10 steps to successful supplier onboarding

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10 steps to successful supplier onboarding

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Step by step approach

The following steps guarantee a successful supplier onboarding process. The starting point for this list is that you have successfully connected your ERP system to Tradecloud, are able to send and receive messages and have done a functional acceptance test for the processes that you want to handle in Tradecloud. (See other sections on how to do this).


  • Acceptance test completed
  • A Tradecloud and ERP test environment available with real data where suppliers can test and play around
  • A Tradecloud production environment connected to your live ERP evironmnent

Supplier onboarding

1. First you should create list with your suppliers, ranked by priority, complexity and volume. Based on this list you will be able to decide where to start and connecting which suppliers will add the most value. Make this list and share it with Tradecloud (Excel or Google template available)
For the first suppliers to be connected its best to select at least 1 complex supplier with direct ERP integration and 1 small portal supplier.

1a. Get management approval for the approach that you want to take, are you going to seduce of force your suppliers? Or a combination of both with some incentives for the supplier? It is very important that we whole organisation agrees on the goals and approach.

2. Select the first 3 suppliers form the list

3. Send information email to inform supplier of the goals of the project. (See template emails in this knowledge base.)

4. Call or email supplier and ask him/her:

  • If they are willing to participate
  • If they want to connect via the portal or via direct ERP integration (the latter will require some work and costs on theur side, so mainly for larger volumes)
  • For direct integration ask for a technical contact person and if possible for the ERP system or integration method that they prefer or already use (EDI, SCSN, CSV)
  • Check if any process allignment needs to be done on matching of item codes, units of measurement, etc, and, if yes, plan this action
  • Add this information to the list

5. Tradecloud will check for suppliers that are already known on the network and Tradecloud will contact the suppliers that prefer direct ERP integration.
You don’t have to talk with your suppliers about technical integration complexity.

5a. When a supplier is not yet known on the network we will ask you to fill this form.

6. Send information pdf and video to suppliers with the details about the project and how it works (See template in this knowledge base.)

7. Plan a date with Tradecloud and organize an online introduction session for the first suppliers.
We will record this session so it can be used for the next group.

8. Invite suppliers for test environment
As soon as users have registered themselves they will receive weekly emails on tips&tricks on how to use Tradecloud. Very little manual support should be needed to learn users on how to work with Tradecloud.

9. Invite suppliers for live environment.
They will receive an email as soon as you send the first order to them. 

10. Evaluate the progress with Tradecloud, any possible concerns, and select the next 10 suppliers from the list and repeat the process. A full testing circle is probably not needed anymore for most suppliers. You can invite them immediately for the live environment.

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