How Digital Cabinet can streamline your vendor and supplier onboarding process with digital forms and automated workflows.
Gaspov had lost count at 10 358, a new personal record. As far as counting stars go, he was starting to consider maybe founding a league or something.
It’s safe to say that Gaspov was bored out of his mind. It had been 18 sols since his last rotation was supposed to end and he was still waiting for the damned delivery. 18 sols and change.
He’d already plastered the cat with sticky notes and pretended it was an alien stopping in for a philosophical conversation. That was 4 sols ago.
That’s how bored he was then.
And he’d missed his and the missus’s anniversary. She was furious. Plus, he’d already put down a non-refundable deposit to climb Olympus Mons together. Even sprung extra for a picnic at the top; you know, something real special.
Instead, he was here talking to a cat and counting stars.
What kind of outfit was this transporter service running anyway? All this technology and he still has to wait alone in the middle of nowhere for an unreliable ship to manually courier a part to fix the auxiliary comms system and bring a piece of paper so they can get it signed.
Gaspov looked out at the blanket of stars disappearing into infinity, first to his left and then to his right, just to confirm it. Yup, definitely the only observation station this side of Jupiter, then.
The paper rustling of an uncomfortable alien/cat shook him from his reverie. Oh well. What was it, 10,358? Let’s see if he can set a new record.
Don’t be a Gaspov; no matter where you are, don’t get stuck with unreliable vendors and suppliers.
Paperwork is messy and inefficient, and sorting through all the documentation necessary to onboard a new vendor can be a huge waste of time, so why not digitize the process?
One star, two star, three star…
Nothing is worse than having an entire supply chain or process being held up by one vendor—holding up your workflow and risking profits as a result. You’d be surprised just how often companies can be strangled by vendors dragging their feet or promising services they just aren’t equipped to handle.
Likewise, onboarding vendors can be a complex process. Entering into a business with a vendor is akin to a partnership, and the aim of the game is to keep these incredibly important relationships stable because if they aren’t, there is a risk you could miss important business opportunities and lose potential profits.
It’s crucial, then, that your relationship with a supplier or vendor should start off on the same foot as it were, that the process is as painless and efficient as possible and slots smoothly into existing workflows without skipping a beat. Most importantly, this process should be done with all the due diligence necessary to ensure that the right person or business is selected.
Otherwise, if one is not careful, taking on a bad supplier can cause innumerable bottlenecks in your supply and service chain that could seriously put your business at risk.
Luckily, Digital Cabinet’s paperless digital platform is perfectly poised to streamline and automate your vendor onboarding processes, amongst others, so that businesses can focus on the more important things while still being in control and on top of things.
Supermassive Blackhole… of paperwork.
Onboarding suppliers and vendors is a complicated affair with plenty of processes that, if not streamlined, could cause a bottleneck and snag many other mechanisms in place. Skipping just one could put you and your company at risk.
From a paperwork standpoint alone, there is a ton of documentation that needs to be sorted through first to make sure everything is in order.
These are just a few of the documentation required for a vendor onboarding operation:
- Certified ID documents of directors
- BEE certificates
- Company registration documents
- Letters of good standing
- Proofs of banking
- VAT certifications
In the analogue days of olde, this process would involve navigating a dense and impenetrable filing room to find the relevant documentation. On top of that, physical paperwork has a knack for getting lost just when you need them, which would add extra time to any endeavour.
These days, despite the leap into the digital age, more often than not, these files are still physical and require being scanned individually to a computer. Some forms might already be in digital form, but need a signature which requires emailing it.
On the side of the approver, each and every application and document needs to be reviewed before typing up an approval or rejection letter.
While these processes might not seem too bad, given that we’ve been doing them this way for decades—a sort of Stockholm syndrome for inefficiency—the fact of the matter is that every second wasted to printing, signing, scanning and sending—on both ends—is wasted time that could be used doing something more productive and profitable.
Yes, onboarding suppliers and vendors is productive and potentially profitable, but the actual process is not—why not streamline the process so that with only a few clicks everything can be collated and sent, as well as filed, sorted and stored automatically?
Faster Than Light
With digital forms the vendor onboarding process can be done in minutes—this is a solution that Digital Cabinet has implemented in many circumstances.
Imagine that all the head office has to do to start the onboarding process is to send a supplier a simple web link to a form. That’s seconds to a few minutes saved right there.
Before, the potential vendor would have had to print out the forms, fill them out, and when they’re done scan numerous pages and documents, attach them (triple checking that they’re correct) and then send them back together with all the accompanying documentation.
Instead, all the vendor has to do is open the link and start filling in details digitally (we’ll just casually mention the trees and ink saved in the endeavour). When it comes to the documentation required, there are clear, labelled spaces to attach the relevant PDFs in the correct order. They can even digitally sign the form from their computers with a mouse or touch screen, or import a copy.
Once all that’s done, all they have to do is click ‘submit’—an option they don’t have unless all the fields are filled in and necessary documents are attached, meaning that missing information is completely mitigated and saves any time-wasting back and forth that might occur if the documents were missed when submitted.
This simple act of clicking the submit button automatically sends the correct person in charge of the process a notification email of the submission and a link to the documentation.
Then, the approver can review the documentation digitally, from whatever device they happen to open the email on—desktop or mobile, the form dynamically changes to match the format. The person in charge of onboarding vendors can then, from the submitted document itself, either click a button that says ‘approve’ or click the button that says ‘reject’. If reject is selected, a screen will appear which will allow the approver to list the reasons why.
Once done, they click submit and all the relevant parties are automatically notified via email of the status of the application with the added comments.
The caveat is that, because the form was digital and fields like ‘Company Name’ ‘VAT number’, etc were filled in during the application process, and all the documentation was submitted in particular fields, all that information can be then used to automatically create a folder in the correct place, with all the correct subfolders and all the documentation stored correctly—all that metadata stored to be reported on with our reporting tools.
And there we have it. The entire process, from start to finish, done quickly, easily and painlessly.
No need for a human data capturer—it is all done with the act of filling out the application in the first place; no need for an employee to file and manage the paperwork—the system takes care of that for you; no need to print or store the paperwork—it’s all stored on the cloud to be easily retrieved if and when needed, safe and secure, and with the only space used being that of a couple of electrons in total.
No need for extra steps.
This is the efficiency that technology and the cloud enables: streamlined and automated workflows that allow computers to do all the heavy lifting, and humans to be a part of all the important steps along the way.
This is what Digital Cabinet provides with our platform: time. More time to do what matters with your business and less time wrestling with paperwork.
Don’t be left twiddling your thumbs while you wait for someone else to get their job done, and losing profits with every twiddle; take control of it yourself and leverage the power of technology.
Come on, don’t be a Gaspov—if everything was digital, he would probably be sitting on a Martian mountain eating sandwiches with his wife. And a poor cat definitely wouldn’t be plastered with sticky notes.
You can find out more about Digital Cabinet at www.digitalcabinet.co.za