“Relationships with strategic vendors are increasingly key to business performance.” – Gartner

As a business, one of the most important relationships is the one you share with your vendors. Your vendors have varied expectations based on their exposure to different business practices. You must offer support to your vendors in order to meet these expectations, overcome operational challenges, and nurture a long-term business relationship.

A vendor portal is the answer! It can improve collaboration and help you build stronger business relationships by enabling:

  1. Streamlined Operations – Enable your vendors to access relevant information, monitor and respond to orders, and generate timely invoices with the help of a self-service portal. Open communication between you and your vendors will streamline your supply chain and accelerate your operational processes.
  2. On-time Payments – Pay your invoices without any delay. You can negotiate payment terms before placing an order and refer to them throughout the process to stick to the agreed-upon rules. In case of anticipated delays, you can notify your vendors in advance with the click of a button.
  3. Business Innovation – Keep your vendors in the loop about any changes in your business activities and operations. Include them in the brainstorming process for new product development and use their expertise to your advantage. A good vendor will understand your needs with respect to the industry requirements and help you reach out to new customers.
  4. Expectation Management – Make your interactions more transparent by setting your pricing and delivery expectations in advance. A dedicated portal will help you hold yourself and your vendors accountable to the agreement. It will also enable you to provide quality lead time to vendors for your orders and maintain an honest projection of your needs and goals.
  5. Dynamic Information Tracking – Eliminate potential errors and increase accuracy by empowering your vendors with real-time access to the latest information from your database.
  6. Extended Access to Information – Provide your vendors with extended access to operational information, including purchase orders (POs), PO flips, invoices, and relevant reports. You can provide your vendors a direct path to the portal, irrespective of the time zone they are operating from.

Maintaining strong relationships with your vendors is undeniably crucial, however building those connections can prove to be daunting. Implementing a vendor portal can provide a channel for open communication and can help drive collaboration and continuous process improvement.

Use your vendor portal to engage with your vendors, explain your needs, set benchmarks, provide uninterrupted access, improve transparency, make timely payments, and ensure your vendors’ loyalty and support.