Buyers ask suppliers to join Tradecloud so you can both work together efficiently and sell more with less effort. Clear communication on orders, shipments and forecasts between you and your customers is important but difficult to reach by e-mail, fax and Excel sheets. When it comes to order handling and clear communication, the Tradecloud platform can save you a lot of money, time and resources. Suppliers can work via the online portal or via real time integration with an ERP system on the suppliers side. This document describes all the options and required steps.
Our mutual goal is to create a fast, flexible and effective supply chain. Depending on your situation there are multiple ways to work with Tradecloud. If you are a small or starting supplier with low volumes you can work via the Tradecloud portal for free. In the portal you will receive orders from your customers and you have to confirm them manually.
If you a larger proffessional supplier you can benefit from full ERP integration on your side. This will make orders automatically go to your own ERP system and will send order confirmations automatically back to your customers.
Step by step approach to working with Tradecloud
Via the portal
If you work via the portal there is no implementation needed. After you have been invited you can connect to your customer and start receiving and confirming orders. You will be informed of any new orders or changes via email.
Via ERP integration
If you want to benefit from full ERP integration there is the following process:
Process alignment is essential and has to be done between Buyer and Supplier upfront
See the functional checklist below
Setting up the connection
Default Tradecloud message exchange is validated by supplier
Connectivity test has been completed, messages are transfered
Default Tradecloud test scenarios are used with real-life data
Onboarding dates are confirmed by Buyer and Supplier
The client provides an acceptance ERP environment with representative data. This data needs to be accurate production like data – no changes in the test data
Two sessions are planned with a lead time of 2 weeks; one for End to End testing and one for Go Live
The customer will formaly validate and accept the integration
Beyond this date, an RFC for additional support is required
The following functional conditions and/or process related questions have to be checked before the integration can start.
Not addressing these issues will result in a delayed implementation. Please ask your ERP consultant for assistance or contact Tradecloud.
Buyer and supplier have to align item codes and units of measurement for orders to be exchanged automatically.
Missing item codes
Describe the proces when the Buyer sends an order with no Supplier Item Code.
New items have to be aligned on both sides before they can be ordered. The Tradecloud Item Management module can be used for this.
Order (line) data and fields
Check the fields on the order and order line in the Tradecloud portal, this is the information you will also get via an electronic interface, is all requirement information correct and available?
Price unit quanity. Tradecloud support differences in price unit quantities. (ordered by 1, confrimed price per 100). If this is needed the field has to be used.
Price formats and rounding, are agreed prices in the same format before and after the ‘.’ ? (1.23 Euro)
Buyer and supplier have to agree that an order is only final after both parties have agreed on the confirmation. (in case of differences in date/quantity/price)
BOM and routing
Bill of materials (BOM). Tradecloud will only send the item number from the buyer, so transferring this into a BOM must be done in the ERP system of the supplier
Drawings, revisions and specifications
How are specifications and revisions communicated? Tradecloud has a module for automatic uploading and linking of CAD drawings.
Packing instructions How are packing instructions communicated?
Order line splitting
The splitting of order lines by the supplier is default off. This means that the buyer has to split the order line if multiple delivery lines need to be created.
Order confirmations Suppliers need to confirm the requested date, quantity and price in a separate message. 100% confirmations will be automatically updated in the ERP of the Buyer. Exceptions will be handled in the workflow of the Buyer.
Updates of existing orders
The buyer may update an existing order. Can the supplier handle this?
There is no technical solution for urgent orders. Buyer and supplier have to agree on a separate process for this.
Multiple legal entities? Tradecloud standard supports connecting 1 supplier to 1 buyer. Please inform us if you have more entities or you want to receive orders from multiple legal entities / customers.
Final check What other actions are sales persons performing manually now that should be automated?
Please make sure that all these topics are discussed and agreed upon before start of the technical implementation.
Messages to be exchanged:
Purchase Orders from the Customer, via Tradecloud, to Supplier
Order Confirmations from Supplier, via Tradecloud, to the Customer
Updates of orders by the buyer (e.g. changed date), can they be handled in the ERP system? (standard off for EDI messages)
If an FTP server is needed, the Tradecloud SFTP server will be used