Essential Capabilities for Supplier Integration & Enablement

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
Supplier Outreach and Engagement
Because supplier registration on the cloud-based PROACTIS Supplier Portal is open and easy, buyer outreach programs need only direct potential suppliers to the portal as the first easy step. For instance, this is the first step buyers generally take with their existing suppliers when they first deploy PROACTIS Supplier Portal.

Buyers have visibility of all registered suppliers. They can search by spend category, find and investigate potential suppliers, and invite select suppliers to go through their qualification process and participate in their private marketplace.

Supplier On-Boarding

With PROACTIS, supplier on-boarding is quick, collaborative, and easy for both parties. Once a buyer tentatively approves a supplier, the supplier can add their own profile information, including contacts, capabilities, etc. The buyer and supplier can then use the portal to exchange any documents involved in the buyer’s supplier qualification process. PROACTIS provides a number of ways to automate creation and scoring of supplier questionnaires to streamline qualification.

Once the supplier is approved, the buyer can give the supplier further portal-based capabilities as described below.

Catalogue Management

For certain spend categories, the availability of catalogues can have a big impact on the success of an organisation’s Spend Control efforts by making it easy for employees to find and buy what they need from within the approval controls and spend tracking framework of the P2P system. PROACTIS provides several different capabilities to streamline management of catalogues:
  • Hosted Catalogues on the supplier portal maintained directly by the supplier with a buyer-controlled update approval process
  • External Catalogues accessed via a punch-out defined on the supplier portal that enable PROACTIS to access catalogue information already held on a supplier website. This same method can be used to access a specialised supplier network or eMarketplace a buyer may use
  • Internal Catalogues managed directly by the buyer within PROACTIS Purchase-to-Pay for certain supplier catalogues and “generic” items.
Most suppliers can maintain their own catalogues using either the portal-hosted or external catalogue method, thus relieving the buyer’s procurement team from the burden of keeping them up to date internally.

The advanced multi-source search capability available within the PROACTIS P2P system accesses all catalogues (and other sources such as stores inventory) as part of a single query. This enables employees to easily find, compare, and select the best item for their need across all suppliers and sources.

Sourcing Document Exchange

In addition to supporting routine daily purchases, the PROACTIS approach to supplier integration and enablement also supports the sourcing process utilising the same cloud-based Supplier Portal platform.

PROACTIS sourcing capabilities go well beyond what is found in most supplier networks and eMarketplaces to support sourcing processes that are appropriate to all spend categories, including such things as high value capital equipment purchases, services contracts, and ongoing supply agreements. Capabilities include:

Online buyer posting of electronic RFx documents for public or limited supplier visibility
Supplier RFx response submission

Electronic Purchase Orders

With PROACTIS, virtually all POs can become paperless. Electronic POs are automatically generated from the PROACTIS P2P system and passed to suppliers using the process and format that best matches the combined needs and capabilities of the buyer and supplier. All major electronic document formats are supported in addition to standard PDF documents.

Options include:
  • Email with PO and related document attachments
  • PO posting on the supplier portal for supplier viewing or download
  • Direct system-to-system connections
Electronic Invoices

One of the biggest opportunities for operational cost savings in many organisations is in the reduction of paper invoice processing within Accounts Payable. PROACTIS provides a range of capabilities designed to help organisations dramatically increase the percentage of invoices received in electronic form, with fewer errors, and ready for automated 2- or 3-way matching. All major industry-standard formats are supported. Options include:
  • Receipt of invoice files directly from the supplier
  • Receipt of individual invoices via email
  • Supplier entry or PO Flip on the supplier portal
  • Purchase card statement integration
  • OCR scanning (or a full document and data capture service) for paper invoices
Supplier Enquiries

Account enquiry capabilities on the PROACTIS Supplier Portal allow suppliers to access published details of their account online whenever they wish to do so. Available information can include invoice and payment status, transaction history, etc.

This relatively simple but important supplier self-service capability removes a massive overhead for Accounts Payable while improving supplier relationships by resolving queries rapidly.