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. 

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