Imagine a scenario where you have multiple vendors, multiple touch points and raw material that has to be available in time to ensure your production cycle runs smoothly. Even if one item isn’t available, it would stall the product process. One of our key clients tasked us with the responsibility of solving the challenges they were having coordinating with their vendors, internal departments. They needed a Custom Vendor Management System.
“Key Constraint – Holding up of Assembly line due to non-availability of material in the right time was causing operational difficulties. Lack of transparency within the organization & vendors was creating bottlenecks.”
Why were there challenges with Vendor Management even with sufficient human resources?
Even with a large procurement team, tracking inventory within the organisation, involved multiple departments and multiple vendors. Even though they had systems in place, the sheer amount of time spent in validation, verification and reconciliation was enormous.
Added to this, they have multiple product lines, production lines with support from multiple vendors, making it even more challenging.
They were exploring buying a custom solution from their current ERP provider and realised the sheer number of users for whom they would have to buy licenses would run into $ Millions. They wanted a custom solution that could be integrated with their ERP to work in real-time.v
“Estimated cost of procuring licenses for their ERP (custom modules) coupled with customization would run in $Millions.”
With a specific operational model and multiple vendors to manage with different product lines, they wanted to partner with a solutions provider to build a robust solution for them.
SOME OF THE KEY CRITERIA THEY HAD IN MIND TO SHORTLIST VENDORS WERE:
- Should have created custom applications for companies like theirs.
- Vendor should be a long term partner, with ability to support and enhance as they progress.
- Should have a strong business understanding to design the workflows and collaborate with them.
- Creating a prototype that gives them a realistic feel of how the system looks.
After multiple rounds of vendor selection, they shortlisted 2 and TVS Next (previously TVSi) was selected for it.
Given their urgency, few of our team members spent a few days in the shop floor, different departments to list down all the pain points they currently face. Parallely our team was building the requirements document to give them a clear idea of what were the challenges and how we our solution could help fill the gap.
Within 2 iterations, we had the entire process neatly charted out and built the feature list that they would require.
HOW WE SEGREGATED THIS DEVELOPMENT WORK INTO PHASES:
We broke the development process into 2 phases. Phase 1 was the MVP, which could be launched in about 3 months. We created a rich UI that brought in the notifications, a dashboard that gave the relevant stakeholder the information they needed to seek. The UI was built to be responsive for it to be operational even over a mobile device.
They (client) selected a pilot list of vendors with whom we would test the cycles. These enhancements were added to the Phase 2. Based on the customer’s priority we helped them implement it across their vendors. After about 15 cycles, we gained additional inputs that we could share with the customer.
“Their savings were phenomenal, considering the time it saved for coordinating with vendors, and giving them real-time insights on their vendors/ inventory. Ensuring operational and vendor coordination by the minute helped them optimize inventory levels efficiently.”
This experience gave us insights on how we could help companies scale their vendors quickly and manage them with real-time alerts with a paperless system. Armed with this experience, many of the companies who have heard about this have asked us to help them with their vendor management too.
For us as an organization, it gives us immense pleasure delivering the necessary savings in time, resources to our clients.
If you are in the manufacturing space and would like to talk to us on challenges you face, please feel free to mail firstname.lastname@example.org!