Supplier Onboarding - Improving Key Areas

User Experience
Written By :
Soham Sharma
Published On :
November 15, 2022

What is Supplier onboarding?

Supplier onboarding is the business process of starting a new business relationship with an external supplier by collecting the necessary information to set them up as an approved seller, supplier or vendor with your organization. The process of collecting the information and data, and enabling the company to efficiently conduct business is the process of supplier onboarding. It is about having a streamlined process to build stronger, long-term relations, that result in improvement of business outcomes for both the parties involved. The onboarding information can be around various details like assessing vendor compliance, legal risks, integration with the software, and platforms and integrating them with the supply chain.

The Usual Process of Supplier Onboarding

The first step in onboarding is identifying what data needs to be collected from suppliers and how it will be used.

The second step is collecting the data from suppliers and ensuring that it is accurate and useful. The third step is providing suppliers with a way to submit their data securely for onboarding.

Finally, the last step in onboarding is ensuring that all of your suppliers are set up correctly within your systems to enable them to efficiently conduct business with you over time.

The process of collecting the information and data, and enabling the company to efficiently conduct business is the process of supplier onboarding. It’s about having a streamlined process to build stronger, long-term relations, that result in improvement of business outcomes for both parties involved

  • Vendor Data Collection

Information around names, addresses, the primary point of contacts, verification (for example tax information), tax filing information, financial information, product specifications and technical documentation comes under the data collection aspect of supplied onboarding.

The verification check may include assessments around the quality of products, production capacity, financial assessments and information around manufacturing process details and procedures followed. The operational efficiency of the supplier is a key part of determining a long-term relationship with the vendor.

  • Invoice Management

After the contract terms are negotiated, it is important to decide on invoice management for the smooth processing of payments. If suppliers need to provide their invoices on time to the relevant accounts department and the business unit needs to act accordingly, there will be no room for disputes and payment problems down the line.

  • Due Diligence

Due diligence is around the history of the vendor with the same business unit or any other business unit of the organization. This also involves going through all the available online information and reviews about the vendor to take further business decisions.

  • Risk Management and Insurance

Another area to focus on is the acknowledgement of insurance certificates, risk management policies and other procedures between both parties. This is a step that should be considered in the onboarding process.

  • Order Status and Delivery

To ensure that all the information is received, updated and delivered around orders placed, the parties need to have a process in place. This same process should be in place between the parties for misplaced, disputed orders. Having appropriate policies and procedures discussed beforehand will not only save time later on if there is a problem with an order, but it will also help in the quick resolution of any dispute that may arise.

  • Contracts Management

The date, terms and conditions, place of performance/execution, and other related matters about the contract must be negotiated and signed before the expiration of the contract.

  • Diversity, Sustainability and Eco-approach

Today more than ever, the current business scene lays importance on diversity around suppliers, sustainability and eco approaches in production and packaging, and the overall business health by implementing corporate social responsibility.

Onboarding with Ziplyne

The Twist in supplier onboarding in the 21st century

As soon as all the businesses focus on automation of their procurement processes, the ROI achieved post automation and evaluation of the investment becomes imperative and part of the onboarding process. Various digital initiatives have taken over the procurement functions and have become indispensable for effectiveness in the management of suppliers.

  • Self-service portal

A self-service portal provides a user with the ability to navigate through the portal while using various guides and help modules on the portal. This way, suppliers are able to fill all their information themselves, reducing the dependency on the procurement department and redundancy in errors made by suppliers. Additionally, self-service portals are designed to expedite common requests from suppliers such as renewals, order status and invoicing, saving time and money for both parties. Finally, using self-service portals is imperative when a procurement department is dealing with hundreds of suppliers for different business needs; this eliminates outside help which can be unreliable or costly.

Things to keep in mind when designing a self-service portal are as follows- 

  1. Focus on boosting team productivity by reducing/eliminating friction areas on the portal. 
  2. Use of payment automation tools.
  3. Automation of repetitive tasks such as the use of auto-fill in addresses, names and other fields for multiple forms. 
  4. Fraud detection, protection and management. 
  5. Customisation of the aesthetics of the portal for maintaining brand identity, image etc. 
  6. Use of master data folder where data is stored in a repository and updated only when necessary. 
  7. Easy to use and optimizable software with an intuitive interface. 

Keeping the software simple and intuitive, while also achieving all of the above can be a difficult task. It requires a lot of thought and effort to make sure that every user is getting the most out of their experience with your product. However, using tools like Ziplyne, a Digital Adoption Platform, can help make things simple, efficient, and effective for all user groups.

  • Digital adoption platform

The use of a DAP (Digital Adoption Platform) like Ziplyne is very simple, and it's the best solution for maintaining a self-service portal through its in-app guidance. It's a smart solution that lays itself on top of your application to make the transition of the user from one step to another super simple. With Ziplyne, there is no coding required for you or your team to make these in-app guides, because the seamless interface makes it a matter of minutes for it to go live and be a part of your supplier's journey

With implementing a self-service portal and such other automation applications, your team does not want to be burdened with support tickets on what to do, how to, when to etc. This is where Ziplyne comes in because the real-time help provided by zips created one-time by your team on your portal helps all hundred suppliers you have without the intervention of your team being involved. 

Check out the seamlessness of Ziplyne’s creator here.

Ziplyne is a DAP (direct account portal) that allows you to have an in-app guide for your customers. Not only does it work well in a self-service portal, but it also works well on any portal, website, or software that your company uses. The beauty of the software is in its seamless integration with all the applications that your business uses.


One of the areas that I think is important to consider when working in the procurement function within a company is around adopting new technology and platforms. It should be the one that permits the business function to not only train the user for the right implementation of the software system but acts as an interactive medium for any website that later helps it grow and makes the overall onboarding experience better for everyone.

The adoption of a digital adoption platform is the future of making the business processes more reliable, less time-consuming, more effective, having fewer surprises, work from home friendly and higher adoption rates. Now is the time and chance for every business to get it right.