The quality of your vendor relationships can make or break your supply chain success. This fact hits even closer to home in 2020. When faced with disruption, how quickly can you onboard new products and vendors? Can you trust the accuracy of your data as you navigate market shifts? If not, then it’s likely time to consider a Vendor Portal.

What is a Vendor Portal?

A Vendor Portal is a module that connects with your Product Information Management (PIM) platform. The portal enables enterprises and vendors to collaborate via a shared view of product and supplier data.

Through role-based access, suppliers can leverage the portal to input product information – like SKUs, materials, prices, etc. – which simplifies the data gathering process for enterprises. Rich content, like videos and images, can also be uploaded and shared.

Portals also help enterprises keep track of supplier contacts, locations, certifications, etc. With this data, companies can easily communicate with suppliers, group organizations into hierarchies, and understand the impact of negotiations and contracts.

What are the Benefits of a Vendor Portal?

At the base level, Vendor Portals address many of the immediate challenges associated with manual, error-prone data entry.  However, with the right implementation plan, a Vendor Portal can create long-lasting benefits for your organization, including:

  1. Rapid Vendor Onboarding

Enterprises add and subtract vendors all the time. This process involves vetting suppliers by gathering and verifying a variety of information. A Vendor Portal dramatically streamlines this process, allowing suppliers to input their information according to predefined parameters. With automated submission and merchant notification, the workflow engine guides enterprises through every step in the approvals process, saving time and resources in the process.

  1. Fast Time to Market

As product lifecycles shrink, fast product launches are vital to staying ahead of the competition. When product information is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete, you can miss out on precious revenue. With a Vendor Portal, your suppliers play an active role in onboarding products by directly providing detailed, rich product information. This helps enterprises quickly scale assortments and launch new products with ease.

  1. Meet Redundancy Requirements

When the supply chain is disrupted, you need to have a backup – also known as redundancy – to ensure you have the right products in the right place at the right time. If you have a repository of information showing other potential approved suppliers, it makes adapting easier.

Plus, when it comes to reducing your costs, Vendor Portals help enterprises evaluate affordable sourcing options, improve negotiations, optimize shipping from warehouse locations, and more.

  1. Standardizing Data

In today’s commerce environment, data must meet a variety of standards for external channels and partners, regulatory agencies, and internal requirements. Suppliers play an essential role in this process, aided by a Vendor Portal.

Enterprises can create an onboarding workflow that enforces data standards for its suppliers and notifies internal teams about new product entries, missing data, and other triggers that may require attention. These data quality and governance safeguards support a single view of accurate, complete, accessible data compiled in a fraction of the time compared to manual processes.

The Missing Piece of Portal Success

Enterprises are beginning to see their vendors in a new light – one that places renewed emphasis on supplier/business relationships. Vendor Portals provide an innovative tool to help foster collaboration. But technology alone is never the answer. In fact, user adoption is the leading barrier to program success.

Launching a Vendor Portal is not a one-and-done event. Change management must be the backbone of your implementation. This involves upfront and ongoing training – internally and with suppliers – to address expectations, processes, barriers, metrics, and more.

To learn more about how Amplifi helps businesses embrace the full value of a Vendor Portal read our Vendor Portal Solution Overview.