Since Vendorful is functioning for some of its customers as the official way to onboard vendors (and later sync'ing to the ERP) and for others as the system of record, we've continued to focus heavily on our Vendor Management module as well as some of its adjacencies.
There was a ton of new functionality implemented in the last month, but we don't want these blog posts to be a cure for insomnia, so we'll stay focused on some of the more generally interesting ones. In addition, in the first section, we've consolidated several new features into one update. Read on and you'll understand.
What should happen when a vendor updates some information that you're tracking in Vendorful? In some cases, nothing. Maybe a phone number was changed and that's all there is to it. But in other cases, particularly when the information that was changed can impact compliance and therefore increase risk, you'll probably want some level of validation.
Last month, we introduced two validation options. The more lightweight one is vendor validation. In this scenario, when a user at the vendor company updates the company's profile, the user will prompted to verify that all the changes are true and accurate. If the user is unwilling to make that representation, the changes revert to what was there previously.
Setting up validation is easy. It's simply an additional configuration option for the attribute.
For more critical attributes like a certificate of insurance, for example, you will want to consider setting up Buyer validation. When an attribute is configured this way, any time a vendor makes a change to it, the buyer stakeholders who are responsible for that will be assigned a "validation task." The first stakeholder to accept/reject the update will clear the tasks for all the stakeholders.
The interface for accepting or rejecting the attribute update requires little more than point and click. However, if you reject an update, we suggest that you add a reason why, which we will share with the vendor.
On the vendor side, Vendorful will tell the user whether the change was accepted or rejected as well as a time stamp, and if relevant, a reason for rejection. We do not display the name of the user who did the validation. However, on the buyer side, we display the status as well as the user who validated/rejected the change.
Combined with a very granular attribute expiration model, validation makes it incredibly easy to keep vendor information up to date. In addition to easy onboarding, our customers are increasingly using the Vendor Management module to reduce/eliminate stale data in their ERP systems.
We have, for a long time, simplified data refresh by contacting vendors directly when their information is about to become stale. In addition, we've long made this clear on the list of all vendors. But somehow is escaped our attention to extend this color coding to the vendor drilldown pages. Now we make these very obvious on those pages. Below you can see an expired attribute (in red) as well as one that is expiring in under a month (in yellow).
With colors that jump off the page, it's easier than ever to find and focus on the attributes that need the most urgent attention.
Metrics Visible to Vendors
A key aspect of good SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) is making sure that everyone is working off the same information. Metrics, which are what we call our quantitative performance measurement, shows the buyers whether their suppliers are delivering on any number of configurable KPIs. But why keep that a secret?
Now, buyers can share this performance data with their suppliers, who can access it in self-serve fashion. This way, they can know where they stand and proactively address and failures to achieve particular KPI thresholds.
At long last, we have a DocuSign integration. Had you asked any member of our team, we would have guessed that it would have been the very first e-signature integration we would have completed. But in keeping with our customer-driven development approach, we ended up implementing others first. If you are using the Contracts Administration module and have a DocuSign account, we simply need to activate the integration with your API Key. Once that's done, you can kick off e-signature workflows for contracts directly from Vendorful. (Note: in the image below, we blurred email addresses for privacy.)
Want to check out these new features in action? Sign up for a Vendorful demo.