Operational Excellence

Quickbase Vendor Lightning: Digitizing a Major Sourcing Bottleneck

Written By: Matt Wagner
June 17, 2021
3 min read

Supply chain shortages are continuing to mount. The problem is actually getting so out of hand that President Biden tasked federal agencies with bolstering production of pharmaceuticals, computer chips, batteries and minerals. But already, the most agile organizations are finding new ways to build relationships with new vendors and keep production alive. And one of those methods involves multi-vendor procurement.

But, as sourcing managers look to expand their supplier fleet, onboarding and qualifying new suppliers becomes a major bottleneck. With paper and PDF documents, organizations are stuck with manual processes increasing risk and adding lag time to onboarding a new supplier – meaning it takes longer to incorporate them into your production process. Since every vendor has to be vetted for compliance to your standards, provide tax and payment information, and execute a variety of other tasks and documents, this wait time can add up.

As our recent Supply Chain Resilience Survey found, 39% of supply chain professionals identify manual processes as a leading cause of slow reaction times to changes. Since you need to be interfacing with suppliers across various stages of your supply chain, doing so in a way that is coordinated and trackable adds critical flexibility, visibility, and speed to this process.

Luckily, Advantage Solutions has developed a new Vendor Lightning application, with Form Engine designed to eliminate manual forms. This also reduces labor costs, removes the risk of manual errors, and eliminates days of back and forth processing. This app streamlines the contract process and initial supplier assessment by having vendors provide information and documents directly into this Quickbase application. All the while, suppliers are interacting with the real business forms, without even knowing there is a system behind the forms.

This digitizes the manual process, allowing for faster and more open communication. Further, Quickbase becomes a single source of truth when sharing information between teams and with external vendors. While other systems are only able to act as a document repository, Quickbase can act as an actual System of Agreement. In a true System of Agreement like this one, your agreements automatically generate your data & the documents you need, as they should for a modern, digital solution.

This digitized process has some fantastic benefits for the entire vendor onboarding process. New vendor qualification and onboarding can be done in less than a day, instead of taking days or weeks. This also speeds up, cuts costs, and reduces errors in the supply chain before a supplier is even onboarded. Lastly, vendors and employees are getting value out of Quickbase in as little as a day, without training or knowing that they are utilizing this shared system.

With Form Engine, your organization can digitize any of the standard forms, agreements or documents you use with employees, customers or others, speeding up the business wherever it is used. So instead of spending time manually working back and forth with PDFs and navigating email chains spinning out of control, leveraging Quickbase and Form Engine can make this process seamless and digital.

Written By: Matt Wagner

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