple systems accessing this data, Vendorful has to maintain all the "sync'able" attributes for all the sync'd systems. If you think back to middle school math, our product is effectively storing and managing the sum of the sets of data.
With all of this data, we discovered that there was a lot of page scrolling. By changing the layout of the data to make better use of space and put more information front and center. We also took the opportunity to improve the iconography associated with attributes.
Attribute Audit History
We have been tracking changes to attributes and showing the most recent one. While this has been sufficient for our users to date, we've recently onboarded a swath of customers who are doing much more regular data updates. With changes to attributes happening more frequently, it's important that they can see a richer audit trail. And now they can:
As mentioned in a previous update, the audit trail shows the user who made the change, the previous value, as well as the date and time of the change. If the change is being made by a 3rd-party system like an ERP, that will also be recorded and displayed.
Taggable Performance Metrics
Our customers can now have greater granularity in the capture and display of quantitative performance data, e.g. on-time delivery, material quality, etc. The specific use case involved a customer of ours that has production units in various geographies. Their suppliers ship raw materials to each of the production units and our customer wants to understand the performance at each location. (Note: in the screenshot below, we've blurred the production unit information and have hidden the supplier name to protect confidential data.)
This feature was implemented with flexibility so for those that want to split the metrics across some other dimension rather than production unit, all they need to do is pass in the tags they desire.
More File Previews
There are many places where users can upload files in Vendorful. RFX, Contracts Administration, and yes, Vendor Management, among them. When Word and Excel files, for example, were uploaded, we would generate a PDF preview that can be viewed without requiring a separate download. Oddly, we didn't offer that feature for images. Well, that has been remedied. So now users can upload images in a variety of formats and be treated to a preview.
Want to check out these new features in action? Sign up for a Vendorful demo.