Supplier Onboarding Best practices

  1. Introduction

A successful roll out of any digital supply chain solution like SmartDocs Supplier Portal (SSP) involves significant planning and preparation for vendor onboarding and adoption. A comprehensive plan to communicate with the suppliers and internal teams need to be executed. Digital Supply Chain, in general, involves not only making processes electronic but also streamlining, refactoring and optimization of the overall procurement processes. This means there is going to be significant change in the way business is done for all parties involved. A careful identification of the changes and an effective program to manage the effects to various stakeholders are critical success factors for a successful roll out.

The following are generally the key processes areas improved by SSP roll out: 

    • Vendor Registration 
    • Bidding and Contracting 
    • Invoicing and Payments 
  • Logistics 
  • Compliance and Reporting 
  • General Collaboration 

There are two main constituents that are affected by changes brought in by a digital supply chain implementation are: 

  • Internal users (Procurement, Accounts Payable, Logistics, Master Data etc.) 
  • Suppliers 

This white paper focusses on the strategies and best practices for Supplier onboarding and adoption. Supplier Portal roll out has clear benefits to both customers and suppliers. And the trick is to ensure these benefits are communicated properly to all these groups. Different strategies and approaches are needed to make this effective and the rest of this white paper outlines different strategies used by various customers in successful roll-outs.  

2. Key Impact Areas 

Some of the key impact areas that a digital supply chain implementation brings about are discussed here in details. 

Transacting Electronically: The very first change that occurs with SSP roll out is the requirement for suppliers to transact electronically via the SSP as opposed to all the other modes of interaction including emails, snail mail, phone calls or talking to the various customer field personnel. This is generally a big change for the suppliers because they likely are used to working directly with different internal personnel. It is very important to give proper guidance and support for suppliers so that they are not overwhelmed. Transacting electronically will like for both inbound and outbound transactions including Bid, Contracts, Purchase Orders, Confirmation, Invoices and payments. 

Transparency of the process and documents will allow suppliers to have a clear idea of the process flows. This is generally very much welcome by suppliers as they might not have such insights into the internal operating processes of a company that they are transacting with. Even though the Purchase orders and contracts might lay out some of these, with the transparency afforded by SSP, the suppliers generally feel comfortable doing business effectively and can plan properly on their side. 

Visibility: This is one of the top benefits that both suppliers and customers get with a SSP roll-out. Supplier can get the visibility of the procurement transactions like contracts and purchase orders while customers get the visibility into the logistics, invoicing and more. 

Self-ServiceKey tenant of SSP implementation is the self-service capabilities that both suppliers and various customers department get rather than relying on emails and other non-auditable modes of collaboration. 

Contract Management software features and Key Benefits


Today’s business world is changing and companies are impelled to adapt new ways of driving revenue to manage the customer lifecycle. Businesses and their employees are expected to do more even with lesser resources. Most of the times, focusing too much on productivity results in unintentional or annoying omissions & shortcuts. Using Contract Management software, not only automates usual contract management workflow procedures, but also the capacity to streamline these process by eliminating many steps altogether.

Real time perceptibility of your company contract is the vital step to handle all complex decisions as well as processes regarding the impending agreements. Without using precise contract management software, it is impossible for you to accurately assess your company position in the market and the best decisions you can make for future.

What is Contract Management?
Contract management is the process of managing contracts from vendors, customers, partners, or employees. It is defined as an electronic version of a filling cabinet and supports the complete customer and contract lifecycle which includes any process that creates, contributes or utilizes contract data.

Must Have Features of Contract Management Software 
The following are the some of the must have features in Contract Management Software

  • Contract Endorsement
  • Contract Storage
  • Contract Payment Services
  • Contract Creation
  • Contract Examination
  • Contract Management
  • Contract Negotiation

Though it’s a small-scale businesses to large-scale businesses, every business needs to take care of their customers as well as dealings effectively, thus opting a precise Contract Management Software with all the relevant features is the key step.

