So what should retailers look for when finding a web portal to offer suppliers? Here are a few things to consider:
A low- or no-cost solution
Adding impost to your supply chain is never received well. And it’s likely the cost imposed on your suppliers will come back to you one way or another. The ideal solution is to provide a free EDI portal. After all, what’s better than free?!
A portal that can be customised to suit your business
It’s important that the web portal you offer to suppliers can exchange all the messages you use to trade, as well as cater to all your business rules. Colladium allows retailers to pick the messages their suppliers can exchange – from purchase orders to order responses, changes, advanced shipping notices (it even has the ability to create SSCC labels that can be printed on a laser printer), invoices and more. Business rules can also be built-in, for example only allowing suppliers to change quantity down on a purchase order response, or only allowing certain characters in the invoice number field.
A portal that specialises in the supply chain
Almost anyone can whip up a form for suppliers to issue an invoice. But do they know how the supply chain really works? Here at Colladium, we know that each business has different rules around what can be changed on a purchase order, or that some companies choose to exchange orders and invoices only with some suppliers, but advanced shipping notices with others. We know that suppliers can use 3PLs and want to automate that process too. We know that they want their accounting software to be aligned. So make sure you choose a company that has real, deep knowledge. After all, it’s going to make your and your customers’ lives easier.
A portal with an easy pathway for suppliers to upgrade to a fully-integrated EDI solution
Web portals are practical for smaller suppliers but as they grow, so will the manual processing. Giving your suppliers a web portal that can be upgraded to an integrated solution will come in handy.
A web portal by a company with a focus on continuous development and improvement
Make sure your web portal provider has a focus on new functionality and feedback. This’ll make sure that you and your supply chain can take advantage of new features that come to hand.
A high level of security
You’re exchanging important, confidential information with your suppliers so it’s important that your data is kept secure. Your solution provider should follow rigorous security procedures and policies. Colladium uses various levels of encryption and is ISO 27001 certified so you can rest easy.
Colladium has all of this. Ready to take the next step?