Vendor Portal

When it comes to Product Information Management (PIM), Vendor Portals are emerging as an unsung hero of successful product content strategies. It may seem like one small part of the puzzle, yet for many it can make or break a PIM implementation.

When you think of killer product content, what e-commerce giant comes to mind? Amazon. According to Forrester’s report Polishing Up Your Products — Why PIM Really Matters, “When it comes to product discovery, Amazon’s content is addictive for consumers.” For example, “one quarter of all online consumers who bought consumer electronics in the past three months start their research on Amazon, versus 7% at physical stores, 11% on a retailer’s website, 5% on a manufacturer’s website and 12% on a search engine.”

So the question is, are you competing with easy access to compelling content? If you’re a down-stream seller – namely distributors, wholesalers and retailers – the answer is likely no. In fact, inefficient and manual attempts to procure quality content may be quashing your omnichannel success. In an attempt to procure content at a lower cost, many companies are wisely turning to Vendor Portals in hopes of directly engaging suppliers in the process of onboarding vital information. Here’s why your organization needs a Vendor Portal – and the right game plan to go with it.

The Benefits of a Content Vendor Portal

To deliver growth, companies must bring products to market faster and at a lower cost with fewer resources and more regulations. However, item onboarding can be a cumbersome experience. For one product, multiple e-mail or phone calls may be required. And, even after several attempts, the content received may not be accurate or consistent with your organization’s data governance rules.

When coupled with the frightening 75% to 85% failure rates of new product introductions that vary by industry, these factors create a daunting environment for innovation. That’s where a Vendor Portal can help.

Vendor Portals make product introduction faster and easier. Organizations can create an onboarding workflow that enforces data standards for its suppliers and notifies internal teams about new product introductions, missing data, and other triggers that may need attention.

When implemented within a PIM system, Vendor Portals can:

  • Reduce business overhead and manual work for managing supplier information and product content.
  • Accelerate time to market by speeding up the process for onboarding new suppliers and products.
  • Assess performance and compliance, as well as provide direct real-time feedback to both suppliers and supplier management.
  • Understand the total supplier relationship across an organization, including subsidiaries and sub-suppliers.

Why Some Vendor Portals Fail

When implemented correctly, Vendor Portal programs can be game-changing. However, too often portal implementations are costly failures. Suppliers and vendors may not fully engage, or the technology is simply too burdensome to implement and maintain. Yet the mistakes others have made in implementing these type of programs can be avoided. That’s why using a Vendor Portal to score great content and sell more products requires the right game plan.

To learn more about what a successful Vendor Portal Game Plan should entail, stay tuned for the second post in our Vendor Portal series.

In the meantime, take a look at a case study from EnterWorks Enable customer Johnstone Supply. As the largest HVAC Distribution Cooperative (with $1.7 billion in sales and over 400 suppliers), Johnstone used Product Information Management and a centralized Vendor Portal to majorly advance their business and e-commerce presence. Download the case study here.

Do you have questions about how a Vendor Portal can transform the state of your product content? Contact us or click to learn about EnterWorks Enable Vendor Portal.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.