Daily Archives: March 29, 2013

Lavante Connect – Streamlined Supplier Self Management

Lavante, a provider of Supplier Information Management (SIM) and SIM-based Recovery, has just released a new version of Lavante Connect, their supplier self-management solution.

Lavante Connect is one of the more powerful, and more streamlined, supplier information self-management solutions on the market. In the Lavante Connect solution, the supplier is walked-through the 3 to 5-step process of completing their profile and is updated with respect to their progress, and percentage of work remaining, after each step. In the Lavante system, the supplier goes through the following easy to follow process:

  1. Company Profile
  2. Legal Identification
  3. Certifications
  4. Payment Information (may be optional)
  5. Specific Information (may be optional)

Profile information walks the supplier through the definition of headquarters information, address information (notices, payment, warehouse, etc.), references, ownership, diversity, business structure, and contacts.

Legal ID walks the supplier through entry of business numbers, tax numbers, and other government identification in the countries that the supplier operates in. It also makes sure that the supplier uploads the appropriate documentation required by the customer, such as W9s in the US.

Certifications walks the supplier through the insurance and certification requirements of the customer and makes sure that the supplier specifies all of the relevant information and uploads the appropriate documents.

Payment walks the supplier through the specification of the payment types they accept (pCard, check, EFT, wire, etc.) and the specifications for each payment type.

Specific Information, of which there can be more than one tab, walks the supplier through the specific information requests unique to the client, such as required product and service information, sustainability information, etc. and the documentation that needs to be supplied.

The ease of use comes not only in the easy to follow registration, and profile completion process, but the fact that the system:

  • validates everything that can be validated,
  • eliminates duplication of data entry whenever possible, and
  • forces e-signatures and verification for all legal documents.

Not only does the system validate that all data entered is in a valid format, but it integrates with as many third party systems as possible to verify that the entered data is correct. Business numbers and tax numbers are automatically verified against government databases, address information is validated against address databases, bank and p-card information is verified through penny-transactions, etc. The system makes it hard for a supplier to make a mistake and harder for any errors to persist for more than a few days. It also alerts the supplier as soon as certifications or registrations are about to expire or information has to be re-verified (according to the customer’s schedule, where such customer may require re-verification of contact information every six months).

All address, contact, and similar data is automatically indexed and can be mapped to any other information requirement that makes sense. So, if headquarters also happens to be the payment and legal notice address, it only has to be entered once. Same for contact information.

For the most part, SIM isn’t complex, and neither are supplier portals, but few master the usability and simplicity required to onboard even the technology unsophisticated supplier quickly and easily with complete profiles, no errors in critical information, and fresh profile data. Lavante Connect is in this group.