Key Benefits of Contract Management Software

Below are some of the most advanced & Key Benefits offered by the contract management system:

  • Keeps tracks o key contract dates
  • Tracks sub-task as well as milestones
  • Multi-level access & security
  • Email contracts & task alerts
  • Calendar notifications
  • No limitations on attachments
  • Template based drafting & creation
  • Online report builder
  • Defines user fields
  • Ad-hoc & custom searching and reporting

An efficient contract management system not only offers detailed functionality points to assist organization in all its contract management needs, but also helps in business processes & analysis.

Benefits of Contract Management Software

The following are the some of the other benefits of Contract Management Software:

  • Allow users to deal and handle contracts properly
  • Ensures that every agreement that the company goes into are taken care properly and on time.
  • Handles everything without use of paper as it is always a risk the hardcopies may get misplaced or fall into wrong hands, by digitizing contracts & saving them either on a single computer, or in cloud servers,  keeps them safe and away from prying eyes.
  • For companies dealing with multiple contracts at a time may lose track of the ones that are still pending and ones that are completed, with contract management software, people involved in contract get alerts about pending agreements and then document them once they are marked as accomplished.
  • Alleviate the process of tracking changes in contract agreements, especially if there are heaps of different contracts involved.

Now-a-days, in market there are dozens of companies who offer various kinds of contract management software, thus it is essential to consider the needs of company while purchasing and choose the one that fits your company.

Optimize SAP Systems Archiving SAP Data

Every business transaction generates data and increases the volume of your SAP database. The growing volume of data impacts system performance, backup and restore times are prolonged and system administration and storage costs increase. SmartDocs SmartStore together with standard SAP data archiving tools, offloads data from the SAP system, compresses it to a fraction of its original size and stores it on a secure and compliant platform. Offloaded data is deleted in the SAP database, freeing up resources and space while still allowing this information to be easily accessed by the users.

SAP Infrastructure Business Support
Faster Upgrades Reduce Costs No User Training SAP ILM
Increase Performance Minimize Hardware Compliance & Audit SAP Any Version
Streamline Database Increase Security & Storage Reduce TCO & Improve ROI SAP S/4 for HANA
Seamless Data Integration  Accelerate Backup & Recovery Retention & Risk management Cloud / On-Premise

Currently/Moving to “SAP for HANA®” or “S/4 for HANA®”

Whether you are an existing or planning to move to SAP HANA® as underlying database, performance of the systems may no longer be an issue, but the memory footprint of the HANA database will drive the cost for the HANA appliance and thus managing the data (archiving) is still absolutely needed to achieve the above said benefits. SmartDocs SmartStore archiving solutions can help you reach these goals with our secure and compliant platform.

Super-charge your Accounts Payable team with an AI-powered Supplier Portal integrated with SAP

Most AP solutions are focussed on allowing your teams to post more invoices in a day – but they do not address the problem holistically. To achieve overall optimization, initial ingestion/receipt of invoices into your system need to be streamlined. It is as the saying goes “Garbage-in Garbage-out”. If you get garbage into the system your team need to spend more time handling exceptions.

Even though you can’t get 100% compliance from your vendors regarding submitting high quality invoices without discrepancies, providing an easy to use intuitive supplier portal might convince them to submit invoices through it.
You can throw in some nice features like getting visibility into payments and ability to collaborate to get early payment discounts for Supply Chain Financing.


Implementing a modern AI-powered supplier portal is the best investment you can do to modernize your AP and procurement teams.
* Stop wasting your AP team’s time dealing with exceptions
* Increase AP team’s productivity by sending less exceptions through the system
* Get better quality invoices from suppliers
* You already invested in an AP automation solution – do the next logical thing to add an awesome Supplier Portal to complement it
* Improve your supplier relations by effective collaboration
* Connect your SAP system to a simple supplier Portal
* Add AI-Based chatbots to your AP team to streamline supplier collaboration
* Enforce vendor compliance by activating Strong controls at the source of invoice entry into your system

What if you can do get this within 10 days – start to go-live. Our team will Guide through the designing the best configuration Install and configure the system to work with your SAP ERP back-end system Provide your toolkit to onboard vendors to the portal