It's fast, secure, informative and gives your business partners, clients and suppliers a hands-on feel when interacting with your company via a live web interface (portal) - and they can do this at any time, and from the golf club if they wish. To add to this, it's the professional way to share and collect data, and it makes managing the collected data much easier.
A Supplier can at any point in the day or night, from home or office and at their own pace, amend their expected delivery time or amend the price of an item. (Don't worry, an untimely change will be flagged on your side!). An employee might check which bit of work they are to do next or where they ought to be. A Client can at any time and from anywhere check on the progress of a Job or place another order with your company. You control when and how data is transported into your systems and how to handle changes, but having it already in electronic form and in a format controlled by the system makes the integration a fast and simple process.
There are many ways in which web interfaces can improve communication. Let's take a look at some of the current RIFIN Portal implementations to see how some inter-business communications are improved.
This example solves a rather large work-load problem in the contract manufacturing industry. Contract manufacturers typically have thousands of stock items and many hundreds of suppliers.
The problem faced by these manufacturers boils down to updating the entire range of pricing every three months (Quarterly) gathering in sheets of pricing information from these hundreds of suppliers towards thousands of stock items. Most quarters the number of changes are limited to a few thousand or so, but when large shifts in the exchange rates happen or a fuel-price hike influences transport costs, almost all suppliers update almost all their prices. The logistics of updating these in the system is a nightmare by itself - but add to that the double-checking to ensure pricing does not encounter finger errors, or goes up out of scale of the rest of the items, and more.
This Portal system makes it easy for all suppiers to submit, easy to see who submitted and who not, easy to see flagged items that might be finger errors or out-of-scale changes or over-limit increases and so on (the parameters for all being fully customizable), easy to control which Suppliers and users have access to view or edit the pricing, and even sends out mail notices to inform them of when to do it and notify them of any new developments or things to take note of.
(Please Note: The following example images are all from actual live systems, so some sensitive values are obscured here, but in the working systems they appear normal.)
This software allows full control over the Portal. Set which suppliers and users have access to information or can update the details, which stock items are listed and when the Portal opens or closes. Further to this, the console allows reporting on any supplier's latest pricing or historic pricing and can produce comparisons with the flagged warnings mentioned above:
From the console, all (or any) suppliers can be mailed in bulk to notify them that changes are available and typically what the deadline is for changes towards the next quarter. The standard mail template include all relevant information on accessing and using the Portal. An example of an actual e-mail that were sent:
Once a Supplier received their secure Log-In details and is ready to adjust their values, they can do so in an easy-to-use familiar spread-sheet type editor (not unlike an Excel sheet) directly from any browser on any computer, tablet or phone:
There are of course the usual bits of company information and links that might be useful - the extent of included information is completely customizable:
Once changes has been made, a Supplier can log out and return later to do more. Once all changes are made and the Supplier is happy with the new values and wishes to submit the new values to your company, they simply click the "Submit button" which will ask confirmation and then mail copies of the edited values to Supplier and to an internal mail of your choosing. This serves both as double-check to ensure the pricing is correct and as proof to the Supplier that they did indeed submit those prices:
Lastly, anyone authorised at your company can at any time view through either the management console (shown above) of via your own log-in to the web portal see exactly who edited and/or Submitted and who didn't yet:
Finally the data can be checked for validity and exported (DB, CSV, JSON etc.) or directly uploaded to your internal ERP or stock control system easily via the management console.
It just doesn't get any easier than that!