Looking for a business loan


Thank you for your interest, our team will get back to you shortly

Please Fill the Details to download

Thank you for your response

Get Expert Assistance

Thank you for your response

Our representative will get in touch with you shortly.

Supplier portal

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Today, how businesses interact with each other is changing. Procurement teams are looking for efficient ways to interact with vendors. The advancement of e-Procurement has helped develop a platform for suppliers to interact with the buyers through supplier portals.

Meaning of supplier portal

A supplier portal or vendor portal is a secure, online management system/platform that helps businesses to network & interact with their suppliers, significantly streamlining their procurement process. The supplier portal is used for entering supplier information, submitting documents, displaying status, and communicating. With a supplier portal, document submission includes contracts, electronic purchase orders, vendor invoices for payments etc. 

Benefits of using a supplier portal

  • Automation of processes: Using supplier portals helps automate various vendor management processes such as the issue of purchase orders (PO) and their quotes to vendors, reminders, receiving invoices from vendors, auto-processing them in ERP, scheduling vendor payments etc. 
  • Integration with systems: Real-time integration of vendor and customer systems ensures a shared view of data for both. Internal integration can help businesses know when to procure and how much to procure.
  • Vendor account management: The supplier portal allows vendors to inquire about their POs, invoices, transaction history, etc., online without having to phone or email the customers. It also puts the accounts payable team at ease since they can focus on business rather than having to resolve vendor enquiries.
  • Cost-efficient: Taking advantage of SaaS on the cloud, businesses can use supplier portals without requiring additional investment in hardware. Automation of various manual processes also increases efficiency and thereby reduces costs. 
  • Audit trail: The supplier portal makes it easy for businesses to keep track of their transactions. Businesses can monitor the procurement process’s progress and refer back to it in the future. 

How does a supplier portal work?

Supplier portals aim to bring out efficiency in the processes under procurement. This includes automation of back-office processes automating routine tasks and verifications. Supplier portal can help with the following tasks:

  • Raising and submitting PO
  • Loading catalogues
  • Invoice submission and status tracking
  • Payment enquiries
  • Real-time integration with ERP systems
  • Automated reminders
  • Communication between parties
  • Reporting 
  • Invoice discounting with vendors
  • Maintain activity log

A supplier portal can either be acquired as a software-based system that is installed & operates on the cloud, or it can be browser-based. Either way, it will provide a secure environment to share information and do business. 

Ideal features of supplier portal software while choosing

Choosing the right supplier portal software is important because it helps to ensure proper communication with the supplier and keep them happy with complete transparency. Businesses must analyse the investment to value the solution, without which there is a risk of inefficiency in its usage. Key features one needs to look for in a supplier portal are:

  • Unified platform: Unlike manual procurement, where procurement processes are often decentralised, a supplier portal must provide a solution wherein there is a unified view of all purchasing information in one place.
  • Budget management: One must be able to track and manage the purchase budget and provide for necessary controls regarding its utilisation.
  • Integration with ERPs: Integration of supplier portals with other business systems such as accounting, finance, etc., helps manage all data in one place. Businesses should choose software that can be easily integrated with the ERPs to maximise operations efficiency.
  • Reporting: An ideal solution should provide regular and useful insights (MIS & dashboards) based on business activities. This will help businesses to predict and make improved decisions.
  • Cloud-based: Cloud-based supplier portals can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. Compared to on-premise solutions, cloud-based solutions are easily scalable and cost-saving. 
  • Customisable: Businesses should have the option to customise the solution suited to their requirements. They can choose to have the tools they need and waive off features that are not usable by them.

Supplier portals are becoming integral tools of the procurement process. They try to reduce manual processes errors and improve communication with suppliers. One can enhance the efficiency of its operations by successfully integrating the solution into the business.