Vendor KB

Vendor Knowledge Base Solution

The Vendor Knowledge Base (KB) provides a single destination to store and manage vendor information critical to the vendor procurement and management process. From vendor information to purchasing requests, this central location helps you streamline processes for everyone involved and allows employees to find vendor information quickly and easily. 

Solution Overview


Business challenges

  • Knowledge Management (Primary) 
  • Communication (Secondary)

Owners and audiences

  • Procurement (Owners)
  • Management (Audience)
  • Employees (Audience)

Business value

Vendor procurement and management can be a difficult and time-consuming process that takes employee efforts away from their critical responsibilities. The Vendor KB is a single destination for your organization to access vendor information and submit procurement and purchasing requests.  

Improve findability for users by filling your directory with information and contact details for each approved vendor. Share your tried-and-trued approval process, to streamline vendor requests for all parties involved. In-turn reduce the number of inquiries to your vendor management team about contracts and relationships that exist, or the process to purchase or request a new vendor. This allows all employees involved to place a stronger focus on the responsibilities critical to their roles, instead of hunting for information.  

Key features

  • CTAs to drive to specific areas and information
  • Blog channel for Vendor-related news
  • Wiki articles to detail procurement guidelines, and provide a list of approved vendors 
  • Search with wiki filters to narrow by organizational labels used
  • Member widget that showcases your Procurement experts
  • Solution-wide search

Screenshot

Solution – Vendor Knowledge Base – Home

Business Outcomes

Measuring success

The Vendor KB is designed to solve business challenges related to Knowledge Management. Ensure your Vendor KB Solution delivers the results you need by measuring its success using key performance indicators (KPIs). These outcomes should focus on addressing the Knowledge Management needs that are common across your organization.

Key outcomes

Measuring against KPIs specific to the Vendor KB allow you to determine: 

  • What information and updates are being utilized to assess a vendor and streamline the purchasing process? 
  • What criteria are most important to know per vendor and what key pieces of information are accessed on a regular basis? 
  • What documents does your organization use to submit a new vendor or process an order and what information is needed to make this process simpler to achieve?
  • What vendors have already been approved and what is the most important content that the organization needs to know about them? 
  • Who are the key SMEs on the Procurement team and what can they offer to the organization? 

Key goals and objectives 

Some key goals and objectives to keep in mind when determining KPIs for your Vendor KB include: 

  • Increase awareness of approved Vendor list and details per Vendor
  • Improve efficiency in requesting purchase orders
  • Increase ease of submitting a Vendor request
  • Centralize knowledge of Vendor process and guidelines

Business processes

You should incorporate the Vendor KB Solution into your existing internal business processes. Think about what processes, policies or procedures might have to change or be updated. 

  • Do SOPs need to be updated? (e.g. are certain documents or topics held in a Vendor KB instead of elsewhere?)
  • Are there processes that need to change? (e.g. how to leverage the Vendor KB for communications or the selection process)

Key areas 

Some key areas to pay close attention to when measuring the success of your Vendor KB include: 

  • Folder channel for Vendor Assessment forms
  • Blog channel for Vendor updates
  • Calendar for Vendor renewal dates
  • Discussion forums for various Vendor request forums

Recommended KPIs

Below are some recommended KPIs for measuring the success of your Vendor KB Solution. Keep in mind that some of these recommended KPIs will align with your organization's goals and objectives, while others may not. It's critical to align KPIs with your unique goals and objectives to accurately measure success. 

  • X% increase in the number of discussion forum items posted to the request channels
  • X% increase in the number of views of discussion forum items posted to the request channels
  • 100% of all Vendor assessments are included in the wiki folder
  • X% decrease in requests for Procurement guideline information
  • X% increase in the number of documents posted in the Vendor KB folder channels
  • X% increase in the number of views of the Vendor KB calendar for renewals

Note: KPIs are generally time-based and should be evaluated and/or modified on a specific cadence (e.g. quarterly).

Solution Roadmap

Implement

The Vendor KB Solution comes with a pre-configured template. Our Consultants and Configuration Specialists use this template as the baseline for your implementation. The focus of the implementation is on design, configuration, content, and training.

These are the major implementation initiatives for the Vendor KB Solution:

  • Site architecture: Review the Solution architecture. 
  • Homepage: Surface the most important content and areas within the Solution on the homepage to provide an at-a-glance view and easy access to relevant content. 
  • Site map: Update the site map based on mutually agreed to modifications (e.g. moving, deleting, adding pages and/or applications).
  • Configuration: Update the Solution configuration settings.
  • Users & Groups: Add groups and users to the Solution. 
  • Content: Add Vendor content and apply permissions.
  • Design: Apply the visual design to the Solution (e.g. global CSS changes, header, footer, banners, icons).
  • Testing: Do a quality assurance sweep of the Solution (e.g. broken links, navigation, permissions).
  • Training: Train key stakeholders on the solution (e.g. Procurement department and Vendor selection professionals). 
  • Integration: Centralize documents, activities, or conversations within the solution (e.g. Salesforce or Microsoft). 

Drive engagement and adoption

Once your Vendor KB is ready to launch, it's time to think about how you'll draw attention to this new Solution, engage users to leverage the Vendor KB, and evolve the Solution as your digital workplace grows to meet the changing needs of your organization. Use the tactics below to plan for a successful launch, continuously engage users, and expand your Vendor KB in the future. 

Launch

  • Define a Vendor request channel template: Tailor the solution to meet the standard needs for your Procurement team, to minimize the configuration time required for the authoring of each new request.
  • Simplify the experience: Provide clear and simple instructions and calls-to-action to drive desired experience without the need for formal training. 
  • Manage purchase order requests: Identify and publicize streamlined request channels within your Vendor KB, along with the procedure for submitting a purchase order. 
  • Keep it clean: Use a clear and concise architecture to keep it simple and easy-to-use.
  • Link to it: Use a homepage link or CTA within your Procurement Team Room to link to your Vendor KB so employees have it readily available.

Engage 

  • Drive change: As you're introducing your Vendor KB, ensure Procurement is directing employees to the new solution to increase adoption and population of content.
  • Integrate: Include approved tools to increase adoption (Slack, Microsoft, etc.) and build on familiarity across the team.
  • Communicate: Encourage your Procurement and other teams to use the Vendor KB exclusively for storing key files, information, and Vendor communications.
  • Incorporate it into the onboarding experience: Include the Vendor KB in your team’s departmental onboarding, to ensure new hires are properly educated.

Govern 

This Solution should be managed by the Procurement team and led by the Executive Team at a strategic level. 

  • Align with your brand: Align the Solution with your corporate branding guidelines. 
  • Communicate updates: Make sure you communicate updates to your approved Vendor list or process requirements to employees whenever changes happen (e.g. use the Newsroom to push out your communication).
  • Provide quarterly assessments: Provide quarterly summaries about changes and updates to the Solution or templates requested by the company (e.g. feedback gathered during departmental meetings or in the Request Center).

Evolve

  • Poll widget: Create a mechanism for employee feedback and to take action on suggestions.
  • Reassess metrics: Review objectives and KPIs to refine them and continue to mature and maximize the business value of the Solution. 

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