Running a successful business requires paying attention to new technological tools. One of the newer features that many retailers now take advantage of are vendor portals. These digital systems assist retailers to restock their goods faster while operating more efficiently.
Whether you’re a small business, selling to the big players, or a larger company streamlining their purchasing process, portals are becoming the norm for B2B vendor relationships.
What is a vendor portal?
A vendor portal is essentially a collection of all online communication processes into one easily accessed location. In these portals, retail vendor suppliers can view orders and balances, create invoices, shipment notifications, and even sales receipts.
How a retailer benefits from a vendor portal
Vendor portal hosts often have a wide variety of suppliers using their service at a time. It would be chaos if they tried to accommodate all of these different companies with the same layout, so instead they tailor the retailers’ pages. Retailers can then use this vendor portal for all their suppliers, who can use the portal to access invoices, delivery notifications, or even schedule changes.
One of the main benefits of using a vendor portal is the automation and organization of all these processes that would usually be done manually. The service also allows for instant processing of cash transactions, which is something that can take days or weeks when going through banks. This can be a major time saver for companies who have to juggle hundreds or thousands of suppliers running their business.
Retailers also feature tailored visible information for their suppliers. This is a great way to ensure privacy between your company and the supplier, while ensuring that no sensitive information is accidentally shared with other parties.
Other uses for vendor portals
Companies don’t have to limit their portal sharing just to retailers; they can share with other third parties who help run their business.
Supply chains or accounting firms can greatly benefit from the information posted on the vendor portal. If the supply chain spots an efficient process from your reports on the portal, they can offer suggestions to help increase efficiencies. The supplier invoices can then be shared directly with accounting firms so that you don’t have to sift through your files during tax season and send them every invoice from your fiscal year. When the CRA comes knocking, you want reliable files!
Where vendor portals really shine is inventory management improvements. By keeping track of invoices or dates of purchase, you should have a general idea of when you need to restock or resupply certain items. Making sure you always have enough of a product in supply will not only give your company peace of mind, but the customer as well. Empty shelves are a retail no-no.
More importantly, having invoice documentation in one place allows for easy access to supply chain financing on accounts receivable. Larger retailers don’t always pay when you need the cash, and banks can be slow to act.
Vendor portals are a great way to set up an easily accessible platform for all your suppliers and business partners. You’ll save lots of time otherwise spent on paperwork and repetitive tasks.
It might sound un-sexy, but every vendor and retailer knows that efficiency is the key to supply chain management!
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